Does Your Dog Like Your Car Music?

By Sarah Hinds Friedl on February 16th, 2021
Photo by Aloïs Moubax

Does your dog like your car music? Or are they secretly wishing that they could take on the role of doggie DJ in the car?

In this article, we’ll try to hear the world from the perspective of our canine co-pilots. What genres do dogs like? Is there a type of music they hate? And can the right music make your next trip to the dog park a more calming experience?

Once you tune in to your dog’s musical taste, each car ride can be a fun canine-friendly concert!

Does your dog like your car music?
The answer is: it depends. 

To be sure, dogs don’t have as strong of an emotional connection to music as we humans do. They don’t experience the instant nostalgia of classic hits, or fight back tears at the most soulful ballads.

But, that doesn’t mean that our dogs don’t care about music at all. In fact, dogs can have music preferences, and they can have strong reactions to certain types of music.

Because music has the potential to upset our pups, it’s a good idea for us to learn more about what they like. After all, as we covered in our article, Why Do Dogs Stick Their Heads Out Car Windows, allowing our dogs to hang out the window is dangerous. So, if we’re going to keep them safely in the car with BreezeGuard Screens, we should also take the time to make sure they’re not bothered by our music! 

Here are a few ideas to make your music more pleasant for your dog.

#1: Lower the volume
It’s no secret that dogs have a much better sense of hearing than we do. In particular, our pups are able to pick up high frequency sounds, like dog whistles, that are out of human range. This heightened sense gives your dog an amazing perspective of the world around them. It even allows Fido to know when your car is approaching, as we covered in our article Your Dog’s Secret to Knowing When You’ll Be Home

But, there’s a flip side to this super-sonic ability. Modern life is loud! If your dog scampers off to another room when you pull out the vacuum, it’s partly due to the fact that loud noises are upsetting.

And the same is true for your music. You might enjoy blasting the tunes on the way to the dog park, but your pup might enjoy the music at a lower volume.

#2: Consider your pup’s hearing history
While every dog has a unique hearing ability, some breeds have above-average listening skills. That’s because, for thousands of years, humans have bred dogs for specific tasks that required excellent hearing, such as hunting, guarding, and even rescue missions. 

So, you’ll notice that while your pup may not be a working dog, their breed history can make them less enthusiastic about music than others. Breeds with better-than-average hearing abilities include: Labrador and Golden Retrievers, Cocker Spaniels, Poodles and German Shepherds. 

It’s not just breed history that will determine whether your doggo likes music. If your dog grew up in a musical household from the time they were puppies, they’ll likely have a more favorable view of your tunes. But even so, all dogs can appreciate a softer soundtrack.

#3: Seek out dog-friendly genres
Now, if you’re looking for the most dog-friendly music, there are some genres that your pup is sure to love. 

Unsurprisingly, some studies have found that classical music can be calming to dogs. Other researchers based in Scotland tested out the positive effects of reggae and soft rock, with favorable results!

On the other hand, high energy, head-banging music wasn’t so successful. The same study that found classical music to be naturally calming also tried exposing dogs to heavy metal rock. The result was an increase in nervous behaviors like body shaking. 

If you’re looking for your pup’s ideal playlist, you might try out a few different genres to see how they react. Chances are, your doggo will appreciate soft, slow, easy-going music over high energy hits. 

#4 : Create a calming musical mood
One thing that we haven’t covered so far is your role in your dog’s music experience. But the fact is, your relationship to your tunes could play a big role in your pup’s taste in music!

Because, whether you’re conscious of it or not, the music you listen to can change your mood. Perhaps you get annoyed because your local radio station keeps playing the same song. Or, maybe some genres of music put you on edge or make you less patient behind the wheel.

Even if you’re not aware of how a song affects you, your pup is an expert mood-reader. And you might even notice changes in your dog’s behavior based on whether you’re happy, calm, stressed, or angry. 

The best thing you can do to make your music-filled drive with your pooch more relaxing, then, is to find music that calms you. Your pup might love it even more if you sing along. 

#5: Take special care with senior dogs
The last factor that could determine whether your dog likes your car music is age. Just like humans, dogs lose their sense of hearing in their older years.

And, you might assume that means that your doggo is less likely to care about your musical habits. But in reality, this phase of your pup’s life can be disorienting. Extra noise can be especially confusing for older dogs.

That doesn’t mean that you have to drive in silence. But, your senior pup will appreciate calming soundtracks even more than young dogs.

So, does your dog like your car music? Test it out for yourself!
When you’re creating your perfect pup-list, make sure to keep the music soft, stick with genres that are soothing to you and your pup, and take special care with senior listeners. 

If you can find the music that is calming to your doggo, you’ll be able to drive with one happy concert-goer in the backseat!

Comments are closed.