Musical Dogs: A Review of the Influence of Auditory Enrichment on Canine Health and Behavior
Sydney School of Veterinary Science, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Charles Perkins Centre, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 December 2019 / Revised: 20 December 2019 / Accepted: 8 January 2020 / Published: 13 January 2020
Interest in the use of music therapy as a behavioral enrichment tool in veterinary medicine is growing. Indeed, an industry has formed around the development of ‘dog music’, which has been purposely designed to relax dogs. Despite enthusiastic uptake of the idea, there is little empirical evidence supporting the design of such tools. This article summarizes the scientific literature in this emerging domain. It notes that, as a general observation, animals appear less stressed or anxious when exposed to classical music than to control conditions. It also acknowledges that this field is relatively under-researched, and more rigorous studies must be conducted before species-specific recommendations can be made. Such studies must reflect individuals’ and species’ preferences for different genres and songs, taking care to avoid habituation.