Classical Music For Anxious Dogs

Classical Music For Anxious Dogs

My dog’s suffer from mild separation anxiety when left alone. From the home camera I can see that they settle after a few minutes but are on high alert to outside noises, like traffic and other dogs barking. At first I tried to distract them from this type of noise by playing a chatty radio station or white noise to block out outside sounds. However, I recently discovered that studies have shown that classical music can have a great effect on dogs levels of anxiety.

I have been using  this method to help my dogs relax and found that classical music does have a calming effect. They settle down better and are less distracted by outside influences.


Classical music for anxious dogs

What Did The Studies Show?

Studies have found that humans benefit in many ways when listening to classical music. It reduces blood pressure, lowers anxiety levels and helps with pain control .

So, if this helps humans, does the same apply when  classical music is played to anxious dogs?

In this study by Dr Lori Kogan,  kennelled dogs were played different types of music including classical and heavy metal. Kennelled or boarded dogs often suffer from increased anxiety. As well as an unfamiliar setting they are without owners and are triggered by the loud noises of other dogs barking and howling.

Playing classical music into the kennel showed that the dogs slept more and barked less. On the other hand, heavy rock music increased body shaking in the dogs, which is a symptom of anxiety.

Classical Music For Anxious Dogs


Another study did tests to find a specific type of music which resulted in reduced anxiety for dogs both in kennels and a home environment . This study,  by  Susan Wagner  showed that solo piano with simplified arrangements at 50-70 beats per minute had the most beneficial effect when tested against four different types of classical music.

This YouTube channel called Calm Doggy – Music For Dogs features Calming Classical Piano Music For Dogs To Relax..

A study performed by Queen’s University Belfast compared a group of dogs listening to an audio version of Harry Potter to dog’s listening to Mozart’s Sonato and a third control group who were played nothing at all.

Here is what they found:

Dogs exposed to classical music were significantly faster to lie down than animals in the audiobook condition and quicker to settle than animals in the audiobook and control conditions

The study is extremely interesting and can be found here.

(The effect of auditory stimulation on pet dogs’ reactions to owner separation by Rachael F. Kinnaird and Deborah L. Wells.)

Classical music for dogs

 Playing Classical Music For Anxious Dogs Can Really Help

Here’s how:

  • Dogs who suffer from separation anxiety when left home alone settle down to sleep when classical music is quietly played into the room.
  • It can calm a puppy when introduced into a new home, away from his or her mother for the first time.
  • Dogs that cry when left alone at night will be less likely to cry or bark if music is played close by.
  • As mentioned above, kennelled or boarded dogs will relax and sleep more when classical music is played.
  • Soothing music can be played at times when fireworks are expected.
  • Older or sick dogs will benefit from a calm, soothing audio experience.
  • Dogs who are frightened of thunderstorms will have reduced stress levels when calming piano music is played during a storm.

Dog’s hearing is much better than humans, so the music should only be played at a low level.

Spotify has many playlists designed specifically  to calm and relax anxious dogs. Try playing different ones to see which your dog prefers.


This is a highly rated audio CD from Amazon featuring relaxing music for dogs. Amazon also feature MP3 Download’s in this genre.

What Type of Music Does Your Dog Like Listening To?

Does your dog howl to the sounds of Pavarotti or prefer a heavy metal track like Guns N’ Roses?

Have you tried classical music for anxious dogs?

Please let me know in the comments if you found this helpful.

Additional Reading

Travelling With An Anxious Dog

Daily Routine To Help Separation Anxiety In Dogs


5 thoughts on “Classical Music For Anxious Dogs

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  1. I left my radio on for my dogs for years when I went outside to work on customers tractors. I turned the radio on low and I used to play what they call oldies music. When they quit playing that I turned it to the classical station. This worked well for most of the dachshunds. The only time It did not was after Buddy was gone and Lucy was the only one left. Then she would cry when she was left alone and there was nothing I could do to stop it. She was a rescue, a very small black and tan long hair. It would be a sorrowful cry until she’s heard me coming into the house then it would be a fierce bark. At Christmas time I put Christmas music on but otherwise I put classical music on all the time now when I go out to work.

  2. We first fostered and then adopted a shepherd chow mix. The Humane Society got her from off the street with her new puppies. We were so happy to be able to adopt her because she’s not a fearful dog, she is a shutdown dog. I started playing the music I found on YouTube for her, for anxiety fearfulness, you name it. And it really does seem to help soothe her!

  3. Best wishes for you and your rescue dog! I also have a rescue dog that came off the street. When I got them he was skin and bones, so thin I could not believe it. Makes you want to know how long he was on the street. Nobody wanted him. I made the phone call and said I’ll take that dog, a long-haired dachshund. Make a Thousand Mile round trip in a day to get him. He did not want to come out of the kennel. He must have been on the street for a long time.
    Thank you for adopting your rescue dog. I am happy to hear about another dog saved.

    To let you know Barney is turning out to be a great dog.

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