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Beethoven for Your Dog…Really?

May 9

4:00 pm PT

This talk is eligible for CEUs from: IAABC, KPA


The music for dogs industry is huge and makes claims that include “curing” dogs of anxiety, sound phobias, and separation anxiety. Much of the marketing explicitly offers the products as alternatives to the use of medication, training, management, and veterinary consults. Many products are advertised as “clinically proven.”

There are research studies on dogs and music, but their results vary widely, and no commercial product has been clinically proven to work. More important, the studies test dogs’ responses to genres of music, but no published research has demonstrated the basics necessary to know before proceeding to this step. These basics include testing whether dogs have a preference for consonance over dissonance and separating the variables of rhythm, melody, and timbre.

Responses to consonance and dissonance and simplified musical elements have been studied with other species but not dogs. This omission yields scattershot research and the results of the studies predictably contradict each other.

However, evidence does support the use of sound, including some music, as part of management to mask unwanted noise. The webinar will include evidence-based guidelines and employ audio examples to demonstrate how best to use sound to create a better environment for frightened dogs.

Presented By:

Eileen Anderson

Eileen Anderson (she/her) writes about her life with dogs with a focus on training with positive reinforcement. Her book on canine cognitive dysfunction, Remember Me?, won a Maxwell Award from the Dog Writers Association of America in 2017. Her well-known Eileenanddogs blog has been featured on Freshly Pressed by and won the award, “The Academy Applauds” in 2014 from the Academy for Dog Trainers.

She has written for Clean Run, Whole Dog Journal, the IAABC Journal, and BARKS from the Guild. Her articles, training videos, and photos of dog body language have been incorporated into curricula worldwide. She holds an eight-week, biannual writing mentorship through the IAABC. She also works as a freelance editor and mentor for writers.

Eileen has worked professionally as an academic editor, an orchestral and ensemble musician, a network and database administrator, a college math instructor, a bookkeeper, a grant writer, a social work caseworker, and a trainer of computer skills in academic and workplace settings. She has a long-standing interest in making technology accessible to women, people with limited literacy skills, and other underserved populations. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music (harpsichord performance) and a master’s degree in engineering science (acoustics). Her engineering master’s research was in active noise control and her work was accepted by a peer-reviewed journal.

In addition to her work as a writer and editor, she has brought her expertise in music, sound, and acoustics to the dog training and behavior world. She creates custom sound series for desensitization and counterconditioning for behavior consultants working with sound reactive or sound phobic dogs. She can help with identifying acoustic triggers for dogs and managing the sound environment. She can be contacted at