Then, we introduced music. Classical music is a favorite for young animals, but oldies and soft contemporary music also are acceptable. If the owner dislikes classical music, try bluegrass, country or some other easy listening recordings. Why? It so happens that dog trainers, animal shelters and dog boarding kennels are finding that certain kinds of music seem to soothe and relax the animals in their care.
This phenomenon also is experienced by newborn and premature babies. One pediatrician insists that the parents of all his "preemie" patients play Bach, Beethoven and Brahms during the day to keep the infants calm and breathing rhythmically. No jazz or rock and roll for these little ones.
Kennel owners report the same thing: A calming melody can soothe. Some farmers play soft music in their hog barns during farrowing and nursing the little pigs. One farmer stated that the sows ate better and took better care of the piglets in this calming environment.
In one study on the effects of music on animals, it was concluded that the soft music overrides other distractions. Music from the radio is often recommended to calm dogs suffering from separation anxiety. By tuning to a public broadcasting station, the music is usually classical or easy listening and reporters' commentaries also are soothing.
You should avoid stations that have call-in talk shows because some callers are angry and the dog cannot understand why the voice is so loud and angry.
It has been discovered that service dogs often get stressed from their work and need time out to relax and unwind. Some dogs can actually show signs of burnout. It has been proven that soft, calming music will slow the heartbeat and respiration and relax the muscles of these working dogs.
Any dog required to work should have daily time-outs to rest and take it easy. This applies to not only service dogs, but to dogs being trained and shown, used in hunting or herding or any other kind of work that requires long periods of concentration. Play some soothing music as the dog loosens up and unwinds.