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How to Calm Older Dogs with Music [a case study]

I’ve always celebrated all of my dog’s birthdays and remember them all to this day. No big birthday cake, but I always do something special to honor the occasion. It usually involves a new toy, treats, and extra time with my birthday dog enjoying an outdoor activity together.

According to a study by the Purina Pet Institute, 43 percent of dog owners celebrate birthdays, while 29 percent celebrate their cat’s birthdays. If that’s accurate, them I’m actually in the minority.

Sanchez turns nine years old today ~ May 17, 2012. How could he possibly be nine already? He  was just a puppy yesterday, wearing his “Puppy in Training for Guide Dogs for the Blind” green jacket. Even though he was bred and raised to be a guide dog, he was “career changed” at 18 months of age, for being “too much dog” and I was then able to adopt him.

He’s taken the term “career changed” quite literally, as he’s since had a multitude of careers, including agility, musical canine freestyle, acting, student greeter, and mascot/ dog model for Through a Dog’s Ear.

Sanchez was quite the rambunctious, highly energetic puppy. So much so that he was the inspiration for Through a Dog’s Ear. When he was four months old, I took him to a seminar taught by sound researcher Joshua Leeds. I was curious to learn about psychoacoustics, the study of how sound and music affects the human nervous system. Joshua’s application-specific soundtracks were being used in homes, clinics, classrooms, and neuro-developmental centers around the world. Although I attended Joshua’s workshop so that I could learn how to bring his psychoacoustic principles back to my music school, little did I know that I would also be bringing them into the canine world.

After Joshua’s lecture, I started trying the same psycho-acoustic principles on Sanchez. I wondered if he would calm down if I slowed down and simplified Bach and lowered the frequencies. Did I mention that Sanchez was a bundle of energy? It was fascinating watching how reactive Sanchez was to this specialized music and how quickly he calmed down when the music with the right prescription of beats per minute, frequency range, and simplification were played.

No matter what his age or career, one thing that has remained constant throughout the years is my love for him and the healthy sound environment I provide. He goes with me almost everywhere, but when I leave Sanchez and Gina, they listen to Music to Calm your Canine Companion.

If Sanchez had a tag line, it would be “It’s All About Me”. And this is how you benefit from it being all about Sanchez on his 9th birthday. Join our virtual pawty and save $9 until May 19th….

Sanchez on the eve before his 9th Birthday

Birthday Special Details:

  • Enter coupon code “Sanchez9” at checkout
  • Good at only
  • Applies to any TADE CD’s
  • Three CD minimum purchase
  • Limit of one Sanchez Birthday Special per customer
  • Add each CD to cart individually for full $9  discount
  • Does not apply to downloads or the Canine Noise Phobia series

Enjoy Through a Dog’s Ear music with your canine family at an irresistible price. And please join me in woofing Señor Sanchez a very happy 9th birthday!

Do you celebrate your dog’s birthday? If you don’t know the actual birthday, do you celebrate your adoption date or make up a date? Thanks for letting us know with a comment below.

Have you tried Sound Therapy for your dogs? Through a Dog’s Ear is the first music clinically demonstrated to calm the canine nervous system.

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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8 Tips for Keeping Dogs Calm and Safe during Fireworks


This is a repost from a blog I wrote for a year ago.

July 4th is around the corner, along with the fireworks that inevitably come with this holiday. Almost all humans with canines in the United States declare this day the worst day of the year for their dogs. Veterinarians say that July 3rd is usually the most trafficked day in their offices, with clients coming in to get drugs for their dogs. Last year, I found a lost dog on the 4th of July. He was obviously a well fed, well groomed, and well behaved dog that escaped his yard when he heard the fireworks. When I called our local Humane Society, I was informed that it is the busiest time of the year for them, as more dogs are found wandering loose on July 4th than any other day of the year in the U.S.

Eight Tips for providing a safe July 4th for your Canine Household:

1. Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise earlier in the day.

2. Keep your dogs inside during fireworks, preferably with human companionship. If it’s hot, air conditioning will help.

3. Provide a safe place inside for your dogs to retreat. When scared of sounds they can’t orient, dogs often prefer small enclosed areas. (I once had a dog who climbed in the bathtub during windstorms.) 4. If possible, keep the windows and curtains closed.

5. Make sure all your dogs are wearing ID tags with a properly fitting collar. (Dogs have been known to become Houdini around the 4th of July.)

6. Leave your dog something fun to do – like a frozen Kong filled with his favorite treats.

7. Train with counter classical conditioning. Patricia McConnell, Ph.D., CAAB, has a very clear definition and tips here.

8. Sound Therapy: Play Music to Calm your Canine Companion Vol. 1 and 2. It is most effective when you first play the music well before the fireworks start, at a time the dog is already peaceful and relaxed. He will begin to associate the music with being calm and content. Then play the music a couple of hours before the fireworks start and continue to play through bedtime. The music doesn’t need to be loud to be effective as it has been clinically demonstrated to calm the canine nervous system. Click here for free samples and downloads. Click here to purchase downloads of full CD’s. Last year, I received a heart warming email from a woman who told me that it was the first 4th of July that she didn’t need to drug her dog, thanks to the music of Through a Dog’s Ear. On previous years, he had jumped out of windows. She said, “It was like Dog Ambien! Dambien!” Read the full story

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Even Dogs Want to Know Why


I recently heard a TED talk video that made a profound impact on my thinking, exactly what TED talks are supposed to do. Simon Sinek speaks about The Golden Circle – Why, How, What?

He says, “Everyone knows what they do. Some know how they do it. But, very few know why they do what they do. Why meaning, what is your purpose? (Making a profit is a result, not a why.) People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe. The goal is to hire people who believe what you believe. What you do proves what you believe.”

For a little over a year, I have been writing the following on an index card first thing every morning…. “Combining my passion for music with my love of dogs is helping improve the lives of dogs worldwide.” I didn’t know why I wrote that every morning, I just knew it felt like a powerful statement that kept me focused on my commitment to improving the lives of dogs. After hearing Simon Sinek’s TED talk and now reading his book START WITH WHY, I realize that what I write on the index card every morning is my WHY.

I love connecting, usually daily, with people who click “Like” on the Through a Dog’s Ear Facebook page. Facebook doesn’t have a “Love” click, but if they did, I’m guessing that many of the people who “Like” Through a Dog’s Ear would probably “Love” Through a Dog’s Ear on Facebook. I think we have so many wonderful, engaging dog lovers on our page because, as Simon Sinek says, “Fans form communities, not just to share their love of a product with others, but to be in the company of people like them.” I believe that all of us on the Through a Dog’s Ear Facebook page are committed to improving the lives of dogs, whether it be the one dog in our household, or many dogs that trainers work with, or dogs that groomers groom, or rescue dogs that people are finding homes for, or countless volunteers at shelters helping many dogs …. we connect because we all want to improve the lives of dogs.

The way we do that at Through a Dog’s Ear is by providing dogs and their people with beautiful psychoacoustically-designed music that creates a healthy sound environment. We educate people on how the human soundscape affects canines and their people.

Are you a dog lover that desires to help improve the lives of dogs? Please click “comment” below and share how you do that for one or many dogs?

Lisa Spector
Co-Creator, Through a Dog’s Ear
Canine Music Expert