Can Dogs Feel Music?

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Introduction

Have you ever been dancing around in your living room, really feeling your favorite jam, wondering, "Can my fur baby feel this rhythm too?" Well, research suggests that doggos have their own little form of singing.

An example of this is that howling that puppers do when they hear music, especially when we are already singing along. Research also shows that dogs have a sense of pitch in their singing. They even have their individual tastes in the types of music that they like and react to! 

Scroll down to read further about our doggos and their musical sense and abilities.

Signs Your Dog is Feeling the Beat

There are certain signs we can look for that show us our pups hear music and like it. It's easier to tell with some breeds over others whether or not they're feeling the beat. This is mainly because some dogs are more vocal than others, like Huskies and hounds, who love to howl and "talk" at us when they are trying to communicate. On top of communication, another reason your pupper might be "talking" to you is if they are seriously feeling the sounds and tempos they're hearing!

Signs that your pup likes the music they're hearing are just any signs of happiness or contentment. Look for big smiles and wagging tails as the beat starts dropping. They will also probably perk their ears up, and maybe even give you a bark or howl! 

Body Language

If your dog is liking your tunes, watch for:
  • Jumping up
  • Howling
  • Wag tail
  • Raise ears
  • Ears back

Other Signs

More signs that your dog likes your music includes:
  • Smiling
  • Staying near the music
  • Excited behavior

History of Dogs and Music

Music has been around for thousands of years, and so have our furry friends! When our ancestors domesticated our best friends, they had already been listening to and making music. So ever since dogs have been around as our little helpers and companions, they have also been exposed to music. As music has evolved and grown, our pups have grown as well. Because of this, our pups not only hear and recognize music, but they have a similar relationship to it as we do. 

Historically, music has been found to work really well at calming our nerves and relaxing us. This is why music is played at social gatherings and parties. Just like us, music has been found to calm our puppers as well! 

So, if you have an anxious pup that gets nervous from loud noises like thunderstorms, you might be able to find a musical remedy for that. Over the years, studies have shown that dogs like a slower, chilled-out tempo like us, so try playing your doggo some soft rock or reggae during times of distress. It just might help them feel better!

The Science Behind Our Pups' Music Preference

Our puppers have incredible hearing, allowing them to distinguish between sounds better than us, and allowing them to hear sounds that we simply can't hear. Because of this, your pup has preferences for the type of sounds and music they hear- just like us! And that doesn't necessarily mean that they will like the same music as us. Adorably, they have their own little sense of music taste. 

According to Charles Snowdon, an animal psychologist at University of Wisconsin-Madison, our doggos like "species-specific music" the best. This means music that is using the pitch and tone that are historically familiar with their species. Beyond that, each dog breed can have its own preference of music. 

For example, studies have shown that larger breeds, like Labradors, enjoy music similar to that of an adult male. So, they probably enjoy most music that we also enjoy. Size can affect this, so smaller animals, like Chihuahua's, might be more particular and like something at a higher or lower frequency than we do. 

Look on YouTube, and whatever music streaming service you use for different types of music specifically composed for dogs. You might be surprised and enjoy it too! 

Training Your Dog to Sing

Have you ever seen those funny videos of doggos and their humans singing to a song and you think, "man, I want my pup and I to do that too"? Well, you're in luck! Our pups aim to please and thrive in a training environment. 

Because of this, you can definitely train your fur baby to sing! There are a few steps you can talk, according to the author of the book 101 Fun Things to Do with Your Dogs: Tricks, Games, Sports and Other Playtime Activities, Alison Smith. 

First, she suggests playing around with different types of music to see if your pup is inclined to react to a certain genre, artist, or song. Next, find easily identifiable parts of a song, such as a cymbal crashing, and every time you hear it in the song, command your pup to sing and then give them a treat for being such a good pupper. 

Smith also suggests to take advantage of your fur baby's need to fit in and be part of a pack. Perhaps during training, you can make sure other doggos are around to sing with you or other humans. Follow these small steps and have fun with your puppy sing-a-long! 

How to React to Your Dog Liking Music:

  • Find specific songs that they like and play them when they look like they need some comfort.
  • Seek out dog-specific music to see how your pooch enjoys it.
  • Take into consideration the size of your pup when selecting songs.