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Audio Books for Dogs… Calming or Confusing?

I’d share almost anything with my soul dog, Gina… my bed (by invitation), my food (when it’s good for her), my music, and so much more.

But, my Audible subscription?

Nope!

I REALLY LOVE Audible…  for me. My reading habits have changed over the years, and now I listen to more books than I read. But, my listening titles are for me only. When Gina and I are in the car, I listen to my book on headset when driving while she enjoys her iCalmDog playing in her crate. When she’s home alone, I prefer to leave her with music playing that is specially designed for dogs, rather than audio books that were intended to be enjoyed by 2-leggeds.

Audio Books for Dogs claims to be helpful for anxious pets that don’t like being left at home alone. NPR recently asked me whether I thought audio books are calming for dogs. They included a very short clip of my answer on WAIT, WAIT… DON’T TELL ME! While I was honored to be interviewed on NPR, my reply was much more extensive and inclusive than what aired.

            (Click to hear and/or read all three stories.)

I think it’s fabulous that dog lovers are becoming aware how their sound environment affects their dogs. But, I believe that anxious dogs listening to audio books when home alone could easily backfire and actually cause anxiety. Dogs could experience sensory confusion when they can’t smell or see the person reading the book. Also, lower frequencies with slowed down tempi calm the canine nervous system. Higher frequencies charge the canine nervous system. A woman with a high voice range who gets animated at a peak in the story and starts speaking in louder, shorter tones, could actually stimulate the canine nervous system… not usually a desired behavior for an anxious dog left home alone.

I’m assuming the concept of audiobooks for dogs came from recent reading programs at shelters where children read to shelter dogs. That’s a very different scenario than a dog who is home alone hearing a voice but not being able to smell or see a person. When someone is sitting and reading to a shelter dog, it likely will be very calming to the pup. There’s nothing that would cause sensory confusion. And, many of these programs involve children reading. The dog’s presence often calms them, they are looking at their book instead of making direct eye contact with the shelter dog, and that in turn allows the dog to feel more comfortable. Once relaxed and calm, they’ll often feel confident enough to approach and sniff the child and may even ask for physical contact. They are engaging their senses rather than being put in a situation that could confuse them.

Audio books for my Lab Gina? Sure, if I’m reading to her, but not when it’s a voice foreign to her and belongs to a person she can’t see, smell or sniff. But, that’s ok. When I leave her home, her iCalmDog keeps her company and she does just fine.

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High Tech Gadgets for Pets (Win an iCalmDog)

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Italian Greyhound rescue Cyrus

The technology age may have been created by humans, but why shouldn’t pets also benefit? After all, Buster’s iPawd may relieve his canine anxiety issues, and Fluffy’s litter box could actually save her life.

4 High-Tech Gadgets for Pets:

Health Meter cat litter is not only biodegradable, but acts as an illness detection and odor eliminator. The litter actually changes color if your cat has any sign of urinary stone or kidney problems, bladder infection, or liver disease.

Tagg the Pet Tracker finds your lost dogs GPS tracking.  Tagg receives alerts and finds your pet on a map. And with their new activity tracking, you can also see how much exercise Fido is getting.

Speaking of exercise, you can now see how much activity your pooch gets when you are away from home. DogTek Eyenimal Pet Video Camera is the world’s first pet video camera. The small camera attaches to your dog’s collar and can capture up to two and a half hours of video. Besides monitoring their activity level, it could be very interesting to see the world from your dog’s perspective.

Dogfast443
 

iCalmDog is the portable solution to canine anxiety… anywhere! The portable, compact player plays music clinically demonstrated to relieve canine anxiety issues. The small device with fabulous sound quality fits in the palm of your hand. But, as you can see in the main picture above of Italian Greyhound rescue Cyrus hugging his iCalmDog, you may not be able to get it away from your dog. You have your iPhone and iPod, now Buster has is own iPawd. Want to win an  iCalmDog for your dog or your favorite rescue organization?

Here’s how to win the… 

     icalmdog_logo

icalm_handEnter a comment below and tell us where your dog would go with his/her own iCalmDog. Or tell us how your fave rescue org would benefit. You will automatically be entered to win an iCalmDog by Through a Dog’s Ear. For additional chances to win, share this giveaway on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest, and leave a separate comment for each social network. Winners will be chosen by random drawing and will be announced in a future blog post by Lisa Spector. Good luck!

