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Can dogs hear music?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
When I play my tenor saxophone, particularly when playing the high notes loud, my dog 'sings' along, perhaps she is just in pain, I dont know but she howls along every time. So I wonder if she can hear me play my stereo too... or is it just the high frequencies in the ringing brass of my sax perhaps.
Any dog experts? :P
post #2 of 20
As far as I know, dogs can hear a much wider frequency range than we can. Something that interests me is that our dog seems totally unconcerned with any noise coming from the stereo or TV (even if played loudly), but very interested in someone coming to the door, noise from the backyard, etc. I have 2 theories: (1) dogs are reputed to be much better than humans at precisely locating the direction of sound, so maybe she just has learned to forget about anything coming from the location of the TV, because it's never been exciting in the past (2) the stereo / TV don't sound realistic because their frequency range cuts off way below what a dog can hear.

Another interesting question might be, is the ability to perceive music as enjoyable art a uniquely human ability? I guess what I mean is, maybe dogs can hear music but they don't care because it has no meaning / triggers no instinct in them. I guess it's a hard question because it forces one to figure out what exactly art is, which I think is perhaps not as straightforward as it might sound...
post #3 of 20
Of course dogs can hear music! Just like they can hear the you whistle or call their name or when somebody rings the doorbell.

Whether they can "understand" or appreciate music is a much more interesting question, and I'm not sure there's any way to know the answer.
post #4 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyRx7
As far as I know, dogs can hear a much wider frequency range than we can. Something that interests me is that our dog seems totally unconcerned with any noise coming from the stereo or TV (even if played loudly), but very interested in someone coming to the door, noise from the backyard, etc. I have 2 theories: (1) dogs are reputed to be much better than humans at precisely locating the direction of sound, so maybe she just has learned to forget about anything coming from the location of the TV, because it's never been exciting in the past (2) the stereo / TV don't sound realistic because their frequency range cuts off way below what a dog can hear.
My dog does the same thing. He can hear music on the stereo, but it doesn't sound realistic to him, so he just doesn't care. Even if I play CDs of nature sounds, even wolves howling, he doesn't get excited about it.
post #5 of 20

if only dogs can speak a human language

they will probably evaluate a audio component better than any of us
woof woof
post #6 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanY
My dog does the same thing. He can hear music on the stereo, but it doesn't sound realistic to him, so he just doesn't care. Even if I play CDs of nature sounds, even wolves howling, he doesn't get excited about it.
what abt MEOooooooooooW?
post #7 of 20
the real question is can dogs hear notes that people perceve as being in "harmony" as slightly (like 1/8) out of tune?
post #8 of 20
My dogs used to make whiney, howliy noises on when my daughter played her clarinet. According to How Dogs Think: Understanding the Canine Mind by Stanley Coren, dogs howl to music as part of their natural response to intra-species communication. They are not singing along as much as howling along. Coren is a well-respected Canadian canine researcher and author.

It is not obvious to me how one would investigate whether dogs hear music in the sense that humans do.
post #9 of 20
Pixie looks concerned when I play recorder, and will try to jump into my lap and lick my face at the first chance, as if I'm angry and need calming down.

Luckily it's not a soprano recorder, but treble is still high.
post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elec
Of course dogs can hear music! Just like they can hear the you whistle or call their name or when somebody rings the doorbell.

Whether they can "understand" or appreciate music is a much more interesting question, and I'm not sure there's any way to know the answer.
x2.

My dog sleeps equally peacefully whether there is a blaring movie showing or gentle music playing.
post #11 of 20
My dog goes in the other room when I listen to dark metal type music. She will stay in the living room when the CD is mellow stuff like Steely Dan or Dire Straits. The volume level doesn't seem to matter much, until I get it extremely high, then she leaves the room no matter what's playing.

My dog is afraid of fireworks that whistle. When ever there are those types of fireworks in a movie or on TV she freaks out as if they were just outside the door. (I guess my speakers are realistic at high frequencies )

I was listening to XM radio the other day, and noticed the dog staring at one of the speakers for several minutes. I wish I could remember what was playing at the time.
post #12 of 20
My hound used to be lead reviewer for NME magazine. He gave it up when he had his nuts lopped off and his lust for new music dwindled.
His favourite sounds were the "Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band" and Kate Bush's seminal "Hounds of Love".
He reacted badly to Bros in the 80's and the vet was worried, but a dose of Snoop Doggy Dog puckered up his spirits, and he went on to write a side column on gangsta rap.
He now spends his time growling at next door's cat, and scratching his neck. He stil likes a bit of German hardcore, but mellows most nights to Elgar.

So, yes.... dogs do hear music.
post #13 of 20
My cat is none too impressed by hi-fi, he will react to sudden sounds or
certain types of tone but thats about it.
He never seems convinced by animal noises on nature shows etc.

I guess hi-fi just does not sound real to him.
Or is it just that he would prefer a nice analogue vinyl setup over digital?
I do remember the family cat years ago reacting to my fathers analogue system...Hmm

But I doubt whether dogs or cats would appreciate the potential ultrasonic
hash from a supertweeter hooked up to a hi rez digital format system.


.
post #14 of 20
[QUOTE=AndyRx7] I guess what I mean is, maybe dogs can hear music but they don't care because it has no meaning / triggers no instinct in them. QUOTE]
Hmm, didn't you read the OP comment on how the high notes envoke a reaction and vocal role out of his K-9? I would call that a response of sorts..

Dogs and cats are totally affected by sound in many ways..my cats for example, when I play my floorpounders (rare because usually I am monitoring my cans) the cats seem to sit in the most logical spot for the sweetest sound...and it varies per the room too. In other words, in my 6.1 theatre room, the cats instinctively sit right in the middle front and center and about 12' from the CRT...and when I go on the ground to sit in that spot, it is the best sounding seat in the room. Also, where my redbook rig and floor pounders are, the cats sit about 14' from the speakers and up a bit...every single time..and ONLY when music is being played..very interesting nonetheless IMO
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by setmenu
My cat is none too impressed by hi-fi, he will react to sudden sounds or
certain types of tone but thats about it.
He never seems convinced by animal noises on nature shows etc.

I guess hi-fi just does not sound real to him.
Or is it just that he would prefer a nice analogue vinyl setup over digital?
I do remember the family cat years ago reacting to my fathers analogue system...Hmm

But I doubt whether dogs or cats would appreciate the potential ultrasonic
hash from a supertweeter hooked up to a hi rez digital format system.


.
mine too, they love the analog!!

anyway...the better the mix, the more they are tricked..and the less napping is accomplished by my kitties
the Flaming Lips soft bulletin 5.1 mix makes my cats absolutely on edge...and any movie with a nice SF score will trick my cats as well, it is funny when they nap, their ears still move towards the sound origins and pays attention...even if they appear uninterested or napping..
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