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Friday, August 13, 2010

Calming Your Excited Dog: "Through a Dog's Ear" Canine Tunes Review

by Carrie Boyko 

© Carrie Boyko
What's New Mom?
I have a new friend over at Facebook who has proven to have amazing talent at calming dogs. She is Lisa Spector, a concert pianist and dog lover. Yet even that description didn't get my attention until I found out she has produced a selection of music, most of if performed by her, to calm our canine companions. I'm in!

When I contacted Lisa to learn more, she was struck by my profile picture of Tanner, my 70-lb. Golden Retriever, on my shoulders. Yet it wasn't Tanner that I contacted Lisa about. Oliver, one of Tanner's housemates, is a Papillon. Oliver is a delightful little dog that endears everyone he meets with his sweet, friendly greetings. He's a very good errand companion, as long as he doesn't know where we're going. Sounds wonderful, huh?

Well, it is, until we are about to arrive at a destination that Oliver recognizes. He remembers landmarks, and then the announcements begin. that high-pitched, signature, Papillon bark that is shrill beyond description.

Help, Lisa! I need your music. The day Lisa's CDs arrived, my pups were all in high gear, having had a particularly exciting morning of deliveries, visitors and a turtle on the driveway. I unwrapped the first CD and popped it into the player, not really expecting anything to calm the craziness that this day had already been stamped with.

Was I ever wrong! Within 10 minutes, my active, excited, curious dogs were snoring away. Could it really be the music? Let's experiment again...

When another day arrived with ample enthusiasm, I tried the second CD and soon found myself wanting to take a nap with my dogs. When I turned it off, the dogs popped up out of their naps, curiously checking the player to determine where their lullaby had disappeared to. I think they like it.

Now it's time to try the car CD for Oliver's enthusiasm. Lisa suggested playing the final track of the CD before leaving home, to prepare little Oliver for the ride--calming him before we leave. Good suggestion.

His nap to and from my mom's house was clearly a signal that the music did its job.  I replayed the last track for him before heading to one of his favorite locations, and then we put the music to the ultimate test.

Was Oliver calm? No. Was he quiet? Not really. However, he WAS less exuberant and more of what I would call moderately enthusiastic. I did get a yawn, as you can see in this picture below. That's a big improvement for the first try. I'll take it. More repetitions may mean more improvement, so I'm motivated now to work harder at getting his vocalizations in line. 

Through a Dog's Ear,  Music to Calm your Canine Companion, is available for individuals to purchase and to shelters and rescues for free (except shipping charges). There's a lot of information on their website and tons of fabulous testimonials at their Facebook page. You can also find them at Twitter.

Both volumes of Music to Calm your Canine Companion were clinically tested. Lisa tells me that the music has helped many dogs with separation anxiety, sound phobias, general anxiety, excitement with visitors, diminished barking, etc. What dog out there couldn't use a little of this help sometime?

Music for the Canine Household helps dogs settle while their people stay awake. Music to Calm your Canine can also make people sleepy, as I testified, so pay attention to which one you're playing. It does matter!

Driving Edition: Music to Calm your Dog in the Car has helped dogs with automobile anxiety and even car sickness. Now Oliver is working on adding destination excitement to that list. Lisa, we'll keep you posted. The first day he arrives at the dog park without a hound dog's announcement, I'll be sure to let you know.

If you're interested in learning more, you can visit their website or call 800-788-0949. Oh, and don't forget to check out Oliver's comments at 5 Minutes for Fido.

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© Carrie Boyko, all rights reserved

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