A study that was conducted by the Scottish SPCA in collaboration with the University of Glasgow has revealed that dogs appear to prefer reggae and soft rock over other genres of music. Professor Neil Evans, Professor of Integrative Physiology at the University of Glasgow’s Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine — explained that the most positive behavioural changes were seen when the dogs were played the two genres of music.

“Overall, the response to different genres was mixed, highlighting the possibility that like humans, our canine friends have their own individual music preferences,” he said.  

Moving To the Beat

Researchers played a gamut of music to the dogs at the Scottish SPCA centre in Dumbarton, ranging from Motown and pop, to even classical music. The heart rates of the pups were then measured to understand the physiological and behavioural changes in them according to the songs they were listening to.

A significant decrease in stress levels was noticed when soft rock and reggae was played — it was also observed that the pups spent more time lying down, and much less time standing when music was played, regardless of genre.

However, the most changes in behaviour were found when reggae music and soft rock were played, and the Scottish SPCA now plans to install sound systems in all of its kennels, to play Bob Marley and Jon Bon Jovi to the rescued pooches.

Follow The Rhythm

Published in the journal titled Physiology and Behaviour, the study also highlighted areas it could have improved in — only five genres of music were tested, limiting the results they received in the study.

Despite that, it was clear that the doggies in the study responded well to the music of all genres, not just reggae and soft rock. So the next time you pop on some music at home, why not try and figure out what genre Fido likes most?

*This article was updated on 15 Jul 2020. It first appeared in PetsMagazine.com on 31 Jan 2017.