Dogs Like Music Too!

It is a well known fact that dogs have impeccable hearing skills. But what isn't a well known fact is what they're listening to while using these skills. With such attentive ears, dogs must be able to hear a variety of things; from the loud sound of fireworks to the quiet whispers of food dropping on the floor. But the one thing that really stimulated my interest in this subject was music. Surely dogs are able to hear it, but can they tell the difference between different types of music? Can it affect/influence their moods the way it does for humans?
A study done by Deborah Wells, a psychologist at Queens University, showed that dogs can in fact tell the difference between different types of music. She played different type of music for dogs in an animal shelter, and watched as they had different reactions to each genre. What is interesting about this study is that she observed that only extreme types of music affected the dogs' moods. In other words, classical music relaxed the dogs, heavy metal made the dogs anxious, but genres such as pop did not get a reaction out of the dogs.
I find this extremely interesting because even though pop music isn't extremely soothing or extremely hardcore, it is still a different sound nonetheless. I would have assumed that it would have had at least some kind of affect on the dogs, just as pop music has on humans. If they can react to classical and hardcore, what is stopping them from reacting to other genres such as pop? This led me to question whether dogs really don't react to pop music, or if Wells experiment possessed errors or a third party variable.
Through further research, I found that numerous sources credited Wells' theory. In fact, "after reading of Wells's research, Teryn Hartnett, an animal behaviorist, convinced the Riverside County, Calif., Department of Animal Services last year to install a piped-in continuous Muzak system in two county-run animal shelters". It is still up for debate why pop music does not have an affect on dogs, but my hypothesis is that maybe pop music sounds too similar to human voices, which dogs here everyday. Or maybe it is because pop music is played a lot, therefore becoming "the norm" for dogs. I challenge you guys to try it out and experiment for yourselves, I know I will this Christmas break!
Works Cited:
"Do Different Types of Music Affect a Dog's Behavior?" Pets. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Dec. 2013.<>

"Roll Over, Beethoven: Dogs like Music, Too." -- JSCMS. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Dec. 2013. <>

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