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Music To Calm Dogs; Lee Ranaldo And The Dust Plays Live

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Tuesday, October 08, 2013

The saddest dog in the world, likely listening to the wrong music. (NatUlrich/

In this episode: Soundcheck producer -- and new dog owner -- Katie Bishop shares her tale of canine separation anxiety woe and her experience with specially-designed music for calming dogs.

Then, a New York City Animal Care & Control behavior specialist explains why the organization recently started piping music into their shelters, and we hear from the founder of the Rescue Animal MP3 Project. 

Plus, sound researcher Joshua Leeds talks about what dogs actually hear and why music can have an impact on domestic animals.

And, Lee Ranaldo, the longtime Sonic Youth guitarist, performs with his new band The Dust in the Soundcheck studio.


Lee Ranaldo

Roll Over Beethoven: Music To Calm Your Dog

Inspired by Soundcheck producer Katie Bishop's tale of canine separation anxiety woe, today on the show we attempt to get to the bottom of the question -- can music help a dog in dist...

Comments [13]

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Comments [6]

Val and 4leggeds

I enjoyed listening to the above audio.

As an animal lover/owner/advocate, I am a firm believer in using music to calm dogs/cats, esp those w/ anxiety. I have played music around the house (work from home) and in my work area so that the entire space is calm, peaceful. My dogs/cats enjoy classical, meditation/relaxing music. I can do projects while they sleep or resting. Good to know that Animal Shelters have embraced this idea, hope more or all shelters will adopt 'Music to calm dogs'.
Thank you for this subject.

Oct. 09 2013 05:12 PM
christopher Henry from Southfield, Mi


On your program you noted that there might be a way to obtain the mp3 player equipment as a donation. We are a small non-profit animal rescue and shelter and any information would be helpful

Oct. 09 2013 08:53 AM
Kevin from NYC

Great episode!

I am very happy to hear they are playing soothing music for the poor anxious dogs in the shelters. I'm surprised they didn't think of this sooner and I hope it becomes more commonplace.

I have a great little dog I got from a shelter and he always howls when the All Things Considered theme song plays. It's the only thing he has ever howled at and he does it every time. Not sure why.

here is a video clip of him doing it. Check it out!

Oct. 08 2013 10:28 PM
Richard from Manhattan

My cat would sit in and listen while my wife gave cello lessons, and his tail would wag back and forth like a metronome, keeping time. He seemed to enjoy watching and listening. But one of the students was an adult beginner, and painful to listen to. For his warm-up, he would start up a scale, and come down on a different note -- or half-note. As he began to play in earnest the cat's tail would twitch irregularly. Soon the cat began to howl - a behavior unique to this student, but which came sooner and sooner into the lessons. The cat had to be banished to another room when he spoke up. There came a lesson when the cat did not howl. Instead, he climbed up into a large potted plant, and urinated so long and loud that the student stopped playing.

Oct. 08 2013 09:56 PM
Bharat (Bar-At from Detroit

I make a lot of music in my home studio set up. It is mostly hip hop, but I play a lot of loud electric guitar. My dogs always come lay next to me when I make music. They have done it for years. As soon as I pull out the harmonica though, my black lab instantly starts howling. It's so funny, but I cannot record any harmonica.

Oct. 08 2013 09:37 PM
Josh Rubin from Brooklyn

Love the show. I sent this comment by email, but here it is again.

We had a cat named Simon who loved Miled Davis, particularly Kind of Blue and Milestones. Whenever we listened to those records, and pretty much only those records, he would climb up on top of one of the speakers, which was up high on a bookcase, and lay on the speaker until the music stopped. My theory is that he loved Paul Chambers's bass.

My wife, Jennifer, reminds me that her late aunt's cat, Barney, liked to howl along with I Can't Stop Loving You.


Josh Rubin

Oct. 08 2013 09:36 PM

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