Dogs in animal shelters are subjected to a number of stressors during their stay, including barking which can reach 120 dB. Music has been suggested as a way to reduce this stress, however, the properties of music that result in reduced stress behavior have not been examined. An affective response to music, like that found in humans, is unlikely due to human higher cognitive function. Masking, reducing the magnitude of volume change with the presence of another sound, is one property that may be responsible for this observed stress reduction.
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