Do Dogs Like Music

Do Dogs Like Music

Author WDF Staff


Humans often give their dogs human-like characteristics. There is some truth to that - the main thing we share with our dogs are feelings. Even though there is some difference in the way humans and canines perceive and feel emotions, there is no denying that we both feel them. Dogs can certainly feel the basic emotions; happiness, sadness, fear, disgust, surprise, and anger. The more complex ones have not yet been proven.

Humans have a more evolved brain, and we can feel complex feelings and enjoy abstract things in life. We love art and music, and we can appreciate the deeper meanings behind them. There was a long-standing, somewhat unanswered question of whether dogs love music. If you ask dog owners, the answer would probably be - yes.

Scientific evidence

As you can imagine, there haven’t been too many studies that can prove or deny the feelings dogs have towards music. We can certainly see them reacting to it. However, we cannot be sure if they respond to the loud sounds they do not understand or are actually reacting to the notes from a composition.


It wasn’t until Deborah Wells of Queens University in Belfast organized a study to determine the influence music had on dogs. She tested three genres and exposed shelter dogs to those types of music. She had interesting results.

Classical music and dogs

The most effect she noticed on dogs was when she played them classical compositions. Classical music is known to have a calming effect on humans. It is connected to brain functions and concentration. Shelter dogs listening to Mozart, Debussy, and Bach seemed to have reacted.

Wells noticed that classical music had a calming effect on dogs. Many dogs in the shelter, even the ones that were branded “problematic,” seemed to have calmed down. Some even slept during the study. It seemed that classical music had a similar effect on humans and canines. The answer to the question “Do dogs love music?” might be - yes, classical music especially.

Pop music and dogs

The middle part of Wells’ experiment was pop music. The modern-day world seems crazy about pop, and some of the world’s most prominent musicians are pop stars. From Michael Jackson to boy-bands of the 90s, Britney Spears, Ariana Grande, and Justin Bieber - pop music has really taken to world by a storm.


However, our canine companions don’t seem to appreciate it much. Wells hasn’t seen any significant changes in the dog’s behavior while being exposed to pop music. They seemed to ignore the sounds coming from the speakers, and they carried on with their day as they usually would. It seemed dogs like music, but only the one that includes violins and whole orchestras.

Heavy metal music and dogs

Heavy metal music is known for its defiance, aggressiveness, fantastic guitar solos, and epic lead singers. If you ever listened to a heavy metal song with blasting speakers, you know there is no way you were left indifferent. You either fell in love with the genre, or you hated it. Whatever might have happened, this kind of music was meant to spark emotions within listeners.

The last part of Wells’ study was exposing dogs to heavy metal music. There were changes in their behavior, but it is impossible to know whether the dogs liked music from that genre. The only thing we can notice is that there is a fair amount of barking involved. Shelter dogs became easily agitated, and that music seemed to have raised their stress. Who knows, maybe they were just trying to sing.

classical-music concert


This is a tricky field from which we could make clear conclusions. Dogs react to sounds coming out of the speakers. Still, there is no scientific evidence behind the theory that dogs like music. They can be responding to specific tones, and since their hearing is a lot more delicate than ours, who knows what they are perceiving.

What we do know is - dog’s ears and hearing can get affected by loud music. Make sure your stereo is not on full volume if your dog is near. Don’t play loud noises suddenly because your furry friend can get scared and try to run away from the thing that spooked them. That is a great way for injuries to happen.

The exact answer to the question “Do dogs like music?” will have to wait, and we will be patient until experts let us know the precise answer. Until then, we will make our dogs listen to our favorite music.

World Dog Finder team

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