Behavioral Effects of Auditory Stimulation on Kenneled Dogs
Dogs are kenneled in professional facilities for a variety of reasons; however, the kennel environment, even for short periods, is a potential psychogenic stressor for most dogs. Continual stress and the resultant anxiety are undesirable for both ethical and physiological reasons. One growing area of research pertaining to the welfare of kenneled dogs is environmental enrichment, including auditory stimulation. The current study investigated the impact of music (classical, heavy metal, and specifically designed/altered classical) on activity level, vocalization, and body shaking of 117 kenneled dogs. Results suggest that classical music leads to kenneled dogs spending more time sleeping (F8,354 5 12.24, P . 0.0001) and less time vocalizing (F8,354 5 3.61, P . 0.0005) than when exposed to other music types or no music. Heavy metal music, compared with other music types, appears to increase body shaking (F8,354 5 96.97, P . 0.0001), a behavior suggestive of nervousness. It is suggested that playing classical music in a shelter environment may help mitigate some of the stress inherent for many kenneled dogs.
Kogan, L.R., Schoenfeld-Tacher, R. & Simon, A.A. (2012) Behavioral effects of auditory stimulation on kenneled dogs. Journal of Veterinary Behavior, 7, 268-275.
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Topic(s): Breeder Resource, Enrichment, Environment, Environmental Management and Monitoring, Noise Levels, Types of Enrichment