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Have You Heard? The Key To Calmer, Happier Dogs

Audiobooks are the key to calmer, happier dogs.

Does your dog become a nervous wreck or a destructive menace when you leave him or her at home alone? Here’s a new way to solve the problem that you may never have thought of.

The problem

Dogs are highly social pack animals, which means that one of the most unnatural things we can do is leave them home alone. Unfortunately for many people, bringing their dog everywhere is not an option — but neither is having a bored or anxious dog tearing the house apart when they’re left alone.

Crate training can be a solution, but not every human is able to master teaching this skill to their dog, and not every dog takes to it, either. Likewise, some dogs can be left with toys or chewies and be perfectly happy, while for others this has no effect.

Too bad that our dogs can’t read, because it would be great if we could leave them with a good book to occupy their time and keep them from getting nervous, wouldn’t it?

Well, now we can — and evidence shows that it can be a great way to keep our dogs calm and happy. You don’t even have to teach them how to read, either.

The solution

Thanks to the Internet and audiobooks, you can leave a virtual someone to read to your dog while you’re gone, and it certainly seems to improve their mood and reduce their anxiety — more on which later. In the meantime, Cesar has teamed up with Audible, the leading provider of spoken word content and audio entertainment, to provide you and your dog with a hand-picked selection of audiobook titles to keep her calm when her pack isn’t around.

Audible is available on a wide range of devices, including smart phones, tablets, e-readers, computers, and any of Amazon’s Echo devices. Plus, with the latter, you can simply ask the device to start a book — no fuss, no hands, no hassle.  You can see Cesar explain how to get started and set it up in his videos here and on Audible.com/dogs.

The selection of audiobooks available on Audible is huge — in fact, it’s the largest number of audiobooks available from one service anywhere — so you’ll be able to find what’s right for your dog once you’ve determined the kind of voices he reacts to the best.  It’s also very easy to set it up, add audiobooks to your library, and start playing them for your dog while you’re away or at home.

The study

And what voices do dogs react to best? Well, it depends on the dog, but Cesar’s how-to guide will help you find the right one. This is based on a study carried out by Cesar’s team in which one hundred volunteers were recruited for a month-long in-home test using an Amazon Echo device and Audible with their own dogs to find out which genders, accents, times of day, and reading volumes (among other things) worked the best for keeping their dogs calm.

The test revealed that on 27 out of the 28 days of testing, dogs exhibited positive behavior differences after being exposed to an audiobook while left home alone for at least one hour. This included reducing separation anxiety, helping dogs to be calm and relaxed, and minimizing destructive behaviors..

The future

In addition to developing the concept with Audible, Cesar has also curated a selection of audiobooks ideal for calming dogs down called Cesar’s Picks, and he’ll be sharing his choices with you in the coming weeks through his social media channels as a dog-friendly book of the month suggestion, with authors ranging from Jane Austen to Trevor Noah, and works of literature and non-fiction on subjects both human and canine.  You’ll be able to easily purchase these on Audible.com/dogs, and you’ll also be able to view videos of Cesar explaining why he recommended these specific books for you and your dog.

Some of the dogs’ favorites, as revealed by the study, may surprise you — and so will the results, as you make your dog’s day with a good book. Or, as Audible describes the results: “Calmer dogs. Happier dogs. Seriously.”

Does your dog already listen to audiobooks? How about you? Tell us about your favorites and whether they calm your dog down in the comments, and share your snaps of your dog listening to audiobooks and tag #AudibleforDogs

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