'The effect of different genres of music on the stress levels of kennelled dogs'

Physiol Behav. 2017 Mar 15:171:207-215. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2017.01.024. Epub 2017 Jan 14.

Abstract

Classical music has been shown to reduce stress in kennelled dogs; however, rapid habituation of dogs to this form of auditory enrichment has also been demonstrated. The current study investigated the physiological and behavioural response of kennelled dogs (n=38) to medium-term (5days) auditory enrichment with five different genres of music including Soft Rock, Motown, Pop, Reggae and Classical, to determine whether increasing the variety of auditory stimulation reduces the level of habituation to auditory enrichment. Dogs were found to spend significantly more time lying and significantly less time standing when music was played, regardless of genre. There was no observable effect of music on barking, however, dogs were significantly (z=2.2, P<0.05) more likely to bark following cessation of auditory enrichment. Heart Rate Variability (HRV) was significantly higher, indicative of decreased stress, when dogs were played Soft Rock and Reggae, with a lesser effect observed when Motown, Pop and Classical genres were played. Relative to the silent period prior to auditory enrichment, urinary cortisol:creatanine (UCCR) values were significantly higher during Soft Rock (t=2.781, P<0.01) and the second silent control period following auditory enrichment (t=2.46, P<0.05). Despite the mixed response to different genres, the physiological and behavioural changes observed remained constant over the 5d of enrichment suggesting that the effect of habituation may be reduced by increasing the variety of auditory enrichment provided.

Keywords: Auditory enrichment; Behaviour; Cortisol; Dogs; HRV; Stress.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Hydrocortisone / urine
  • Male
  • Music Therapy / methods*
  • Music*
  • Pitch Perception / physiology*
  • Stress, Psychological / rehabilitation*
  • Time Factors
  • Ureohydrolases / urine

Substances

  • Ureohydrolases
  • creatinase
  • Hydrocortisone