(Please note: Contest is open to Lisa’s blog subscribers with a U.S. mailing address. If you purchase an iCalmDog before the winner is announced and you win, you can choose to donate your iCalmDog to a rescue or shelter, or we can refund your money. Prize value = $79.95)

Photo Credit of Cyrus hugging his iCalmDog in bed: Lori Brown

Delivering Calm, four paws at a time…

Receive a FREE DOWNLOAD from the Calm your Canine Companion music series when you sign up for the Through a Dog’s Ear newsletter and/or Lisa’s Blog. Simply click here, enter your email address and a link to the free download will be delivered to your inbox for you and your canine household to enjoy!

 
 
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Music to Inspire Human Creativity

“Lilacs” painted by Trudy Spector, while she listened to Music for the Canine Household

I am a sound sensitive human. When I walk into a restaurant, if the sonic environment is too loud, I often leave or ask to be seated in a quiet area. Just like a dog, I can easily go into sensory overload and shut down when I am in an environment with sound sources coming from multiple areas. You won’t find me in crowded department stores or loud parties very often. Unlike a dog, I get to choose what sound environments are acceptable to me. I am well aware of how my physical and emotional response is affected by sound and when I have the choice, I just don’t enter sound environments that compromise my nervous system.

My home is an artist’s sanctuary, and the only outdoor sounds I generally hear are from wildlife. So I’m careful that the sounds I bring indoors add to a harmonious life. I wear ear plugs when I work out, while my fellow fitness classmates ask that the music be turned up. I play Music to Calm your Canine Companion for me and my dogs. It’s always playing at bedtime for me, even after Sanchez and Gina are asleep. If I’ve been out in an area with a lot of sensory stimulation for long periods, I’ll often play the simplified music when I come home. Or sometimes I choose total silence.

Lisa writing a blog with Sanchez However, when I want to inspire creativity, I listen to Music for the Canine Household. The recording includes piano, cello, english horn and oboe and the high frequency instruments keep me awake, while slowing tempos still keep Sanchez and Gina calm. In fact, I write most of my blogs while listening to Canine Household. Many artists, including my mother, paint to it. Her painting, pictured above, was created while the sounds of Canine Household played in the background, even though she doesn’t have a dog. Household cleaning feels effortless while listening to it and just sitting and having a cup of tea while listening is like taking a sonic, luxurious bath.

Music for the Canine Household… 33% off until April 20!!!

Between April 18-20, we’re offering Music for the Canine Household for only $9.99. That’s 33% off! Simply enter the code “HouseholdCalm” at check out and $4.94 will be deducted from your total bill. Click for full details.

Do you have music that inspires your creativity? Thanks for sharing your experiences in a comment below.

 Delivering Calm, four paws at a time…

Receive a FREE DOWNLOAD from our Calm your Canine Companion music series  when you sign up for our newsletter and/or Lisa’s Blog. Simply click here, enter your email address and a link to the free download will be delivered to your inbox for you and your canine household to enjoy!


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Moose Calms Down with… Puppy Music?

I bet you thought this was an April Fools’ joke! Moose really did calm down listening to Music to Calm your Puppy. But, Moose is actually not a moose.

Moose is…

 

 

 

a puppy! An adorable Black Labrador puppy who has been growing up with Through a Dog’s Ear music since the day Claudia and David Crane brought him home at 11 weeks.

 

The music of  Through a Dog’s Ear is not only effective at treating canine anxiety issues, but people have been using the music to help prevent anxiety issues and sound phobias. Reports are coming in that puppies are growing up calmer, as they are learning to associate the calming music with a happy, peaceful emotional response.

Here’s what Claudia had to say….

 Jumping Puppy: “This puppy album is the ticket. Ten minutes ago Moose was jumping all over me, wanting to play. Now he’s sleeping like a baby. What a great way to have a productive work day!”

I hope you enjoyed the short slide show and sound sample. Click to listen to sound samples from all of the Through a Dog’s Ear recordings. And, if you and your dogs enjoy what you hear….

 Click to Save $4.49 on April Fools’ Day on :

Music to Calm your Puppy

Music to Comfort your Elderly Canine

Music to Calm your Canine Companion Vol. 3

Receive a FREE DOWNLOAD from our Calm your Canine Companion music series  when you sign up for our newsletter and/or Lisa’s Blog. Simply click here, enter your email address and a link to the free download will be delivered to your inbox for you and your canine household to enjoy!

