September 9, 2023

Why do dogs like Bob Marley’s music so much?

My two faithful English bull terriers both demonstrate preferences when it comes to music. Squirt, the younger of the two, really mellows out whenever I play anything from Brian Eno’s ambient period. Music for Airports is a favourite.

On the other hand, Schmooze, the ten-year-old, prefers Bob Marley. Put on “Three Little Birds” or “No Woman No Cry” and she’ll immediately curl up next to me with a big smile on her face.

Turns out that she’s not alone. Dogs really do love Bob Marley.

As reported in The Guardian, scientists who study dogs and music–yes, that’s a job–have determined that Bob’s music is quite popular with the canine market because dogs prefer genres that mimic their own heartbeat–like Bob’s brand of reggae.

Studies like these have launched a new industry of dog-friendly music. And this isn’t just something for dog parents looking to overly pamper their fur babies. Just as music can be used for therapy with humans, so it is with dogs.

Anyone knows how heartbreaking/frustrating it is to have a dog with separation anxiety, hyperactivity, or a fear of loud noises (think thunderstorms). Music can be used to ease those anxieties and fears.

RelaxMyDog was established in 2012 as an all-natural drug-free way of helping stressed-out dogs. With 10 million users a month, the company’s musical offerings have a huge following among dog owners. It may not sound like much to use, but having tested it on both my dogs, they seem to get something out of it.

Here’s a sample.

It took less than 30 seconds for Squirt to start yawning and drift off with above mix. See?


And the reggae fan really dug this one.


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 37017 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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