Chill Dog, performed by professional harpist Marcia Dickstein and produced by Grammy winner Frederick Vogler, is a CD of original harp music designed to help agitated dogs relax.
The effect of music on pet temperament is a relatively new field of research, but the results have so far shown a strong correlation between the type of music played for a dog and the dog’s mood. A study by sound researcher Joshua Leeds and veterinary neurologist Dr. Susan Wagner found that classical music calmed anxious dogs down considerably, particularly when the music was simplified and played in lower octaves. Conversely, rock, jazz, rap, and heavy metal seemed to agitate the dogs.
Studies done by Deborah Wells of Queens University in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and by the National Canine Defense League in Evesham, England, found similar results, they also determined that pop music and talk radio have little to no effect on dogs’ moods.
Dr. Wagner believes that slow classical music can be of great benefit to dogs who suffer from agitation and separation anxiety, whether in conjunction with regular training or used on its own. ‘We have had dogs cured just with the music,’ she pointed out.
The ASPCA has started to suggest that its shelters play music to keep dogs in good moods, although they caution that every dog reacts differently and the dogs should be watched for signs of anxiety when new music is introduced.
The harp music on Chill Dog is just the sort recommended by the studies done so far, gentle, slow music played on the lower strings of the harp. Keeping your dog relaxed and happy is not only more pleasant for the dog, but also for the humans. Dogs with separation anxiety can be destructive when left alone, but if Chill Dog’s music helps them stay calm, that’s one less chewed-up sofa.