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Free Irish Reel Download on St. Patrick’s Day!

Gina and Sanchez feeling lucky

I’m not Irish, and Sanchez and Gina are not Irish Setters, but I know enough about St. Patrick’s Day to realize that people want lively music on this holiday.

Well, you are in luck! In addition to recording music that abates canine anxiety issues and calms the canine nervous system, we actually know how to have fun and cut it up. I dare you to listen to this Irish reel without kickin’ up your heels. It might even inspire your dog to start dancing, too! I hope it puts a smile on your face and a little skip in your step on St. Paddy’s Day. It’s your FREE download of a triple fun Irish Reel just for you.

To Download: 
Right-click on this link (or control-click on a Mac) and select “Save As…” or “Save Linked File As…” depending on your system. Add to iTunes or other Mp3 player as you wish. Enjoy!

And if the flute causes your dog to start barking, just go over to our listening samples from our Through a Dog’s Ear recordings, and (s)he’ll be snoozing in no time.

Have a fun and musically festive St. Patrick’s Day!

Delivering Calm, four paws at a time…

Receive a FREE DOWNLOAD from our Calm your Canine Companion music series  when you sign up for our newsletter and/or Lisa’s Blog. Simply click here, enter your email address and a link to the free download will be delivered to your inbox for you and your canine household to enjoy!

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Wordless Wednesday: Keep Calm and Listen to Music

Muttville dogs listen to Music to Comfort your Elderly Canine. Does music help you stay calm? How about your dogs? Thanks for posting  your comments below and sharing my first Wordless Wednesday post with your dog loving friends!

Delivering Calm, four paws at a time…

Receive a FREE DOWNLOAD from our Calm your Canine Companion music series  when you sign up for our newsletter and/or Lisa’s Blog. Simply click here, enter your email address and a link to the free download will be delivered to your inbox for you and your canine household to enjoy!

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And the Oscar for Best Dog in a Feature Film Goes to…

Uggie may have gotten all of the attention at last year’s Academy Awards, but Sanchez and Gina are walking the red carpet this year!

They are overwhelmed with all of the nominations from Through a Dog’s Ear fans.

Sanchez was nominated best actor in a leading role for his appearance in Lisa’s video blog:

Nightly Rituals with Dogs

Sanchez’s movement of his eyebrows to enhance his facial expressions is unmatchable. Turns out the movie was a sleeper. In the three days since it’s premiere, the movie has already received over 1,300 views on youtube. That translates to over a thousand zzzzzzzzzzzzz’s from dogs, and their people now know about sound therapy as a remedy for canine anxiety solutions.

Sanchez is woofin’ about his second nomination, as his fans also recognized him for best cameo role in a video blog when he upstaged the human lead actor and actress (Joshua Leeds and Lisa Spector) in

The Story Behind Through a Dog’s Ear

Visually, he doesn’t appear in the movie until 7:53, but you’ll hear sounds of him off camera at 6:21. He definitely stole the show!

In the same video blog, Gina‘s fans nominated her for best supporting actress in her role as a kisser. You can view her unabashed kissing at 8:30.

Although unable to attend the Academy Awards, Sebastian (the dog from the Humane Society of New York who was later adopted by Good Morning America Host Lara Spencer) was nominated for cutest dog to appear in:

Stress Busters for Pets, as Seen on

Good Morning America

Do you think Sanchez, Gina, and Sebastian should win Oscars? Do you have any nominations of your own to add? Thanks for sharing your thoughts in a comment below. 

Delivering Calm, four paws at a time…

Receive a FREE DOWNLOAD from our Calm your Canine Companion music series  when you sign up for our newsletter and/or Lisa’s Blog. Simply click here, enter your email address and a link to the free download will be delivered to your inbox for you and your canine household to enjoy!

Sanchez and Gina’s Wardrobe by Pam Tatar. (Click to view her adorable doggie accessories.)                                                                         

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Nightly Rituals with Dogs

Truth be told, I am a late night owl and Sanchez and Gina aren’t. They usually go to sleep hours before me. By the time I retire, I listen to Through a Dog’s Ear music to help me fall asleep, not them.

However, our nightly ritual involves me playing the piano last thing every night, just before I go up to bed. While they have a choice of several dog beds, they always choose to sleep on their beds under the piano when I am playing music from the Through a Dog’s Ear 7-CD series.

