Sunday, December 16, 2007

Through a Dog's Ear!

I'm not incredibly sound sensitive, although I know a lot of pups that are. We came across an interesting site today announcing a new book and CD that just may help our friend pups, just a little too overstimulated to sound.

Through a Dog's Ear (tm) is a book and CD series based on clinical research into the effect of the human soundscape on our canine companions. Due out in March 2008, the book, Through a Dog's Ear: Using Sound to Improve the Health & Behavior of Your Canine Companion, and the first CD, Through a Dog's Ear: Music to Calm Your Canine Companion are being published by SoundsTrue.

According to the website:
With as many as 90% of today’s dog owners talking about a behavioral issue when visiting the vet, even our very adaptable friends are having a hard time adjusting to modern times. The answering machine, the car alarm, the leaf blower—compelling evidence suggests that sensory overwhelm affects our four-legged best friends at least as much as it does their owners. After all, their ears are far more sensitive than our own.

So, just how do they hear the human world? Joshua Leeds, a psychoacoustic expert, has spent the last two decades studying the psychological and physiological effects of sound and music on the human nervous system. Approached by award winning concert pianist and dog-lover Lisa Spector to create “intentional” music for dogs in the hopes of modifying Fido’s dysfunctional, anxiety-caused behavior, Leeds was intrigued.

“I couldn’t help but wonder,” says Leeds, “if music could change a dog’s heart rate and brainwaves, and reduce levels of stress just as it so easily does with people. I wanted to see if the psychoacoustic techniques that I’d honed so effectively with humans could also be effective with dogs.”

With the help of veterinary neurologist Dr. Wagner, Leeds and Juilliard-trained Spector set out to design and test soundtracks to produce profound calming, reduce anxiety, and help overcome behavioral issues in canine listeners. Calming, however, required more than simply spinning standard classical fare, the musical genre that’s easily recognizable patterns have been shown to do the best job. Changing doggy brainwaves, they discovered, called for more than conventional Bach or Beethoven.
Read more!

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