I don't know about you, but I love singing to my dog. I dance with her when no one (or everyone) is watching, I talk to her in a high-pitched voice that could shatter even the most well-made of mason jars, and sing awful parody tunes for her that often times (well, most of the time) make no sense whatsoever.
With her big puppy eyes, happy smile, and oh-so-flattering tail wags, it's easy to think that my dog loves my crooning, but is that too presumptuous to assume? Does my dog like it when I sing, or am I just full of myself?
Do dogs enjoy music?
Yes, dogs can like music. But just as not all humans like the same music, not all dogs do either. According to Charles Snowden, animal psychologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, dog owners are likely to assume that their furry friends have similar music tastes to their own, but while dogs can enjoy music, Snowden claims that canine music tastes are "species specific" Humans often like music with a tempo similar to the average human heart-rate, and likewise, dogs like music with a tempo similar to their own breed's heart rate (so slower for larger dogs, and faster for smaller dogs) and notes in registers similar to their own whines, barks, and yelps.
Does my dog like it when I sing?
Surprisingly...yes! According to a study done at the University of York, speaking in sing-songy "baby talk" to your dog "can fulfill a dual function of improving attention and increasing social bonding."
In other words, your embarrassing "doggie speak" (and squeak) can make your pooch pay more attention to you and ultimately strengthens the special bond between man and man's best friend.
Phew! So I guess my dog loves my singing after all!
What types of music do dogs like?
What types of music truly please our pets? It really all depends on your dog! According to psychologist Deborah Wells at Queens University in Belfast, dogs can be as discerning as humans when it comes to music. In fact, research shows that dogs react to different types of music. Classical music can have a calming effect on many dogs, while heavy metal can be agitating.
Why does my dog howl when I sing?
Have you ever noticed a dog howl when he hears music playing, or when he hears a person singing or playing an instrument? According to AKC, your dog's howling is an instinctual behavior and connection to the canine's wild ancestor: the wolf. Wolves use howling to assemble the pack and assert their identities. And while you may be a horrific singer, dogs also have a sense pitch: your dog may howl at a different pitch to individualize himself and his howl. According to Psychology Today, dogs will often howl when they hear wind instruments, violins, and when a human holds a long note while singing. So don't be offended if your dog howled when you started singing. He may just want to join in with the pack!
Good news! Dogs love singing (yes, even yours), and they happen to enjoy music. But, keep in mind that like humans, not all dogs are the same: even when it comes to their musical preferences. Research shows that a dog's music taste tends to be species specific. This means that different breeds of dogs react differently to different types of music. So, while your dog may like when you sing, he may not always like what you sing. Luckily, your loyal furry friend will always be by your side, despite your musical tastes (or lack of musical talent)!