I hope you enjoy a segment of our nightly ritual. The music is one of my personal favorites from our Calm your Canine series, Schumann’s “Kind im Einschlummern” from Kinderscenen (Scenes from Childhood). While the German really translates to “Child Falling Asleep”, I’d like to title it “Hunde im Einschlummern” or “Dogs Falling Asleep”.

Do you have a nightly ritual with your dogs? If you haven’t slumbered off into all zzzzzzzz’s watching the video, thanks for sharing your ritual in a comment below.

Delivering Calm, four paws at a time…

Receive a FREE DOWNLOAD from our Calm your Canine Companion music series  when you sign up for our newsletter and/or Lisa’s Blog. Simply click here, enter your email address and a link to the free download will be delivered to your inbox for you and your canine household to enjoy!

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10 Dog Training Tips

January is National Train your Dog Month. My readers know that I’m an advocate of humane, positive, science based dog training. Every Tuesday on the Through a Dog’s Ear Facebook page is “Training Tip Tuesday”.  I ask fans and training experts to chime in with their training tips. Here are some from earlier this week:

  1. “When dealing with behavior issues, remember to look at daily sources of stress in your dog’s life and start with a de-stress or relaxation process before you begin tackling the problems. Much like us, ongoing stress or over-stimulation is not healthy for our dogs either!” Michelle Payson, owner of That’s My Dog Professional Dog Training in Douglas, MA.
  2. “Look for and reward behaviors that you like and want to see again. Behaviors that are rewarded are repeated.”  Canine Minds and Manners Professional Dog Training in Alberta, Canada
  3. “Remember that EVERY interaction that you have with your pet is training and that most pets will interpret ANY attention from you as a reward, even if you think of it as negative attention” Not Home Alone Pet, Livestock, and House Sitting in San Dimas, California.
  4. “Focus on what you want your pet to do, instead of what you don’t want him to do. Don’t like the barking at the front door? What do you want instead? Work towards that! It changes your focus completely.” Shared by fan Karey Harris.
  5. “Ignore or manage undesirable behaviors, and reward and/or reinforce desirable behaviors!” A comment from fan Sallee Autumn.
  6. Click here to read “50 ways to Use your Kong”, a fabulous article written by trainer Robin Sockness, owner of My Best Buddy Dog Training in Sharpsburg, GA.
  7. “When introducing new behaviors with most cats, it’s best to train before meals. When training new behaviors with high energy dogs, it’s best to do training sessions after a short period of exercise. Both of these tips will help the dog & cat to be more focused during a training session” From Amy of ConsciousCompanion.com in North Carolina.
  8. “Loose leash walking – If we let our dogs leave the house in an excited state, loose leash walking might be difficult.” Here’s a great post by trainer Lupe Matt on the subject. (And you’ll get a good laugh out of the Boxer’s reaction in the video when he’s asked if he wants to go for a walk.)
  9. “So, how long do I need to use food when training?” is an informative post by trainer Stacy Hiebert Greer of Dallas, TX.
  10. “Accept your dog as is… a social creature, a companion animal. Be realistic in your goals and fair in your expectations. Train away the things that you absolutely can not live with and never, ever underestimate a dogs potential, based on your own preconceived notions.”  Susan Gleeson, owner of Center for Heeling

Do you have any dog or cat training tips you can share? Thanks for posting them in a comment below and sharing your thoughts on these training tips. Happy training!

Receive a FREE DOWNLOAD from the Through a Dog’s Ear

Calm your Canine Companion Music Series

Simply click here, enter your email address and a link to the free download will be delivered to your inbox for you and your canine household to enjoy.

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If Our Dogs Made Our New Year’s Resolutions

I decided to let my dogs, Sanchez and Gina, make my new year’s resolutions for me this year. Here’s what they had to say:

  • Take more walks (with us).
  • Play the piano every day. (We love sleeping under it while you play.)
  • Remember to make time to play (especially with us)
  • Perform more concerts for dogs 
  • Be patient with me in my senior years (from Sanchez). I’m giving you an opportunity to slow down and remember that every moment in life is a gift.

If your pets made your new year’s resolutions, what would they say? Thanks for telling us in a comment below.

Receive a FREE DOWNLOAD from the Through a Dog’s Ear

Calm your Canine Companion Music Series

Simply click here, enter your email address and a link to the free download will be delivered to your inbox for you and your canine household to enjoy.