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the dog relaxation experiment

02 Nov | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
the dog relaxation experiment

From walks in the park to barking matches with the neighbour’s dog, there are many ways in which our dogs can become overexcited or stressed.

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From walks in the park to barking matches with the neighbour’s dog, there are many ways in which our dogs can become overexcited or stressed.

But how can we help our dogs relax in the evening and set them up for a good night’s sleep? 

Using a dog fitness tracker, we asked dog owners to monitor how relaxed their furry friends are when listening to different music genres, as well as whilst watching a range of TV shows. The following morning, we then asked participants to record how well their dog slept to reveal which musical genres and TV shows are the best for helping our dogs catch the most z’s.

Music genres

Folk comes out on top as the best music genre to keep dogs calm, with dogs relaxing an average of 46 minutes. The highest rest time recorded during the study for this genre was 60 minutes, meaning one dog barely moved a muscle while listening to folk tunes. Folk is followed by jazz music (42 minutes of rest on average) and pop music (41 minutes of rest on average).

Perhaps unsurprisingly, metal music causes our dogs to be the least restful, with dogs feeling relaxed for just 25 minutes on average per hour spent listening to this music genre. In fact, one of our participants recorded that their dog was relaxed for just 19 minutes, the lowest rest time across all music genres.

Metal and classical music cause our dogs the most anxiety 

The dog fitness trackers used in the experiment score dogs per hour on their level of activeness, play, and rest. For time spent at home, we would expect our dogs to be fairly restful, meaning the higher the points scored in the hour spent listening to music, the more anxious they are.

During a normal evening at home, a dog’s anxiety level averages 87 points. However, while listening to metal music the average score rises to 166 points. One dog in the experiment recorded 290 points, the highest across all music genres. The anxiety levels of dogs are lower when listening to classical music (141) and particularly hip hop (115).

Jazz and folk are revealed to be the best genres for keeping dogs calm, with average scores of 66 and 90 respectively.

Folk, classical, and jazz music help our dogs get the best night’s sleep

Getting dogs to settle down for the night can be a challenge, and many of us know the struggle of trying to get a picky dog to put their head down all too well. However, according to our study, listening to folk and classical music before bed could be the answer to your troubles.

Looking at dogs’ sleep percentage scores, you can expect your dog to have a fantastic score of 88% after listening to folk music the night before. One dog in particular scored a near perfect score of 92% after listening to folk music, the highest sleep score recorded. 

While classical music causes dogs to score highly when it comes to anxiety, it does ultimately help them sleep, scoring 87%. This ties with jazz music (also 87%).

On the other hand, metal is revealed to be the worst music genre to listen to before bed, with dogs scoring an average sleep score of 76%. The lowest sleep score recorded for metal, as well as overall, was 74%.

Bridgerton is the best TV show for getting our dogs to sit still

Everyone knows dogs love to accompany their owners in everyday tasks, including watching TV – and this study reveals that Bridgerton captures our dog’s attention the most. For every hour spent watching the series, dogs are at rest for an average of 37 minutes. Meanwhile, The Witcher causes dogs to be the least still, with an average rest time of just 27 minutes during an hour of TV time.

The results for the popular adult cartoon Rick and Morty are mixed. During the experiment one dog recorded the highest rest time (52 minutes), while another scored the lowest at just 10 minutes.

Watching Pup Academy causes our dogs the most anxiety 

While dogs score an average of 88 points during a normal evening, the anxiety score reaches 149 when watching Pup Academy. One furry friend was particularly anxious while watching the show that sees dogs travel the world through magical portals – scoring 314 points.

If you want to keep your pup calm, you may want to put an episode of Rick and Morty on. With an average score of 75, the cartoon is the best TV show to keep dogs’ anxiety levels to a minimum.

Bridgerton and Friends are the best TV shows for helping dogs catch the most z’s

Whether it’s the hushed voices or ballroom music, Bridgerton is revealed to be the best TV show to watch in the evening when it comes to helping dogs get to sleep. The average sleep score after watching this show for one hour the night before is an impressive 90%. This was followed by Friends (88%) and Rick and Morty (85%).

On the opposite end of the scale, The Witcher causes dogs to receive an average sleep score of 75%, meaning dogs struggle to get as restful a night’s sleep after watching this TV show. As a show that provides plenty of nightmare material for humans, this result may not be surprising. One dog in particular scored just 71%, the lowest across all TV shows analysed for the experiment.

So, what activities will you be doing with your dog?


We asked participants to attach a FitBark to their dog’s collar to keep track of their dog’s activity, keeping this on throughout the experiment. We then asked them to listen to one genre of music per night, or watch one hour of the selected TV shows per night before recording the below information:

Rest time: The FitBark allows participants to see how long their dogs are active, at rest or at play per hour. We asked participants to record how long their dogs were at rest to see which TV shows and music genres help our dogs to relax the most.

BarkPoints to measure anxiety: This metric takes into account a dog’s physical activity. The higher the BarkPoints, the more active our dogs are. This metric can be viewed on an hourly basis, so participants were able to see how many points their dog scored in the hour listening to music or watching TV. High BarkPoints indicate that a dog is not relaxed.

Sleep score: The following morning after listening to each music genre and TV show, we asked participants to record their dog’s sleep score. This is measured out of 100%.