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What Kind of Music Do Dogs Like? What the Science Tells Us

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove


Have you ever noticed how your dog loves listening to some songs but is not a big fan of others? Like us, dogs have music preferences, so they won’t like every tune that we do. There have been numerous studies that have explored almost everything connected with a dog’s taste in music. Famous platforms like Spotify have even published playlists solely meant for dogs!

So, to help you understand your dog’s music tastes, continue reading to find out more!

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A Dog’s Sense of Hearing

Before we talk about the music that dogs like, we want to explain more about a dog’s sense of hearing. As you probably know, dogs can hear higher frequencies than we do, which is something to consider before playing your favorite song to your pup.

Humans have a hearing range of 20 to 20,000 hertz, while dog hearing range goes from 47 to 44,000 hertz. Since dogs can hear such high frequencies, it’s important to know that they’re not favorable to high volumes. It’s better to play them light music than something too loud.

You probably already noticed that your dog gets afraid of thunder, noisy vehicles, firecrackers, and other loud sounds. They commonly shiver and cling to you when they get scared of noises, so keep that in mind before playing them a noisy song.

vet checking dog ears
Image Credit: megaflopp, Shutterstock

Taste in Music

Music can be calming for certain dogs, especially if you play them the song they like. According to a study in 2017, the music pups like the most were reggae and soft rock. Both have slower tones that calm dogs and help them to relax.

Another study, “Music’s Effect on Dogs’ Heart Rates,” had tests to see how dogs react and what happens with their heart rates when you play them music of different genres. When they listened to classical music, the dogs had lower heart rates. They were calmer, sleeping more, and barking less. Also, the study showed that jazz music relaxed the pups while rap and rock would cause stress and make them anxious.

That’s why these are some of the favorite genres of canines:
  • Classical music
  • Jazz
  • Reggae
  • Soft rock

What Kind of Music Is Soothing to Dogs?

As we listen to music to soothe ourselves and calm down, our furry friends also have preferences that will comfort them and make them relaxed. As we mentioned above, classical music, soft rock, reggae, and jazz are what dogs like the most. They are soothing to dogs because of their low frequencies.

Whenever music frequencies are low and the beat is tranquil, our pups have a lower heart rate connected with peacefulness. Many pet shelter workers play these genres to the dogs because when the atmosphere is quieter, dogs are in a better mood, which makes the shelter a better place to live.

More recent research shows that audiobooks have a calming effect on our pups too. They provide a rhythmic sound that helps them loosen up. On the other hand, dogs had little to no reaction when listening to pop or R&B songs. Most of the dogs do not seem interested in this type of music.

dog relaxing in bed
Image Credit: Pixabay

Which Genres Do Dogs Not Like?

Some music genres help your pup relax and positively affect them, while some genres and tunes make dogs anxious and nervous. Loud, chaotic music such as heavy metal, rock, or punk can negatively affect your dog and cause stress and exhaustion.

If you expose your dog to such music for long periods, it can result in depression or aggression, which can be a big issue. Always consider the song you’re playing when your pup is there. When it comes to dogs, calmer music is almost always better, so keep that in mind. Also, try to avoid music such as techno, trance, or house since they have a lot of harsh transitions and loud sounds.

Also, even when you play them soothing music, remember to turn the volume down so that the noise doesn’t harm their hearing.

Popular Songs to Play to Your Pup

We did some research on popular songs you can play to your pup, and here are our top picks:

Canine music
  • Bluebonnet Sonata – beautiful, soothing song for puppies and kitties
  • Canine Relaxation – top music for your precious pooch
  • Petting Puppy Time – winding down with ultra-relaxing flute music
  • Bob Marley – One love
  • UB40 – Red red wine
  • Bob Marley – No woman, no cry
  • Pass The Kutchie – Mutabaruka
  • Bob Marley And The Wailers – Stir it up
Soft rock
  • Sinead O’Connor – Nothing compares 2u
  • Alphaville – Forever young
  • Scorpions – Wind of change
  • The Beatles – Let it be
  • Ludovico Einaudi – L’onde
  • Giacomo Puccini – Nessun Dorma
  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky – Sleeping beauty waltz
  • Ludwig van Beethoven – Symphony No.6
  • Bob James – Since I fell for you
  • George Benson – Affirmation
  • Sade – Your love is king
  • Norman Brown – After the storm

How Do You Tell if a Dog Likes a Song?

Many dogs react to music they like by howling or barking. Other signs can include wagging their tail, jumping up and down, and raising their ears. Your pup can also smile or show excited behavior when listening to a song that feels good.

Dogs also react to pitches and enjoy singing. You’ve probably seen at least one video online where a dog is howling to the tune of some song. So, if your dog is howling at a musical piece, they are probably enjoying it!

You should try to figure out your dog’s taste and play the music they like when they’re stressed. When a dog dislikes a song, they will show some signs of anxiety. These are signs of a dog becoming overstressed:

  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Pacing
  • Shaking
  • Shedding
  • Stress yawning
  • Panting
  • Trying to hide
  • Lip-licking
  • Changes in body posture
  • Drooling
  • Whining

If you notice any of these signals, it might be time to change the song and play something more pup-appropriate.

Is It Good to Leave Music on for Dogs?

The AKC reported that dogs indeed like listening to music, which is why there’s no harm in leaving music on for them. In fact, leaving the music on for your dog while you’re not home or at night will help your pup to be tranquil and less bored until you’re back.

Saint Bernard sitting with musician
Image Credit: icsilviu, Pixabay

So, What Kind of Music Do Dogs Like, and Why Do They Like It?

To sum it up, as long as the music you are playing is calm, soft, and has low frequencies, your pup should enjoy it.

Also, you can find music that’s specifically designed for dogs since it’s something they should enjoy. You can simply search the internet for calming dog sounds, doggy relaxation music, or any similar term which will provide you with song choices for your furry friend.

Dogs like music because it helps them feel calm, tranquil, and peaceful, especially if you’re not there to soothe them. So, if you haven’t tried this yet, choose a tune you think your dog will like and play it to them. You’ll be surprised by the positive reaction if your dog likes the melody.


Final Thoughts

When you consider everything we mentioned, there’s no doubt that music that feels good for your dog can help them in the long run. Your pup will be calmer, less stressed, and therefore healthier. You can check out our top picks, or you can find a unique sound or a song your pooch will enjoy yourself. All you need to remember is that dogs have sensitive hearing, so be considerate and play something calm and serene. Your dog will be thankful, and you’ll be able to spend quality, peaceful time together.

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Featured Image Credit: Monkey Business Images, Shutterstock

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