The Power of Music: How Reggae and Soft Rock Influence Your Dog's Behaviour


Attention, dog owners! Have you ever wondered what kind of music your furry friend prefers? Or perhaps you've noticed your dog reacting differently to various tunes? Well, researchers from the Scottish SPCA and the University of Glasgow have discovered something fascinating. Their study suggests that dogs might have a preference for reggae music and soft rock over other music genres. This intriguing finding could change how we interact with our canine companions, enhancing their lives and ours. It's time to delve deeper into this fascinating study and explore the potential benefits of music for our four-legged friends.

The Study

The Power of Music: How Reggae and Soft Rock Influence Your Dog's Behaviour

The research was conducted at a rehoming centre in Dumbarton, where a variety of music to dogs. These included soft rock, Motown, pop, reggae, and classical music. The dogs' physiological and behavioural changes were then assessed. The most positive behaviour changes were observed when the dogs were played reggae and soft rock. However, the study also suggested that each dog might have its own music preferences, much like us humans. This finding is intriguing, as it suggests that dogs, like humans, have individual tastes and preferences on the types of music.

Effects of Music on Dogs

The study found that dogs spent significantly more time lying down and less time standing when music was played, regardless of the genre. This suggests that music generally has a calming effect on dogs. Furthermore, by measuring the dogs' heart rates, the researchers found decreased stress levels when music was played, particularly when it was soft rock or reggae. This is a significant finding, as it shows that music can have a tangible, positive impact on a dog's well-being. It also opens up new possibilities for using music as a tool to help manage stress and anxiety in dogs.

The Future of Dog Care

Considering these findings, the Scottish SPCA plans to invest in sound systems for all its kennels. The aim is to provide a "canine-approved playlist" for our four-legged friends. This initiative could extend to other species in their care, revolutionizing how we care for animals in shelters. Imagine walking into a dog shelter and hearing the soothing sounds of reggae and soft rock designed to keep the dogs calm and happy. This could be the future of animal care.

The Power of Individual Music Preferences

The Power of Music: How Reggae and Soft Rock Influence Your Dog's Behaviour

One of the most intriguing findings of the study was the suggestion that each dog might have its own music preferences. This mirrors our human experience with music, where individual tastes can vary widely. It's a reminder that dogs, like us, are individuals with their own personalities and preferences. This finding also opens up a world of possibilities for dog owners. You could experiment with different genres of music to see how your dog reacts. You might discover that your dog has a favourite song or genre, which you can then use to help them relax and feel at home.

The Role of Music in Animal Shelters

The Scottish SPCA's decision to invest in sound systems for all its kennels is a testament to the power of music. By providing a "canine-approved playlist," they aim to create a more soothing and comfortable environment for the dogs in their care. This could be particularly beneficial for dogs who are stressed or anxious. The calming effect of music could help them relax and adjust to their new surroundings. This approach could also be extended to other animals in the shelter, potentially improving the welfare of a wide range of species.

The Potential for Further Research

While this study provides fascinating insights into the effects of music on dogs, it also opens up many questions. Could other genres of music have similar effects? Do different breeds of dogs have different music preferences? How does a dog's age or health status affect their reaction to music? These are all areas that could be explored in future research. As we continue to learn more about the complex inner lives of dogs, we can find new ways to enhance their well-being and deepen our bond with them.


In conclusion, this research offers exciting insights into the power of music and its potential benefits for our canine companions. Whether you're a dog owner or someone who works with dogs, consider incorporating music into your routine. You might find that it benefits your dog and brings a new level of joy and connection to your interactions with them. So turn on some soft rock or reggae from Bob Marley, and watch as the music works its magic on your furry friend. Pay close attention to your dog's behaviours, and you might be able to pick up on their music taste.

Listen to this podcast by Veterinarian and Academic @drbecvet Dr Rebbecca Wilcox as she shares her thoughts and insights on the fascinating relationship between dogs and music. 🎙️🐾⁠

🌟Listen to the podcast here via Spotify⁠

Note: This blog post is based on research conducted by the Scottish SPCA and the University of Glasgow. For more detailed information, please refer to the original study. Always remember every dog is unique, and what works for one might not work for another. Taste in music is subjective, always observe your dog's behaviour and adjust accordingly.