Got a stressed out dog? Try this music written especially for canines

As the servant for a line of English bull terriers, I’ve noticed their distinct interests in music.

Our first, Willy Bumpers, became hypnotized by both the theme from the TV show Dallas and Rough Trade’s “High School Confidential.” Sponge seemed to prefer classical music as long as there weren’t too many high strings (“Rhapsody in Blue” was a favourite).

Schmooze, the elder of the two BTs currently resident in the house loves any of Brian Eno’s ambient works. Music for Airports will bring her right into the room whereupon she will curl up and fall asleep. Her little stepsister, Squirt, seems to prefer Adele ballads.

Okay, so there’s a chance that I might be reading too much into what I think I see. Or maybe not.

Terry Woodford is a songwriter, producer and engineer who has worked with the Commodores, the Supremes and the Temptations. His current gig is “Canine Lullabies,” a playlist designed to de-stress dogs, especially those caught in shelters. His music has been heard by dogs from Britain to Australia and has been proven to calm dogs, reduce barking and bring down stress levels in kennels.

The music works on pets, too. He says the music can “console whimpering puppies, minimize separation anxiety, minimize fear of thunderstorms and comfort a sick or hurt pet.”

Here’s an example. Note the use of the human heartbeat.

Here’s the music at work in a shelter.

And if you have a dog that’s terrified by thunderstorms, watch this.

If you want to learn more, there’s a story at the Washington Post. Or you can skip right to Terry’s website here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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