Do Dogs Like Music? Researchers Say Yes! Find Out

Music is a universal human phenomenon, but do our canine companions also appreciate and enjoy music? As dogs have become more integrated into our homes and lives, this is an increasingly common question dog owners ponder. Research and anecdotal evidence suggest that dogs may not enjoy music in the same nuanced way humans do. Still, they hear it, discriminate between different types of music, and even be calmed or excited by it.

music to calm dogs down
do dogs like music

Why Would Dogs Like Music?

Here are some main theories on why dogs enjoy music:

  • The auditory stimulation engages their brain and creates a comforting environmental soundscape. This may explain why dogs bark along to music – it provides an auditory outlet.
  • Certain frequencies and tones in classical music may be soothing or pleasing to a dog’s sensitive hearing, just as humans feel relaxed by the right sounds.
  • The rhythmic patterns prompt the dog’s natural appreciation for routines.
  • Upbeat tempos mimic positive human interaction through sound and may elevate dogs’ moods as social interaction does.

For example, a 2020 review found that dogs seem to relax the most when they listen to classical music. Dogs react differently to pop or heavy metal music, according to research in 2002.

The Relationship Between Dogs and Music

Studies have shown that dogs can respond to and have an emotional connection with music, leading to a unique relationship between canines and the world of melodies.

Research on how dogs respond to music

Scientists work hard to study dogs and music. They found out that dogs like some kinds of music more than others. In a big 2002 study, they played pop, classical, and heavy metal music for dogs.

The dogs did not act the same with each kind of music. Classical music calmed them, but they didn’t like heavy metal! It is clear that our furry friends have their musical tastes just like human beings do! This shows us how much we still need to learn about our pet pals’ likes and dislikes.

Do dogs have a sense of music?

Yes, dogs do have a sense of music. Dogs can hear the beat and rhythm in songs just like humans. However, they may only enjoy some types of music. Soft and slow tunes often make them feel at ease.

Fast or loud music might scare them or make them upset. Scientists have tested this out by playing various melodies for dogs to listen to. Every dog is different so each one will react in its own way to various sounds in songs.

Even though we don’t know if dogs love music the same way people do, it’s clear that they can appreciate good beats and rhythms!

Do All Dogs Respond to Music the Same Way?

Like humans, each dog has unique music preferences and responses based on their personalities and tastes. For example, a bold, excitable dog may be more prone to aroused responses like howling when music is played, while a shy, timid dog may become overwhelmed.

Hypersensitive dogs can find loud music, especially noxious. Observing how an individual dog reacts is the best way to discern their musical tastes.

Can Dogs Have a Favorite Song or Type of Music?

While dogs may be unable to ask Alexa to queue up a specific playlist, they can demonstrate preferences for certain musical sounds. Dogs will likely respond well when their human repeatedly plays soothing classical or slow-tempo pop music. Associating rewarding experiences like playtime or dinnertime with certain melodic cues can also create musical favorites for a dog.

play this for your dog
what music calms dogs

Dogs That Howl to Music

Dogs howl to music for various reasons, including their instinctual response to certain sounds and the desire to join in with their human companions. Some breeds, such as Huskies and Malamutes, are more prone to howling along with music due to their natural inclination towards vocalization.

Reasons why dogs howl to music

Dogs have a special bond with music. They pick up the pitch in the same way we do. Their howling can change with the tone of a song. This is why wind instruments, like reed ones, often make them howl.

Dogs also feel drawn to human voices singing and will join in by howling along. It’s their way of bonding with us! High-pitched sounds set off this howl, too; it’s as if they hear a call and need to respond back.

Listening to music isn’t just fun for dogs and creates great bonding moments between you two!

Breeds known for howling to music

Some dog breeds are known for howling to music. Here are some examples:

  1. Siberian Huskies
  2. Alaskan Malamutes
  3. Basset Hounds
  4. Beagles
  5. Bloodhounds
  6. Dachshunds
  7. Shetland Sheepdogs

What Kind of Music Do Dogs Like?

Dogs have preferred calming classical music, but their musical preferences can also vary based on their breed.

The calming effects of classical music

Research has shown that classical music can have a calming effect on dogs. Playing classical music, such as Beethoven or Mozart, can help reduce the stress levels in dogs and create a sense of relaxation.

This type of music is particularly beneficial for dogs with separation anxiety, helping them feel more at ease when alone. Exposure to classical music can also calming dogs in stressful environments, providing them with a soothing and therapeutic experience.

Soothing and easy-listening music, including classical pieces, may serve as a form of sound therapy for dogs, helping to alleviate stress and promote overall well-being.

Music preferences based on breed

Regarding the musical tastes of dogs, studies have observed possible variations in preferences based on breed. It’s important to note that individual differences always play a significant role, and these findings are not definitive. Nevertheless, they provide some interesting insights into our canine companions’ interaction with music.

