Audiobooks designed to de-stress dogs inspired by Hartpury research

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Animal

A series of books specifically aimed at reducing stress in dogs has been inspired by research carried out at Hartpury University.

A ground-breaking study by BSc (Hons) Animal Behaviour and Welfare graduate Clarissa Brayley and Dr Tamara Montrose found that audiobooks can have a calming effect on the behaviour of kennelled dogs.

In response to the findings, audio entertainment, information and education company Audible has published a series of books that it says will help improve the behaviour of dogs when they are left alone at home.

Well-known works in the series include the classics Peter Pan by JM Barrie, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte and David Copperfield by Charles Dickens.

On its website, the publisher confirms that Audible for Dogs was “inspired” by the independent study at Hartpury.

Clarissa and Tamara compared the effects of audiobooks, classical music, pop music, music designed for dogs and no sound at all on the behaviour of 31 dogs living in a rescue shelter.

“Auditory stimulation such as music has been demonstrated to enhance animal welfare in a range of species,” said Tamara.

 “However, despite suggested benefits in humans the potential of audiobooks as auditory enrichment for animals had not been investigated.

“The study suggests that exposure to audiobooks can enhance the welfare of kennelled dogs due to their calming influence on dog behaviour.

“Use of audiobooks provides a simple yet practical tool that can be readily used in many kennel environments to enhance dog welfare and potentially increase the likelihood of successful rehoming of dogs.”

Picture: Dr Tamara Montrose with Tia the dog at Hartpury

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