Literature has gone to the dogs thanks to a new project by Audible.
The Amazon-owned company Audible has teamed up with the Dog Whisperer himself, Cesar Millan, to bring a little culture to your dog's daily life. The new Audible for dogs is an audiobook service specifically catered to your four-legged friend's literary tastes.
The available audiobooks include dog-friendly titles like "Marley and Me" and "A Dog's Purpose," but it's not the canine themes that are making this new virtual library a hit.
After an extensive study conducted by Millan and Audible, it was determined that listening to a calm human voice can help dogs relax. In the study, 76% of dog owners who played audiobooks for their pets reported obviously improved behaviors after a four-week time frame.
The key to the study was including different narration for each audiobook. They considered pitch, inflection, and tone, and they analyzed the affects each voice had on the dogs.
In the end, they concluded that dogs respond best to voices that sound similar to their "primary" owner, and if the rhythm of the words is calm, it's possible to lull the dog into a general state of peace.
This is especially useful for owners who are forced to leave their dogs home alone for long periods of time. Millan recommends playing the audiobooks through some kind of smart speaker system (like Amazon's Alexa) while you're away for the day. Study participant Leslie did it for her yellow Lab named Buddy and said,
"It was like leaving him with a friend."
Leslie also spoke about how she felt less guilty leaving her dog alone, and her guilt-free conscious further benefited Buddy.
"If I can be in a calm state when I leave, it's going to leave him in a calm state. I'm telling him, 'It's okay for you to relax, basically.'"
Each of the dog Audible titles was handpicked by Millan based on the narrator's voice and the story's ability to calm dogs. The selection includes literary classics like "Pride and Prejudice" and "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" alongside more surprising titles like "Legends of the Guardians: The Owls of Gahoole" and "Born a Crime."
Your dog may not be passing any literature tests after spending a day engrossed in "The Art of Racing in the Rain," but Millan and Audible stand by their claim that these specially selected books will make an improved difference in dog behavior. Visit the Audible for dogs website to find out for yourself.
What do you think about Audible for Dogs? Let us know in the comments below.
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