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.