BreedMusic Preference
Labrador RetrieverSoft rock and reggae, as these breeds are known for their calm temperament.
German ShepherdClassical music, is known to help reduce their stress levels.
BeagleJazz, due to its calming and soothing effects.
Siberian HuskyReggae and soft rock, as these breeds are known to enjoy howling to this genre of music.
Border CollieSoft rock and reggae, as these breeds are generally energetic and this music can help calm them down.
BoxerClassical music, as it has been observed to reduce their stress levels.

Remember, these preferences are not universal and a dog’s individual personality can greatly influence their reaction to different types of music. Observing your dog’s behavior when playing different genres is always best to see which they enjoy or respond positively to.

best music for dogs
does music calm dogs

Music and Dog Anxiety

Music can help soothe a dog’s anxiety by creating a calming environment and promoting relaxation.

How music can help soothe a dog’s anxiety?

Many dog owners use calm music to help relieve their pet’s stress and anxiety, especially during events like fireworks or thunderstorms that produce loud, erratic sounds. The optimal music reduces environmental chaos and masks frightening sounds with more consistent, harmonic tones. 

Music therapists even create specialized music to address different needs in dogs, composing tracks that can aid relaxation, sleep, and behavior issues. However, the impact of music on dogs depends on the individual animal and situation. If a dog shows signs of distress or overstimulation from music, it should be removed from the environment.

Music has a calming effect on dogs and can help soothe their anxiety. The right music can create a relaxing environment and reduce stress in dogs. Research has shown that classical music, reggae, and soft rock are particularly effective in calming anxious dogs.

These genres have slow tempos and soothing melodies that promote relaxation. Playing this type of music for your dog can help them feel more at ease during stressful situations like thunderstorms or when they experience separation anxiety.

Soothing music also masks the noise of loud sounds like fireworks, which can trigger fear in dogs. Using music to reduce anxiety is a simple yet effective way to support our furry friends’ emotional well-being.

Recommended playlists for anxious dogs

Playing calming music can be beneficial for dogs with anxiety. Here are some recommended playlists for anxious dogs:

  1. Relax and Unwind“: This playlist features soft classical music and instrumental tracks known to have a calming effect.
  2. “Nature Sounds“: This playlist includes nature sounds such as rain, bird chirping, and ocean waves. These soothing sounds can help relax anxious dogs.
  3. Spa Day for Dogs“: This playlist consists of gentle melodies and tranquil tunes designed specifically to reduce stress and promote relaxation in dogs.
  4. Peaceful Paws“: This playlist combines ambient sounds with soft piano melodies, providing a peaceful atmosphere that can help ease anxiety in dogs.
  5. Chill Out Canines“: This playlist contains mellow songs from various genres like reggae, acoustic, and soft rock – all chosen for their soothing qualities.

Do Dogs Like High-Pitched Music?

Dogs may not enjoy high-pitched music, which can impact their ears and cause discomfort.

The impact of high-pitched music on dogs

High-pitched music can hurt dogs. Dogs are more sensitive to high-pitched sounds than humans, and it can cause them to feel stressed and anxious. Hearing these high frequencies can raise their arousal level and even make them howl or bark. Dogs generally don’t enjoy high-pitched noises, so it’s best to avoid playing music with these types of sounds around your furry friend.

Why dogs may not enjoy high-pitched sounds?

High-pitched sounds can be uncomfortable for dogs because they are sensitive to these tones. Dogs may find high-pitched voices or music irritating or overstimulating, which can cause discomfort and anxiety.

Some dogs have a lower tolerance for high-pitched sounds compared to humans, so it’s important to be aware of this when playing music or speaking in a high-pitched voice around them.

It’s best to stick to lower frequencies and avoid excessive use of high-pitched sounds to ensure the comfort and well-being of our canine friends.

Using Music as a Tool for Training

Incorporating music into dog training sessions can be highly beneficial, as it helps create a positive and engaging environment for dogs to learn new behaviors.

How music can be incorporated into dog training?

Music can be a helpful tool when training dogs. Here are some ways to incorporate music into dog training:

  1. Play calming music during training sessions to create a relaxed environment for your dog.
  2. Use steady beat or rhythm music to set the pace for obedience exercises.
  3. Choose instrumental music instead of music with vocals, as dogs may find vocal sounds distracting.
  4. Use specific songs or tunes as cues for different training commands so your dog associates the music with particular actions.
  5. Gradually increase the music volume over time to desensitize your dog to loud noises and improve focus during training.
  6. Experiment with different genres of music to see which ones elicit the best response from your dog.

