Interview with Lisa Spector, Co-Creator of Through A Dog’s Ear
Giftsoc has become intrigued with a new methodology for calming and improving the lives of dogs. It is a product called, “Through A Dog’s Ear.” We recently interviewed Lisa Spector, co-creator and founder of “Through A Dog’s Ear,” to find out more.
What is “Through A Dog’s Ear?”
Music that is clinically demonstrated to calm the canine nervous system.
1) To help improve the lives of dogs worldwide
2) To educate people on how the human sound scape affects canines
3) To provide dogs and their people with beautiful psychoacoustically-designed music that creates a healthy sound environment
What is psychoacoustic music?
An official definition of psychoacoustics is “a branch of science dealing with hearing, the sensations produced by sounds, and the problems of communication.” Psychoacoustics may also be thought of as “the study of the perception of sound.”
What is the research that supports it?
We based our findings on a research project by behaviorist Dr. Deborah Wells. She had already proven that dogs in the shelter environment calmed to classical music, compared to other kinds of music, and to a control group with no music. We wanted to find out if all classical music was created equal and would work to calm dogs. Veterinary neurologist Susan Wagner conducted research to find out if simplified, solo instrumental classical music with psychoacoustic changes would have a greater effect at calming and quieting dogs in the shelter environment as well as relieving anxiety issues of dogs in the home environment. When the results came back from the study, even we were astounded. The rearranged classical music was twice as effective at calming dogs and helping canine anxiety issues as classical music that wasn’t simplified and performed at tempo.
How did you come up with the idea for “Through A Dog’s Ear?”
In 2003, I owned a music school and attended a weekend seminar for teachers and healers taught by sound researcher Joshua Leeds. The seminar was on psychoacoustics, the study of how sound affects the nervous system. I learned how to calm and focus a group of four year olds through the use of sound and music. At the time, I was also a volunteer puppy raiser for Guide Dogs for the Blind. When I brought a faculty member back to another seminar of Joshua’s, I had a four month old puppy with me and approached Joshua with the idea of applying the same principles to dogs.
What is your training and background?
I am a concert pianist with a performance degree from Juilliard. My love of dogs peaked my interest in using my musical talent to help improve the lives of dogs.
Are there some musical instruments more suited for soothing dogs?
While every dog is different, piano, guitar, and harp are most conducive to calming dogs.
Do you have a favorite composer for calming canine music?
It’s not really about the composer as much as the melody and the psychoacoustic arrangement.
Some dogs are more excitable than others, do you recommend different music for different kinds of dogs?
For calming dogs, I recommend simplified, solo instrument compositions.
Do you have music for different situations, i.e. fireworks, thunderstorms, leaf blowers?
Yes. In fact, from July 19th to the 25th, we’re offering a Thunder-Remedy special http://archive.
Sounds interesting, what exactly is the Calm Your Canine series?
The Calm your Canine Companion http://throughadogsear.com/calm-your-canine-series/
music series helps to relieve any canine anxiety issue. It’s best to play it first when your dog is already calm. Bedtime is usually good, as it makes people sleepy too. After a few days of playing it at a calm time, then introduce the music during a time that your dog is anxious.
Also, The Canine Noise Phobia Series http://throughadogsear.com/canine-noise-phobia-series/
includes progressive desensitization sounds (fireworks, thunderstorms, city sounds) combined with the calming music and positive reinforcement training protocol written by Victoria Stilwell, the famed trainer of Animal Planet’s “It’s Me or the Dog”.
Does this music also calm children and adults? How about other pets?
Yes, parents love it too and often play it to help themselves and their children fall asleep. We are working on music for other species.
I’m sold! Where can we buy the CDs and books from “Through A Dog’s Ear?”
All of our music and the book is available at
Thank you Lisa!