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Dogs love Bob Marley new research finds

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Scottish animal welfare charity study into canine music tastes

Have you ever looked at a dog and wondered what sort of music it would like?

Well, wonder no more.

Animal welfare charity the Scottish SPCA has discovered its reggae and soft rock.

The charity, in partnership with University of Glasgow, has just completed a study analysing the effect of playing different types of music to dogs and found that although tastes vary, Jamaican beats is their favourite followed by soft rock.

PhD student Amy Bowman, who carried out the research by playing music to dogs at the Scottish SPCA centre in Dumbarton, says music clearly has an effect on our canine companions’ behaviour.

“We were keen to explore the effect playing different genres of music had,” she said.

“It was clear that the physiological and behavioural changes observed were maintained during the trial when the dogs were exposed to a variety of music.”

Pic: Scottish SPCA
Pic: Scottish SPCA

Professor Neil Evans added: “Overall, the response to different genres was mixed highlighting the possibility that like humans, our canine friends have their own individual music preferences.

“That being said, reggae music and soft rock showed the highest positive changes in behaviour.”

Although it might sound like a bit of fun the research actually has some worth.

The Scottish SPCA had previously found dogs liked listening to classical music and has been playing the genre in its kennels in Glasgow and Edinburgh but is now planning on updating its playlist.

A spokesperson for the charity said: “Having shown that variety is key to avoid habituation, the Scottish SPCA will be investing in sound systems for all our kennels.

“At present both our Glasgow and Edinburgh centres are able to pipe music into their kennels, and in the future every centre will be able to offer our four footed friends a canine approved playlist with the view to extending this research to other species in the charity’s care.”

If you have a dog, maybe it’s time to put the classical music Bach in the cupboard and get some reggae barking out your sub-woofer.