Teaming up with composer Iain Jackson an original classical score was created and performed by a ten-piece string orchestra, while the impact the music had on the dogs’ stress and anxiety levels was assessed.
Iain Jackson said: “There were two key elements in writing this piece of music for the dogs. Firstly, we wanted to create something that would have a calming effect and help to relax dogs. And secondly, we wanted to tell the story of a dog’s life from puppy into junior, adulthood, then as they mature and become a senior dog.
“We wanted the music to demonstrate the building blocks of each individual life stage, representing a dog’s nature, personality and overall wellbeing, whilst also celebrating the companionship that we share with our dogs. This acted as our blueprint for developing the score, telling a true ‘Dog’s Tale’.”
To demonstrate the impact, the music was played to a focus group of dogs of all life stages, across a variety of breeds, including a three-month-old Lhasa Apso puppy.
Eukanuba’s veterinary training manager, Kellie Ceccarelli, was on hand to monitor the dogs’ reactions and assess their pulse rates, ensuring that they were calm and not stressed. Each of the seven dogs had their pulse rates taken before entering the studio and then again after listening to the piece of music. Each dog’s pulse rate lowered, with an average 22 percent reduction across the group, demonstrating that classical music can have the same calming effect on dogs as it does on humans.
Kellie said: “I was slightly apprehensive that all of the new experiences we were introducing the dogs to could cause them to be slightly stressed in an environment that we wanted to be calming. But it was the complete opposite. They were calm, relaxed and quickly settled on the beds with many of the dogs falling asleep. And to see an average reduction of 22 percent in their pulse rates was really quite staggering.
“One of the best parts for me was the effect the music seemed to have on both the owners and the dogs together, it almost seemed to strengthen the relationship between them. This is not something we anticipated, and it was very emotional to experience.
“At Eukanuba, we want to help people to live a long, healthy life with their dogs, and we now know that classical music has a real impact and really could help dogs and owners to live life well together.”
Due to its positive initial results, ‘A Dog’s Tale’ by Eukanuba will be having its debut performance at Crufts. Aiming to create an oasis of classical calm in the middle of the world’s biggest dog show. Iain will lead the ten-piece string orchestra in a bid to gently relax and calm the dogs attending the event from all over the world.