Roll Over Beethoven: Dogs 'prefer reggae to classical music'

Canines' behaviour improves when they listen to particular genres, Glasgow University study finds.

Dog Marley: Man's best friend on a ragga tip. <strong>Scottish SPCA</strong>
Dog Marley: Man's best friend on a ragga tip. Scottish SPCA

Playing reggae music to dogs can help to improve their behaviour, according to new research.

A study by Glasgow University found dogs exhibited positive traits after listening to certain music genres.

Reggae and soft rock were particularly effective in the experiment but psychologists also found dogs, like humans, have their own differing tastes for aural pleasure.

A 2015 study into the musical preferences of canines found classical music piped into kennels was conducive to positive behaviour but latest research shows the genre of Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, and Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry was the outright favourite.

PhD student Amy Bowman said: “The research, which took place at the Scottish SPCA centre in Dumbarton, clearly shows that music has an effect on a dog’s behaviour.

“We were keen to explore the effect playing different genres of music had, and it was clear that the physiological and behavioural changes observed were maintained during the trial when the dogs were exposed to a variety of music.”

Of the genres tested, Motown came out as the least popular.

Neil Evans, professor of integrative physiology at Glasgow University’s Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine, said: “Overall, the response to different genres was mixed highlighting the possibility that like humans, our canine friends have their own individual music preferences.

“That being said, reggae music and soft rock showed the highest positive changes in behaviour.”

The Scottish SPCA previously released research in 2015 that showed the impact classical music had on a dog’s behaviour.

The findings also suggested variety is key, and the charity plans to investing in sound systems for all their kennels.

Gilly Mendes Ferreira from the Scottish SPCA said: “At present both our Glasgow and Edinburgh centres are able to pipe music into their kennels, and in the future every centre will be able to offer our four-footed friends a canine approved playlist, with the view to extending this research to other species in our care.”


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