As if the world needed more reasons to appreciate Bob Marley, researchers at the Scottish SPCA and the University of Glasgow added yet another. A report published in the journal Physiology and Behavior suggests that reggae and soft rock are the top two music genres when it comes to relieving canine stress.
The study was conducted by monitoring the heart rates of dogs in animal shelters and observing their responses depending on the kind of music played. While most of us would have thought that classical and jazz would be more soothing to man’s best friend, their preference mostly reflected a musical taste similar to that of the average millennials’ dad.
But just like humans have different musical preferences, some dogs also seem to dissent from the majority once in a while. Professor Neil Evans of the University of Glasgow notes that the majority of dogs seemed to find reggae and soft rock the most relaxing, but other canines in the shelter begged to disagree.
“Overall, the response to different genres was mixed highlighting the possibility that like humans, our canine friends have their own individual music preferences,” said Evans. “That being said, reggae music and soft rock showed the highest positive changes in behavior.”
Researchers are now looking at the possibility of adding music to Scottish animal shelters to help dogs relax more in an environment that can be very stressful. Helping the dogs calm down and display better behavior increases the likelihood of them being adopted.
While music can be great for helping a dog relax, it’s just one of several factors that encourage positive behavior among canines. Giving your pet a feeling of safety and consistency will reduces levels of anxiety and trains it to act in a more relaxed manner.
Providing a comfortable bed your dag can call its own is a good start. Petting your dog in its bed and giving it occasional treats there is even better. This helps condition the dog’s mind to the fact that good things always happen when it lies snug in its spot.
Regular exercise has also been proven to help dogs release their excess energy. Physical activity tones canine muscles and helps strengthen its joints for better mobility even as they age. Walks are good, but make sure that your dog feels secure and that you’re in charge when you’re outside the yard.
Overall, there’s no substitute for an owner’s love and care for helping a dog relax. Of course, a little No Woman No Cry for your male pet from time to time also helps.