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Cartoon
Winter 2013

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Happy, quiet New Year!

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Dog-gone stories

Mutts for Mozart: Dogs relax with classical, get stressed by metal

By Misty Harris, Postmedia News

Don’t be fooled by the spiked collar. If that pit bull had his druthers, he’d choose Mozart over Motorhead every time. In a four-month study of kennelled dogs’ responses to music, a Colorado State University professor found changes in barking pat-terns, restfulness, body-shaking and activity were dependent on the genre of song being played. Classical songs ultimately won out, proving so powerful in reducing stress that they even trumped the effect of “psychoacoustic” music designed especially to soothe animals.

Heavy metal, by contrast, appeared to amplify dogs’ anxiety, and was linked with less sleep, more barking and increased shaking. Though it may seem frivolous (hey, so does turning on a vacuum and look at the effect that has on dogs), lead author Lori Kogan says the study has important implications for the welfare of animals in stressful shelter environments.

Her research, published in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior*, draws on 117 dogs, of various breeds, at one kennel 83 were boarders, and 34 were rescue dogs. Over time, the animals were randomly exposed to 45 minutes of music across three genres: classical, heavy metal, and simplistic psychoacoustic classical selection marketed for dog relaxation. Behaviour changes were observed and recorded every five minutes.

Classical was linked with more relaxed and restful behaviour, compared to the control condition (no music); heavy metal was linked with greater anxiety and unrest; and the psychoacoustic music had only a minimally calming effect - a result that caught Kogan by surprise. Though canine musical preferences have been a hot topic over the past decade, it’s extremely rare to see studies published in peer-reviewed journals.

* “Behavioral Effects of Auditory Stimulation on Kennel Dogs”, 7-2012, 268 - 275.

Burglar alarm dog with world’s loudest bark

By Giles Sheldrick, International Express, Dec. 12, 2012

Daz the German shepherd might look like a ferocious guard dog but his bark is far worse than his bite. It is so loud and scary, it has been turned into the perfect burglar alarm. Daz has been recorded at an ear-splitting 108 decibels - the same volume as a thumping disco and louder than a car horn, chainsaw or pneumatic drill.

Owner Peter Lucken, 47, of Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, said: “When anyone comes to the door he really lets loose. If the pizza delivery boy won’t come near the house then anyone thinking of breaking in is going to be apprehensive.” He added: “I haven’t been burgled since I’ve had him.” All-white DAZ, named after the washing powder, was confirmed as the world’s loudest dog by the Guinness Book of Records. Now homeowners wanting to deter intruders can download a free recording of his unmistakable bark from the home insurance website Confused.com
(We wonder what Mr. Lucken’s neighbours think of his electronic watchdog)

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