Pet behaviourists and musicians develop hound sound - music for dogs - designed to get them even more excited for fetch and walkies
Regular exercise is just as important for dogs as it is for humans. But while there is no shortage of music to get people in the mood for a workout, no such music has been recorded for dogs.
That's all set to change from today, however, with the launch of a unique music track that has been specifically designed to stimulate dogs ahead of their walkies and get them 'in the zone'. The track is expected to be particularly useful for dog owners whose pets may not be as naturally motivated to play as other dogs.
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Commissioned by pet insurer MORE TH>N, together with pet technology company PitPat, the track has been created in line with existing academic research around the different types of music and sounds that dogs will respond to, with certain music scientifically proven to positively influence a dog's mood.
The track sets out to stimulate and motivate dogs in a controlled way in order to make the most out of that special playtime with their owner.
So what sort of musical elements make up the unlikely hound sounds of the summer?
The track puts an experimental twist on a reggae-style melody, as informed by a recent study from the University of Glasgow, where they discovered that reggae and soft rock are the music genres that dogs enjoy the most and which they have the most positive emotional and physiological reaction to.
Building on the reggae flavour, the track features the sounds of dog whistles, horns and synths, which have all been set at a canine-friendly frequency to increase the song's appeal. The vocals, meanwhile, are based on everyday words and phrases that dogs typically associate with positive experiences and outcomes, such as 'come on!' and good boy!'
The track's development has been informed by an academic report from pet behaviourist Dr Candy d'Sa, and then developed by Scottish music producer Mattie Foulds. Dr d'Sa was consulted on the final production to ensure it stayed true to her research and had the potential to stimulate a dog and increase their excitement prior to exercise so that dogs begin to associate it with positive and happy experiences.
Dr d'Sa commented:
"There is a great deal of academic research around the different types of sound that dogs are most likely to engage with, which is what we've used as the basis for this track. I'm excited for its potential to inspire owners and dogs to spend extra time together, as staying active is so important to any pooch's long-term wellbeing."
MORE TH>N is asking dog owners to test the usefulness of the track by playing it to their pets just prior to exercise.
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Mark Bowden, head of pet insurance at MORE TH>N, commented:
"Just like us, healthy dogs need mental and physical stimulation for their long-term health. Although many dogs don't need much in the way of encouragement to get in the mood for exercise, we have heard many stories of dogs that don't want to go for walks, or aren't particularly active when they are outdoors.
We believe this track will help motivate dogs that aren't naturally inclined towards play, it provides a great starting point and encourages positive moments between owner and dog. Naturally, we're very interested to hear from dog owners about how effective the Play Before You Play track may be for their pets."
Movement for more play
The track has been commissioned to support PitPat's 'Movement for More Play' campaign, specifically ahead of The Play Olympics, launching on 3 August. The aim is to inspire dog owners to get outside and try different forms of play with their pooch as well as encouraging their friends to join the moment.