Study: Classical music de-stresses dogs

happy puppy...focus is on nose...rest is soft iStockphoto

Classical music might be the best way to calm an anxious pooch, a new study finds.

Lead author Lori Kogan of Colorado State University found that Mozart, Beethoven and the like may reduce stress in dogs, according to a study in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior. The study found that classical music was more soothing than "psychoacoustic" music or specially-made Pet CDs that were designed to calm animals.

Kogan said the study may be helpful for the welfare of animals in stressful shelter environments.

"Social isolation or restriction, a major stresser for many dogs, can lead to the development of both physiological and behavioral problems," Kogan and her two research partners, Regina Shoenfeld-Tacher and Allen A. Simon, wrote in their research summary.

Their research analyzed the behavior of 117 dogs of various breeds, all from one kennel; 83 were boarders (dogs that are temporarily housed for a fee) of different breeds and 34 were rescued dachshunds. Kogan and her researchers did thousands of behavioral assessments over the period of four months.

The dogs were exposed to 45 minutes of three different genres of music while their behavior was recorded every five minutes.

Classical music was linked to more relaxed and restful behavior, while heavy metal was linked to greater anxiety and unrest.

"It does fly in the face of what [Pet CD advocates] talk about, which is that more simplistic music should be more relaxing. The plus side is that you can download classical music for free," Kogan told the Canadian-based Leader-Post.

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