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Science Says Dogs Love Reggae. But Which Songs Are Best?

Research boffins in Scotland are doing good work. They’ve determined that if dogs had a choice between five specific types of music, the one they prefer the most is reggae. Following up with this research, the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has equipped all its kennels with proper sound systems which play nothing but dog-pleasing music.

Now here’s an interesting exercise. What, exactly, is dog-friendly reggae? I know that Schmooze, my big English bull terrier, will immediately flip on her back to demand a belly rub to the sound of Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds.” Squirt, the young BT, seems to have a thing for Lee “Scratch” Perry-style dub–and the deeper the bass. the better.  At the other end of the spectrum, neither seems to like “Been Caught Stealin'” from Jane’s Addiction because of the barking samples at the beginning. And “Who Let the Dogs Out” by Baha Men has been banned in my house for more than a decade because of the agitation it causes my livestock.

I also got this email from Jeff:

Hi Alan.

Love your segments. We do audio visual systems and we just completed the new queen west animal hospital and Scott, the owner and lead Vet, put in speakers and a system to stream music into the kennels for the dogs and cats. (22 speakers in all). It’s pretty amazing what music will do for animals. Would love to show you the environment,

The company is called Cloud 9 AV. We’re based in Leaside.

I should point out that the Scottish study noted that soft rock was the dogs’ second-most-favourite genre. Gotta try this one out on the BTs, even though it is a Cat singing about dogs.

UPDATE: Some suggestions have come in.

Satallites “Sunroof” (via Suzanne)

Barrington Levy, “You Have It” (Via Josh)

Here’s another email:

Hi Alan

Love listening to u on the edge. My recommendation is a playlist on Spotify called Hawaiian reggae. Very lovely music that I’ve loved and vibed with for a while now. Let me know what u think! If u don’t have Spotify search “anuhea”. She’s a Hawaiian reggae artist who’s wonderful.



Anyone else want to do some experimenting with their animals and report back?



Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ 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.

Alan Cross has 38031 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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