Canine anxiety, typically caused by stress due to separation from a master, is a proven phenomena affecting as many as 40 percent of all dogs attending animal behavior clinics in Canada, the United States and Mexico. While veterinary medication, weaning techniques and even aromatherapy can quell this stress over time, certain types of music also have proven effective at keeping dogs calmer when left alone.
Enter professional harp player and composer Marcia Dickstein. After performing for over 350 film scores, several solo albums and with her Debussy Trio chamber music group to thousands across the globe, Dickstein has turned her attention toward composing and performing music for pets. On her debut album Chill Dog aimed at easing canine anxiety, inspired by her own dog Sadie, Dickstein has lined up 11 meandering tunes to lull dogs into a peaceful slumber while their owners are away.
Dickstein isn’t merely recording music on her computer from her living room for your dog’s enjoyment, either; she’s made Chill Dog a relaxing passage of time for their humans too. Enlisting the professional services of sound engineer/producer Frederick Vogler, who’s won four Grammys for his recording work in several genres, Dickstein truly bares her creative soul for one calming flight of fanciful string work after another.
Science supports this type of anxiety reduction for pets. According to two separate studies in the United Kingdom, dogs invariably became more agitated when hard rock music was played for them and laid down and relaxed when the music was classical and soothing. Deborah Wells, lead researcher for one of the studies, maintains that since it’s ‘well-established that music can influence our moods, dogs may be as discerning as humans when it comes to music.’
An abbreviated sampling of each song is available for review at Dickstein’s website, www.pupsnap.com.