Dog Approved: Bob Marley and The Grateful Dead
Does your dog love your favorite bands too? You may be surprised to learn that your dog might enjoy the reggae chords of Bob Marley or the Grateful Dead’s groovy beat.
A study was conducted in 2017 by The Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) and the University of Glasgow to help determine if music affected dogs in the same way that it does for humans. The study involved the 38 dogs in their shelter, where they played various music into their kennels, including genres of jazz, motown, soft rock, heavy metal, reggae, and classical. The study tested the heart rates, salvia and behavioral levels like pacing and barking of the shelter dogs as they listened to the different genres of music. It was once believed that the classical music of Mozart and Bach had a calming effect on animals, which was proven true in the short term, but new research has found that reggae and soft rock music is more effective in calming and creating positive behaviors for our furry friends.
Although there were definite indicators of overall favorites and least favorites, researchers found that the dogs found immense calming effects when playing the individual dog’s musical preference, just as humans do when playing their favorite music. This proved that our pets actually do prefer certain music over others. Overwhelmingly, most dogs found a stronger preference for either soft rock or reggae over all other genres of music. Their heart rates lowered, they spent more time lying down and less time barking when listening to this music. Some dogs were even found to bark immediately after their favorite tunes stopped playing, maybe to say, “Play me more, please!” The dogs also, as a whole, showed a strong opposition to heavy metal music, which made their heart rates rise and caused more aggressive behaviors like aggravated pacing and barking repeatedly.
The studies are so convincing that many animal shelters have installed music systems with rotating genres of reggae and soft rock music, including albums specifically made for the primary interest of our furry friends. So go ahead, turn on that Grateful Dead, Bob Marley, or Pink Floyd album and listen happily alongside your favorite companion.