It starts with an elegiac sweep of strings softly playing in a minor key – before chirruping into birdsong and then back to ambient strings.
This continues for 12 hours.
To the untrained ear this may sound like one of the sleep playlists that have gained popularity in recent years but the human ear is not the intended audience for this music – it is for dogs.
For embedded within this relaxing (or maddening) muzak are canine-friendly frequencies to help reduce stress or separation anxiety.
Far from being a novelty – dog-oriented music is fast becoming a successful new genre with the production company RelaxMyDog at the forefront of the trend.
Founded in 2011 by entrepreneur Amman Ahmed and producer Ricardo Henriquez the service reaches an audience of 10 million users a month: 600 years’ worth of their content was streamed in September alone.
One such piece of feedback was that dogs were responding well to reggae music – which has led to a new series of dog reggae.
This finding is backed up by a 2017 study conducted by the Scottish SPCA and the University of Glasgow.
The research found that while classical music had an initial calming effect on the dogs after a few days they became bored.
Instead reggae and soft rock came out as the best genres for reducing stress – barking and heart rates.
The SPCA’s head of research Gilly Mendes Ferreira speculates this is because ‘those genres have a rhythm that is similar to the dogs’ own heart rate.
When a puppy is feeling stressed it will snuggle into its mother and use her heartbeat as relaxation – so this music mimics that’.
Taking the research one step further the SPCA last year collaborated with the producer John McLaughlin – best known for his work with Westlife – Blue and 5ive – to create Paws, Play, Relax – a charitable record designed for dogs.
‘A lot of people I’m sure thought this project was barking mad but it made total sense to me’ McLaughlin says.
‘Dogs need to be entertained just like humans and everybody likes a bit of reggae don’t they?’
McLaughlin even wrote lyrics from the perspective of dogs – resulting in love ballad lines such as: ‘I was barely holding on / But I knew you were the only one / From the moment I saw you’.