Benefits of using music in training sessions

Using music in training sessions has several benefits for dogs. It can improve their welfare and make the training process more effective and enjoyable. Some of the key benefits include:

  1. Positive reinforcement: Music can be a form of positive reinforcement during training. When dogs hear music they enjoy, it can motivate them to engage in desired behaviors and make training more effective.
  2. Stress reduction: Playing calming music during training sessions can help reduce stress and anxiety in dogs. This is especially beneficial for dogs who are nervous or fearful during training.
  3. Masking outside noises: Music can also help mask outside noises that may distract or agitate dogs during training. By creating a soothing and consistent auditory environment, music can help dogs focus better on their training tasks.
  4. Increased engagement: Dogs often respond positively to music, particularly when it aligns with their preferences. Playing music they enjoy can increase their engagement and enthusiasm during training sessions, making them more willing to participate.
  5. Enhanced concentration: Certain types of music, like classical melodies, have promoted relaxation and concentration in dogs. This can lead to improved focus and attention span during training exercises.
  6. Bonding opportunities: Incorporating music into training sessions provides an opportunity for bonding between dogs and their owners or trainers. Sharing a positive experience through music can strengthen the human-dog relationship.
music dogs like
do dogs enjoy music

Dogs’ Reactions to TV and Videos

Dogs often show interest in TV shows and videos, with some even reacting to specific types of content.

Do dogs respond to TV shows and videos?

Dogs can indeed respond to TV shows and videos. They can identify images of other dogs that are shown on the screen. However, their reactions may vary depending on their personality or breed.

Some dogs may show interest in what they see on TV, while others may not pay much attention to it. In fact, some dogs can even use touch screen devices! So if you’re watching a show or video with dogs in it, don’t be surprised if your furry friend takes notice too.

It’s always fascinating to see how our canine companions interact with technology!

Types of content that may interest dogs

  • Dogs may be interested in TV shows or videos featuring other animals, especially dogs.
  • Nature documentaries with scenes of animals in their natural habitats can captivate dogs’ attention.
  • Dogs might enjoy watching sports games, especially those that involve high-energy movement and action.
  • Shows or videos that include sounds of nature, such as birds chirping or waves crashing, could pique a dog’s interest.
  • Some dogs may find animated cartoons appealing, especially if they feature colorful visuals and playful music.

Other Factors That May Affect Dogs’ Response to Music

Age and breed play a significant role in how dogs respond to music and the environment and background noise they are exposed to.

Age and breed

Age and breed are important factors that can influence how dogs respond to music. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Different age groups of dogs may have varied reactions to music.
  • When exposed to music, puppies and younger dogs might be more curious and energetic.
  • On the other hand, older dogs may prefer calming tunes that help them relax.
  • Certain dog breeds may be more responsive to music than others.
  • Breeds known for their sensitivity, such as Border Collies or German Shepherds, may react strongly to music.
  • Smaller breeds, like Chihuahuas or Yorkshire Terriers, might not show as much interest in music.
  • A dog’s individual personality can also play a role in their response to different types of music.

Environment and background noise

The environment and background noise can greatly affect a dog’s response to music. Research has shown that dogs may be more responsive to music in a calm and quiet setting than in a noisy or chaotic environment.

Loud sounds or distractions may make it difficult for dogs to enjoy or engage with the music fully. Noise pollution can also increase stress levels in dogs, making them less likely to respond positively to any type of music.

It is important to create a peaceful atmosphere when playing music for your furry friend, allowing them to relax and enjoy the benefits it can provide fully.

what type of music do dogs like
can dogs understand music


Are dogs soothed by music?

The evidence suggests that generally, yes, the right kind of music – usually simple classical or slow popular music – can have a calming effect and help soothe dogs in stressful situations. Loud, erratic music tends to agitate them, however.

Can dogs hear music?

Yes! Dogs can hear music, but their sense of hearing is far superior to humans’, detecting frequencies up to 45 kHz compared to a human range of 64-23,000 Hz. Dogs can register subtleties in music that humans cannot.

Do dogs have a favorite music genre?

Dogs prefer classical music over other genres because of its compositional complexity, use of strings and piano, and wide range of tonal frequencies. The breeds most receptive to classical genres in studies include Labrador Retrievers and German Shepherds.

Will music help my dog sleep?

Gentle, calming music can definitely help lull dogs to sleep. Natural sounds like rainfall paired with soft piano or guitar melodies work especially well to create a peaceful atmosphere for rest. Always monitor your dog’s response, as some may become overstimulated.

Author Profile

Aritra Sen
Aritra SenSite Owner And Planning Specialist
Aritra, the founder of, is a lifelong dog lover whose passion ignited for Labradors for their loyalty and intelligence. With extensive research and personal experiences, Aritra has become a Labrador expert, offering a rich resource on the breed. provides reliable, timely, and evidence-based information, including Labrador-specific product reviews, training techniques, and care tips. was born out of Aritra's passion and his desire to share his profound knowledge about the breed. The site serves as a comprehensive resource, offering a wealth of up-to-date information for Labrador owners and enthusiasts alike