Dog TV?

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So here’s a pretty stunning idea for dealing with your dog’s separation anxiety: Dog TV.

Yeah, you heard it right. There is a new TV channel out there developed specifically for Fido! The creators have put in years of research and consulted multiple pet experts: vets, behaviourists, trainers, you name it.

DOGTV is recognized by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), and uses concepts widely supported by leading organizations including The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) as a valuable product that contributes to the enrichment and quality of dogs’ lives.

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Not only did the authors choose special music to play in the background – which is what obviously spiked my interest – but also adjusted the colours of the video to appeal to your dog. They have three content types: something to relax your dog, something to stimulate him and even some learning programmes. The primary objective: to not let your pooch get bored while you’re away. They will be rolling out the channel nation-wide to all major providers real soon, and in the meantime, if you don’t happen to live in San Diego, you can try it out with online streaming for just $9.99 a month.

I have to say, at first I wasn’t convinced. Despite my encouragement, Vadim never seemed to enjoy TV. However, I try and keep an open mind – after all who would’ve expected “special pet music” to work so well? – and having reviewed all the materials presented on the website, I think I’d be quite keen to try. After all, we do always leave the radio on for Vadim while we’re gone and perhaps it is part of the reason he has been so great about staying home alone. It does make me wonder how much it is the sounds that are of importance in the TV concept and how much the actual images. Especially since they warn you shouldn’t expect our dog to just sit there and watch, rather he’s supposed to come along and stare for a bit every now and then.

Anyway, I chose three videos that I felt best explain the whole concept, so that you guys don’t have to plough through the entire DOG TV website (though if you are curious, I’d recommend it). First up, prof. Nicholas Dodman – Program Director of the Animal Behavior Department of Clinical Sciences at Tufts University, MA; one of the world’s most noted and celebrated veterinary behaviorists; author of best sellers about animal behavior and their sensory perception – talks about the science behind Dog TV and gives an overview of the idea.

Next, a short sample of Dog TV content. I chose the relaxation part, since this is what I’m most interested in. Note the music playing in the background!

Finally, a testimonial from one of the shelters that joined the programme already.

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Testimonial Thursday

This week will be more of a test testimonial kind of thing. I stumbed upon this great reportage from ABC 1 Australia, about music and dogs.

ABC dog music
It starts with forming a dog band and ends with some scientific proof, as a well as a real world test showing how calming music can affect canines. It’s really cute, funny and another proof there is yet much to be discovered in the area of music for pets. I loved the Golden that smiled to guitar music at 4:27. Not to mention the singing Husky from the Sydney shelter 🙂 Unfortunately can’t find a way to embed the video, but just click the photo above to watch on ABC’s website.

Through a Dog’s Ear

Now this brand is a major amongst music to calm pets. I’ve been hearing a lot about, and all good. It was even featured by Patricia Mcconnell, a well known dog behaviourist and author of acclaimed books such as: “On the Other End of the Leash”, “For the Love of A Dog: Understanding Emotions in You and Your Best Friend”. The reason it took me a while to showcase Through a Dog’s Ear on this blog is because there is so much to process! I mean these guys did some serious studies, published a full book on their findings and recorded multiple albums. At the same time there is not a single Youtube video I could embed to let you sample. But, I’m working on that and should have something coming soon in the slider on top. So keep checking back! I guarantee it’s worth it. Meanwhile, if you’d like to find out some more about the concept and the research, here’s a real good report from CBS (just bare with the first 24 seconds):

You can also check out their website with some listening samples and a directory of places to buy their music.

Music My Pet

Music My Pet was created by composer Tom Nazziola. Their first CD “Classic cuts” became a great success, with many happy customers (check out some of the comments on their facebook page or this positive review).

The music is essentially specially edited classical music. All of the “dramatic” parts in the classical compositions were omitted in Music My Pet recordings, leaving only the soothing sounds. Also, the choice of instruments was made with research on pet behaviour in mind. Harp, piano, classical guitar are all proven to help our pets unwind. On the other hand brass instruments, so commonly used in normal classical music recordings do not have that relaxing effect on animals and so were not used in Music My Pet compositions. Similarly to RelaxMyPet tunes, each track begins with a high-pitched tone, inaudible to people, but attracting your pet’s attention. If you want to hear more about the theory and process behind Music My Pet creations, here’s a pretty interesting radio interview with Tom Nazziola, involving also feedback from an animal behaviourist and a veterinarian.

The company has lately released a new CD “Mellow melodies”. Having listened to some sample recordings, I have to say I loved it. Pretty sure Vadim will too. I’ll try it out during our next travels, which considering upcoming birthdays in the family should be soon. Meanwhile, let me know if you’ve had any experience with Music My Pet!

You can listen to more samples on their website, and download the tracks from Amazon, iTunes or cdbaby.

A great cause and an inspiring testimonial

Lately, I came across The Rescue Animal MP3 Project. They obtain licences from composers of pet-soothing music and distribute it for free to animal shelters. A great cause, especially since the testimonial is so positive about the music’s benefits. And no wonder really – a shelter full of stressed, barking dogs is put at ease by a CD supplied through the Project within 60 seconds of the record starting. See for yourselves:

Have you had any experience with this project or know of something similar? I would love to hear from you! Especially, since so far I seem to find calming music sold/used only in the US… Surely there must be something out there in other regions too?