Paws and Playlist: The Harmonious Connection between Music and Dogs

Music will always provide comfort and support for human beings –  in times of stress, anxiety, sadness, and even happiness. One can get through tough times by listening to their favorite music. Sometimes, does it ever wonder you if music also has that same effect on our furry friends? Do dogs hear music? Do dogs like music? 


According to the American Kennel Club, dogs attain calmness when listening to classical music, reggae, and soft rock. It is important to note that, apart from the genre and rhythm, variety plays a significant role. Dogs tend to become disinterested in music that they repeatedly hear, so it is important to introduce diverse music to maintain their relaxation.  


Understanding Canine Responses to Music

So can our canine pals hear music? They can certainly hear sound, but their range of hearing may not make them sensitive to notes on a scale. Unlike humans, dogs have a wider range of frequencies that they can perceive. As a result, the subtle differences between notes like 440 hz and 490 hz, which are considered the middle keys on a keyboard, may not be as apparent to them. In contrast, humans have a narrower frequency range, allowing us to easily distinguish the slight differences in pitch. Hence, enabling us to perceive the melody being played. 



Dogs’ Preference for Certain Genres

Dogs demonstrate varied responses to different genres of music, so it is important to observe our animal companion’s behavior to determine if they enjoy the music being played. Among the genres studied, soft rock and reggae were found to be associated with the lowest stress level in dogs. However, it is important to highlight that all musical genres had a positive effect on the dogs’ well-being. 


Based on a research conducted in 2020, classical music appeared as the genre that most frequently calms our furry companions. In environments such as boarding kennels, rescue shelters, and veterinary clinics, dogs were significantly less agitated and stressed when exposed to Mozart’s melodies. They spent most of their time in a relaxed state, either sitting or lying down, engaging in rest or sleep. Classical music is effective in calming dogs because it has characteristics that have a soothing impact on the nervous system. These include a slower tempo, lower pitch, and minimal variations in dynamics. These factors collectively contribute to the calming effect of classical music on dogs. On the other hand, genres like rock and heavy metal led to increased vocalization and standing behavior among dogs. 


A study by Bernardini and Niccolini (2015) found that dogs who listened to music in the presence of their owners were less stressed when left alone if the same music was playing. The dogs underwent a 20-day conditioning process where they were exposed to their owner’s chosen music three times a day for 20 minutes in a calm environment. After a four-day break, the dogs were left alone for five minutes in different unfamiliar environments and were either in silence, listening to their owner’s music, or listening to classical music. The dogs’ behavior was recorded, and the data showed that barking was less frequent when the dogs listened to their owner’s music compared to classical music. Additionally, scratching the door occurred less when the dogs listened to their owner’s music compared to both classical music and silence.



Using Music to Calm Your Dog

If you notice your furry buddy displaying signs of stress, such as panting, pacing, lip-licking, stress yawning, avoiding eye contact, or attempting to hide, you can try to alleviate their anxiety by playing music. 


Here are some tips you can follow:

  • Create a playlist of calming music
  • Play the music before leaving. By consistently playing music when you are away, your dog will start to link the music with your absence and develop a feeling of relaxation. 
  • Play the music according to your dog’s response. To find the most soothing music for your dog, it is crucial to explore different genres and observe their reactions. By creating a playlist with diverse types of music, you can identify which genres have a calming effect. Some dogs may also find classical music calming in the evening, while others may prefer more upbeat tunes in the morning or afternoon.
  • Use a calming scent, such as lavender since it also has a calming effect on dogs
  • Consistency is helpful in establishing routine and creating a sense of familiarity that can help your fur baby feel secure and comfortable
  • Don’t forget to seek professional help, especially if your dog’s separation anxiety is severe!


Dogs, like humans, have unique preferences and sensitivities when it comes to music. While some dogs may find certain types of music soothing and comforting, others may become agitated or distressed. It is important for dog owners to be attentive to their pet’s reactions and behaviors when music is playing, as it can provide valuable insight into their emotional state.


If your loyal sidekick does not enjoy the music being played, they may exhibit signs of agitation, restlessness, or discomfort. These can be manifested as barking, whining, or howling, which serve as their way of expressing their displeasure with the auditory stimulus. Furthermore, some dogs may become destructive, chewing on furniture or other objects, or attempt to escape the environment altogether. It is imperative for dog owners to pay attention to these behavioral cues and take them as indicators that their pet may not be enjoying the music or that it is causing them distress. In such cases, it is recommended to try different genres of music to see if there is a particular type that elicits a more favorable response. 



Related Posts


Recent Post
Scroll to Top