2002.10.30 A dog's life in music

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

It’s old news that cows give more milk when they’re listening to Beethoven. That study was completed in England a year ago last June.

Actually, it was a study of slow music vs. fast music vs. no music. Slow was defined as having fewer than 100 beats a minute. That included rock music such as REM as well as Beethoven. Fast music had more than 120 beats a minute.

A pair of researchers from the University of Leicester serenaded a thousand Holstein Fresians with music for 12 hours a day over a nine-week period. The results were impressive.

Cows produced on the average three-fourths of a liter more every day when they listened to music such as “Pastoral Symphony,” compared to those that had no music at all. It probably made them long for the good old days when cows actually went to pasture.

Cows who listened to faster tunes such as the Beatles’ “Back in the USSR” or to Wonderstuff’s “The Size of a Cow” produced “suppressed yields.”

I’m not familiar with the British group Wonderstuff, but cows might have been bothered by the lyrics:

“I said, Oh wow, look at me now

I'm building up my problems

to the size of a cow

The size of a cow

The size of a cow.”

It all makes sense to farmer Neil Cutler who lives near Portsmouth. For every 100 cows, he figures he could earn an extra £15 every day of the year. Less stress; more milk, he says.

That’s the old news. The new news is about dogs and music, but there’s nothing about milk production this time around.

The researcher, Deborah Wells, is from Queen’s University in Belfast. Her study was done at the National Canine Defence League’s Rehoming Centre in Evesham, Worcestershire. That’s probably the home of the famous sauce, as well.

Wells mentioned the cow study and she also made reference to chicken research (radio music, including Pink Floyd, increases egg production), but she thinks she’s the first to investigate dogs and music.

Wells forced 50 dogs to listen to different styles of music and then watched how they reacted. There were three music styles—a pop compilation including Britney Spears, Robbie Williams and Bob Marley), a classical selection including Grieg’s “Morning” and Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons,” and a heavy music CD including Metallica.

“We had no reason to think that dogs should find classical music more relaxing,” Wells said about the study.

Is she kidding? She really thought dogs would relax with Metallica?

There were no surprises in her findings. Dogs in the kennel made the most noise and stood up more often when heavy metal was played. That’s not to say they didn’t enjoy it, as the headline on her story suggests (Dogs prefer Bach to Britney).

It’s quite possible that Metallica was truly their favorite. Of course they made the most noise; they were having the most fun. From my observations, dogs love to bark and Bach had them barking the least of all. I suppose it would have the same effect on me.

Wells figures her study can be used by kennel workers to calm their canines. Ah, so this study was not for the benefit of the dogs, it was for the employees of the kennel.

Wells’ research could become the worst thing that’s ever happened to a dog in a cage. Maybe canines don’t like Beethoven. Maybe they really enjoy those screaming guitars. Barking is fun.

I think about how I would suffer if I had to spend all day in a cage listening to contemporary country and western music. I would bark, I would drool, I would howl. I would drag my butt across the floor. I would lick myself in places I didn’t know I could reach.

Just give me a can of Alpo for one last meal and then put me out of my misery.

    – Oct. 30, 2002 
  • Front.bridge Cross
    STEP BY STEP—Wyatt Stevens of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge Sunday during the Michigan DNR’s Great Outdoors Jamboree at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The Tecumseh Boy Scout Troop constructed the bridge again this year after taking a break in 2016. The Jamboree offered a variety of activities for a wide range of age groups. Morenci’s Stair District Library set up activities again this year and had visits with dozens of kids. See the back page for additional photos.
  • Front.bridge.17
    LEADING THE WAY—The Morenci Area High School marching band led the way across the pedestrian bridge on Morenci’s south side for the annual Labor Day Bridge Walk. The Band Boosters shared profits from the sale of T-shirts with the walk’s sponsor, the Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.eclipse
    LOOKING UP—More than 200 people showed up at Stair District Library Monday afternoon to view the big celestial event with free glasses provided by a grant from the Space Science Institute. The library offered craft activities from noon to 1 p.m., refreshments including Cosmic Cake from Zingerman’s Bakehouse and a live viewing of the eclipse from NASA on a large screen. As the sky darkened slightly, more and more people moved outside to the sidewalk to take a look at the shrinking sun. If you missed it, hang on for the next total eclipse in 2024 as the path comes even closer to this area.
  • Cecil
    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Front.batter

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2017