Science Fact: Your Dog Doesn’t Like Your Singing
It’s ok, it doesn’t like anyone else’s, either.
It’s OK, it doesn’t like anyone else’s, either.
Some of the best YouTube videos, in our opinion, are the ones that involve dogs doing pretty much anything. But there are a few videos in a class all their own; namely, videos of dogs bobbing their heads to music (see below). We were curious as to whether these pooches could actually hear the musicality of the songs they were listening to, and were enjoying it as much as they appeared to be. NYC dog trainers Garrett Rosso of Village Dog Works and Andrea Arden of Andrea Arden Dog Training enlightened us.
Here are the videos that prompted us to ask: Can dogs hear music and do they have a musical sense?
Dogs have a superior sense of hearing that we do not have, so they can hear music. However, a vast majority of animals are desensitized to music over time. It just becomes white noise. Some dogs have a musical sense, some don’t.
Yes, dogs can absolutely hear music and are even sensitive to certain instruments, pitch, and harmonics. You’ve heard wolves and coyotes howling
that’s music to their ears.
So, do they like hearing it?
Andrea: Some dogs howl and they are becoming more stimulated by it. It doesn’t mean they are enjoying it or not enjoying it. Hard rock is potentially pretty agitating for them, and melodious/classical music is soothing. As humans, we want to think our dogs are giving a human response to music, when really they are just showing stimulation.
Garrett: I have worked with certain dogs who will start “singing” when they hear certain instruments. And a few other dogs who certainly seem distressed by the same sounds. There is a police dog in my care that absolutely hates jazz, the NY1 jingle, and the intro score to Law & Order. He howls every time he hears it. Humans come along and can voluntarily or involuntarily reinforce any of these stimulated reactions by the attention they pay to their pet when they are responding to music.
We researched this Law & Order thing. Apparently, lots of dogs are “stimulated” by it:
So there you have it. Some dogs like music, some don’t. Some have musical taste and others just hear white noise. Some dogs love Law & Order, others prefer Game of Thrones.