Classical music has a calming effect on dogs a study in Glasgow has found.
The research was carried out in a dog rescue and rehoming centre in Milton and involved playing classical music into the kennels.
Two groups of dogs over two consecutive weeks were studied by researchers from the University of Glasgow.
Heart rates were monitored, saliva samples taken and the dogs’ behaviour was recorded.
During the first week one group was observed in silence while the other was played music. The conditions were then switched in the second week.
Results showed that in both groups the dogs’ stress levels decreased significantly after listening to classical music.
Now further tests will be carried out with other music genres to determine what type of music dogs most like to listen to.
The research, carried out by the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Scottish SPCA) and PhD student Amy Bowman.
Gilly Mendes Ferreira, the Scottish SPCA education and research manager, said: “Male dogs responded better than female dogs and both groups spent less time standing and barking when the music was being played.
“Although by the end of the week their heart rates and behaviour associated with kennel stress had returned to normal, the initial findings are very encouraging and show that classical music does have a positive impact on the dogs’ welfare.
“We monitored the dogs’ heart rates, collected saliva samples and observed their behaviour, meaning the research was non-invasive which was extremely important to us.
“This is the first step in a longer line of research and we can now try other types of music to find out how dogs respond to different genres.”
Researcher Amy Bowman added: “Previous studies have shown potential psychological and physiological benefits of auditory stimulation, particularly classical music.
“Our study showed a similar beneficial effect of classical music but it only lasted for a short period.
“The dogs became habituated to the music after as little as one day. It seems dogs, like humans, prefer to listen to a variety of music and not the same thing over and over again.”