Songs That Make Dogs Happy Or Start To Howl
Do Dogs Like Music?
People have been enjoying music and tunes for centuries – from sea shanties to sports training songs, music has always been able to get people involved and excited, attending concerts and idolising stars. Well, it turns out dogs also like a variety of songs and music. Scottish SPCA research, in conjunction with the University of Glasgow, “clearly shows that music has an effect on a dog’s behaviour.”
Music has also been shown to help relax and calm dogs during times of high stress such as thunderstorms, fireworks, other loud noises or unfamiliar environments. If your dog suffers badly or is frightened of events like these an anti-anxiety vest might help as well.
What Kind of Music Do Dogs Like?
It has even been shown that different songs can have different effects on dogs - such as calming, soothing or getting your dog excited. Spotify has introduced dedicated Music For Pets playlist creators, and several playlists have also been created by streaming service Deezer in collaboration with animal behaviouralist Dr Sands which include songs such as these;
Songs to make dogs happy
- Push It – Salt-N-Pepa
- Firestarter – The Prodigy
- Stayin’ Alive – Bee Gees
- Shutdown - Skepta
- Hey Ya! – OutKast
- The Way I Are – Timbaland, Keri Hilson, D.O.E.
- Sit Still, Look Pretty – Daya
- Shutdown – Skepta
Songs to relax and calm dogs
- Could You Be Loved – Bob Marley & The Wailers
- Someone Like You – Adele
- Parklike – Blur
- Love Yourself – Justin Bieber
- Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen
- Common People – Pulp
- Can’t Do Without You – Caribou
- Golden Brown – The Stranglers
Also, just like people – it seems out four-legged friends have personal preferences too, there have been reports that dogs enjoy classical music among other genres. But, if you’re looking for something to keep your pooch impressed long term, the Scottish SPCA advises you give Reggae or Soft Rock a try, since these “showed the highest positive changes in behaviour” but also mentions “that variety is key to avoid habituation”.
Depending on the song, your dog might even start singing along...
Do All Dogs Howl?
Everyone has seen a stereotypical image or cartoon of wolves howling – and researchers have now confirmed what we have always suspected; dogs descent from wolves. This can help to explain why dogs can and do howl.
Since all dogs are connected to wolves, all breeds are generally able to howl – of course there are some exceptions so if your dog has never howled, maybe they can’t or prefer not to.
Further investigation shows that some breeds are more likely to howl, hunting types such as malamutes, bloodhounds or huskies show behaviour much similar to that of wolves, so you can expect more howling from these than other breeds.
Why Do Dogs Howl to Music?
Usually, then, the next question many people have is why do dogs howl or what actually sets their dog off on a solo vocalisation?
There are several theories for this, but the most widely accepted is that, just like us, dogs are social animals - wolves live in packs and use howling to assemble – howling can also be used as a way to talk to each other, show their intentions and to express emotions.
When a wolf does start howling, others from the pack also like to get involved, it then becomes a group activity and is perceived as a happy occasion. Music can have a similar feel and effect on dogs, if there are some voices or instruments that deliver a pitch somewhat similar to that of a canine, your dog’s primal instincts may breakthrough and they could be enticed to join in.
Wolves and dogs do in fact have good howl control and prefer to do so at different frequencies – this gives them an identity within the pack. This phenomenon also explains why your dog will stand out so much when singing along with a song, they are deliberately howling a frequency that is different to what they are hearing – so don’t be too harsh of a critic!
Songs That Make Dogs Howl:
Now that we know why dogs sing along to some music and if you’d like to encourage your dog to get going, Stanley Coren’s book ‘How Dogs Think: Understanding the Canine Mind’ advises playing wind instruments, particularly reed instruments such as the clarinet or saxophone, or holding a long note on a violin or even with human voice can have the desired effect. These can sound like proper howls to your dog, enticing them to join the chorus.
These might do the trick (some have good pup-renditions around the internet);
- Someone Like You – Adele
- Law & Order theme song
- Let It Go – from Frozen
- Seamus – Pink Floyd
Dogs enjoy howling as a means of socialising – you might even find that having a sing-a-long can increase the bond you share with your pup. Now here are some of the best vocal works from the doggie-charts.
Paw & Order Theme Song
Let It Go - Frozen
Pink Floyd - Seamus The Dog