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Through A Dogs Ear: Sound Therapy For You And Your Dog

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 3 6

Today's Hectic Lifestyle

In this crazy stressed filled day and age, we all feel the effects of being surrounded by such a hectic environment. Noise, pollution, angry and annoyed people flying around at a hectic pace. Sometimes you walk through the door at the end of the day feeling completely frazzled. For dogs who are so closely entwined within our lifestyle now, they too can feel the stress of everyday modern life. What can we do to help ourselves and our furry friends?

What We Can Do To Help

Whether it be it in a medicated fashion or a holistic fashion or a mixture of both, luckily there are things we can do to help deal with stress and pressure and sometimes anxiety and depression, that we accumulate through everyday life and decision-making. These days the doggy varieties of the same medications and holistic approaches that we use, are also available for our dogs.

Dogs can suffer from any number of anxiety issues. Here are the most common ones that we know of:

  • Separation anxiety
  • Loud noise phobias such as thunderstorms and fireworks
  • Traveling in vehicles
  • Excessive barking
  • Hyperactivity
  • Obsessive Compulsive Behaviour

It is also a known scientific fact that our dogs like to study human behaviour very closely. This is what has enabled them to meld into our society as well as they have done, becoming mans truest and most trusted companion and friend. This also makes true of the fact that our dogs are in tune with us very well, knowing our every move and what it dictates we will do long before the actual event of us doing it...such as going for a walk, getting dinner etc. Unfortunately for our four-legged companion, it also means that they can tune into our stress, depression, anxiety and worries.

Medication is usually the last resort that people turn to for their animals in regards to anxiety issues, with natural therapies usually being the first choice. Dogs now have access to pretty much anything we do, from acupuncture to massage, anxiety wraps(Thunder shirts) to homeopathic and natural remedies like Rescue Remedy. Another very efficient technique for calming an anxious dog, is by using sound therapy.

Sound Therapy Relief Technology

sleeping angel
As a psycho-acoustician, Joshua Leeds studies the effect that sound has on the human nervous system, and he knows the impact that it has on the human body and psyche. Joshua has found that clinical studies on the impact that music has on our dogs, has proven that dogs and humans share many of the same negative and positive outcomes to sounds, which also translates into sharing the same relaxing benefits upon listening to the right style of music. For around 50 years now people have found out that music and sound techniques naturally affect our human body pulses. This includes things such as brain waves, heart rate and breath. How does this happen? The vibrations create a resonance with us, meaning that the vibration of the sound or music, alters the vibration within our body... which before the relaxing music is played, is usually out of sync because of the stressful environment surrounding us.

Similar to psycho-acoustics... animal bio-acoustics is the study of sound in non human animals. Both are branches of science dealing with the relationship between living beings and sound. It is animal bio-acoustics that has found that using the same psycho acoustically designed music for relaxation, they can achieve the same calming results for dogs as we do with humans.

Through a Dog's Ear: Music to Calm Your Canine Companion, Volume 1
Amazon Price: $14.98 $9.01 Buy Now
(price as of Jul 28, 2013)
The c.d version. Calming classical music designed especially to soothe your dog.

What Type Of Music Helps?

Studies have shown that classical music with a slow tempo, solo instrumentation (only using one instrument) and simple compositions with fewer notes is the most calming music. This music makes ours and our canine companions bodies to relax, by slowing and synching our vibrations to the soothing sound. Whilst mostly humans and dogs have a similar reaction, dogs hearing senses are designed a little differently, and research mostly conducted by Deborah Wells, Joshua Leeds and Susan Wagner, has found that making a few small adjustments to the music can create even more beneficial results for our dogs. By taking a famous piece of classical piano music and dropping it to a lower range on the keys, whilst also simplifying and replacing the use of many notes into one block chord, enables the dogs to now relax even more.

Through A Dog's Ear: Music To Calm Your Dog

Lisa Spector, a concert pianist, noticed that her rambunctious dog calmed down significantly when she practiced on her piano. It was initially Lisa that contacted and shared her findings with the before mentioned psycho acoustician, Joshua Leeds and together they successfully created a series of c.d's called "Through A Dogs Ear", especially designed for dogs to listen and relax to. These c.d's have become so popular that the series has grown, originally starting with "Music To Soothe Your Canine Companion" series, the combination of scientific research and beautiful music that Lisa and Joshua have combined to produce, has now seen them add to the collection, compiling c.d's that are specifically designed to target problem issues and different situations. For example, there is one c.d designed to be played in your car for travel issues (that doesn't also send you the driver to sleep), another especially designed for puppies... and the list extends on to old senior dogs and a c.d designed for the canine household (not as soothing but designed with the whole household in mind). Not stopping there, they have also combined with Victoria Stilwell, star of Animal Planet’s It’s Me or the Dog, to come up with the canine noise phobia series which uses music to directly target problems occurring because of thunderstorms, city sounds and fireworks, helping you to positively relax your dog.

