Dancing dogs and their sense of rhythm
A couple of weeks ago I stumbled across a video posted on social networks in which a child appears on the street dancing followed by a dog. Yes, just as you read it. In front of what appears to be a Brazilian flag painted on the wall, the boy and the dog are dancing to the rhythm of samba music.
This caught my attention and I looked for similar videos finding, to my surprise, two things: first, dogs seem to have a good dance rhythm, second, they seem to particularly enjoy Brazilian music.
A study published by Psychologytoday indicated that according to scientific analysis, dogs barking and howling, besides being an efficient way of communicating and grouping in a herd, such as their ancestors the wolves do, howling could fulfill certain musical parameters with intentionality.
As evidence, they argue that during a collective howl, each member seeks to interpret a distinctive note within the harmony of the group howling, thus creating a kind of chorus. Interesting isn’t it? In the same way you, and many dog owners might have been able to see our beloved pets react to certain songs and types of music.
Wind instruments such as saxophone and clarinet seem to be the ones that stimulate them the most. In fact, they seem to have specific musical preferences. The Psychologist Deborah Wells at Queens University in Belfast, to evaluate their behavior exposed dogs to different types of music: Pop music, classical music, and Heavy Metal.
Also, to test the changing reaction, they were exposed to recordings of human conversation and silence periods. Their findings were very interesting: They seem to Heavy Metal seem to agitate them, Pop music and recorded conversations make no difference in their behavior but Classical Music relaxed them and generate a greater number of howls.
As the small study I did in the writing of this article, I would add to Dr. Wells’ analysis, as you can see in the 2 following videos, that dogs can keep their rhythm on a dance floor and, above All this, they seem to prefer Latin rhythms: