The soothing effects that classical melodies have on dogs, is being celebrated in shelters across the world! Shelters are humming with the calming refrains of “Hallelujah Chorus” and “Ode to Joy!” Just living in a shelter environment can be ruff on the fluff-butts, and workers at the shelters are constantly searching for different ways to help the animals in their care live a more tranquil life.
The music’s soothing qualities certainly work on Leo, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, who is currently awaiting his forever home at a shelter in England. When they realized that Leo was a bit stressed out, the staff at the shelter decided to try out the theory. Now classical music is an everyday occurrence in Leo’s life and he spends his days enjoying their tranquil melodies.
Bel Deering, the shelter manager says:
“Whenever he gets stressed he likes to cuddle up under his quilt and listen to soft music.”
Of course, Leo isn’t an uncommon pup. Studies that have been done support the connection between classical music and more relaxed dogs. The Scottish SPCA and University of Glasgow did some research that found that dogs’ stress levels- which were measured by heart rates, saliva and behavior-dropped drastically after listening to music. The dogs also spent significantly less time standing up and barking while the music was being played.
Over the course of four months professor Lori Kogan, an associate professor at Colorado State University, played different music and recorded the dogs’ behaviors.
She discovered that classical music relaxed dogs, but the poor pooches are not metal heads. Heavy metal caused the dogs to exhibit more nervous shaking. In her study, which was published in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior, Kogan recommends that shelters play classical music as a cheaper, more practical way of improving the environment and the well-being of dogs.
In Maryland, The Frederick County Animal Shelter and Pet Adoption Center took the findings very seriously and now they play classical music over the intercom for up to 14 hours a day. This new practice, they say, is helping the dogs wonderfully.
Even though these studies have focused on shelter dogs for the most part, it sure couldn’t hurt to turn on some Chopin for your doggies at home. Maybe playing some Beethoven while that thunderstorm rages on or perhaps when you have to leave your pooch alone for a little while, will help to comfort your pup. If nothing else, you’ll certainly have the most sophisticated canine on the block.
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