27 Jan 2017

Dogs prefer reggae, soft rock

From Jesse Mulligan, 1–4pm, 1:24 pm on 27 January 2017

Breaking news for dog lovers. A new study has found that reggae and soft rock are the music genres most favoured by dogs.

Professor Neil Evans from the Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine at the University of Glasgow was involved with the research to find what music mutts liked most. And it's Peter Tosh and Toto.

Tom the Labrador

We played Fleetwood Mac's 'Second Hand News' and Kathryn Brankin sent us this photo of her labrador, Tom, enjoying the music! Photo: supplied

“We played a series of five different types of music to dogs. So they had some classical music, reggae, Motown, soft rock and pop.

“What we found was that out of all of those, there wasn’t a huge amount of difference between them, but reggae and soft rock were slightly preferred compared to the other genres.”

The research has a serious intention, to reduce stress levels among dogs in animal shelters.

When the music was played the researchers observed the dogs’ behaviour. If the dogs spent more time lying down and had variable heart rates that indicated they were relaxed.

“The first study we did used classical music and classical music had a beneficial effect for the dogs but what we saw was over seven days when we had the same playlist every day they appeared to get bored by that music.”

So if you’re in the habit of leaving the radio on for the pooch when you leave the house, your instincts are pretty sound Prof Evans says.

“Because pets are used to having people around so maybe they are more stressed if they are left on their own so putting the radio on will have a very beneficial effect.”