The CBS Report

Personal Test Result Findings: Does It Really Work?

"Through A Dogs Ear" is a highly rated and recommended Amazon seller. It can be purchased in MP3 format or you can order the physical c.d's and accompanying book to shove into your c.d player. You can also download a starter pack including a few different tracks to try on your dog and yourself, via kindle or as an iPhone app. These both come with the e-book and nearly 50 minutes of selected music from their range of c.d's... a word of warning though, the iPhone app is not very practical. The music plays in the Quicktime player on your phone, meaning that when your phone sleeps or the app goes to the background...it stops. This and a few other limitations make this iPhone version extremely annoying... which kind of defeats the purpose of it being soothing and calming. However, that being said let me tell you what I myself and my dog have experienced since purchasing this app.

Pure Joy
My toy poodle is mostly active and comes across as happy-go-lucky to most, but she has anxiety issues. Without listing everything I can basically tell you for the purpose of this article she has some noise phobia's, but they are related to small unexpected sounds or sudden movements and not thunder nor fireworks. She also has a few other small problems one of which has caused me many sleepless nights in the last couple of months...she herself can't sleep. She wakes me up all through the night by licking my nose, arm or tapping on my back with her paw...really!

Upon purchasing the starter pack of "Through A Dogs Ear", I was hopeful but held no huge expectations. After plugging my iPhone in to stop the app keep shutting down and briefly checking out the e-book...I started the music. My dogs first reaction was to come up and inspect my phone, head cocking from side to side at the different notes being played on the piano, she then wandered off to a different part of the room and layed down and had a sleep. So far it seemed good but I knew the big test would be at bed time. When that time came I started the music again and settled in for the night, my dog was instantly out to it. A good start, I thought to myself. It turns out that it wasn't only a good start but so far, also a good finish...she did indeed, for the first time in months, sleep the whole night without disturbing me once. I turned the app off halfway through the night, but she kept sleeping soundly. Usually enthusiastic walks have turned into a dreary trudge but today my sleep deprived dog was back into flying fashion at the local park...great to see. As far as any other issues go, I guess my own personal trial will need to run for longer to see if there are any other benefits.

Pure and Natural Relief

The natural sound technology used in these recordings is a refreshing change. No drugs, no binaural beats etc, just pure quality soothing music. Completely safe for dogs and owners, the only way it can harm you or your dog is if they decide to eat the c.d. You will also likely feel the benefits. I certainly find the tracks relax me, slow down my heart rate and my mind. I can see why people have found sound therapy such an effective solution for settling down anxious dogs and their anxious owners. It has the possibility to cure both problems at once.

Through a Dog's Ear - Driving Edition
Amazon Price: $14.98 $9.76 Buy Now
(price as of Jul 28, 2013)
Will relax your dog whilst traveling in the car, but won't dangerously send you to sleep too.


Apr 17, 2013 7:21am
Great article. It makes sense that if chaos and noise stress people the same would apply to dogs. I will keep these CDs in mind.
Apr 17, 2013 8:27am
Thanks for taking the time to read and comment Breidbe, much appreciated :-)
Apr 17, 2013 9:38am
I know some friends whose dogs could use this article for sure. Great read :)
Apr 17, 2013 3:34pm
Great, hopefully it can help! Cheers for that.
Apr 17, 2013 2:59pm
I don't have a dog myself, but my family and friends do, so I really appreciated reading about your personal experiences with music therapy. If the music is soothing, it works well for my own anxiety when the vertigo decides to stick around a little to long, so it makes sense that it would help dogs as well. Great article.
Apr 17, 2013 4:51pm
That's a real bugger you suffer with vertigo...I guess you would have to search for natural ways to help ease the symptoms for something like that. It's odd I haven't really spent much time observing sound therapy as I am a trained musician... But seeing the effect this music has on my dog and me has really sparked my interest.
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  1. Joshua Leeds "Research." Through A Dogs Ear. 16/04/2013 <Web >

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