Friday, 02 November 2018 06:06

VIDEO: No shaggy dog story as Audible for Dogs launches for canine calming


When you're not home, does your dog get into a tailspin chasing its tail? If so, Audible for Dogs offers a range of soothing tales for our four legged friends.

Amazon's Audible has rolled out an impressive new feature: Audible for Dogs, a curated selection of audiobooks chosen for their canine calming appeal, all borne from study finding "listening to audiobooks makes dogs left at home happier and more relaxed".

You might think it a shaggy dog story, but it's true, with the collected "curated in collaboration with dog-lover, Osher Günsberg, and animal behaviourist, Dr Susan Hazel".

Inspired by an independent study by Hartpury College in the UK, the study "suggests listening to audiobooks can positively influence kennelled dogs’ behaviour, spending less time alert and more time resting compared to other audio influences like music", with the study entitled "The effects of audiobooks on the behaviour of dogs at a rehoming kennels (Nov 2015)".

Audible reminds us that "it’s no secret Aussies love their pets, with 38% of households taking ownership of the 4.8 million pet dogs in Australia.

"While we spend a whopping $12.2 billion on our pets each year, we’re busier than ever, and our dogs spend more time in the home than 50 years ago, often only able to socialise at assigned walking times.

"That’s ruff!", says the company, noting that its "Audible for Dogs collection has been designed to give pet owners peace-of-mind and keep their precious pups company with the comforting sound of the human voice".

As noted above, Audible worked with "Dr Susan Hazel and Osher Günsberg to curate the Audible for Dogs collection, chosen for their calming narration, evenly paced narrative, and length to cover a full workday away from home.

"Selections include Jane Austen’sPride and Prejudice narrated by Rosamund Pike, Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield narrated by Richard Armitage, and Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, narrated by Rachel McAdams.

"Selected audiobooks from the curated collection have been bundled together, so dog-lovers can choose a Classics collection for high-brow canines, or an Aussie collection for their true-blue heelers."

Here's the launch video with Osher Günsberg and his delightful dog, with the article continuing below, please read on!

With the Hartpury College research also suggesting "a narrator whose gender, accent and tone are similar to the primary owners may contribute to calmer canine behaviour", below are some of the selections.

These include: "Australian audiobooks Cloudstreet by Tim Winton, narrated by Peter Hosking, and Kerry Greenwood’s The Spotted Dog, narrated by Jennifer Vuletic, were also included, along with Osher Günsberg and his precious wedding-ring-bearer pup, Frankie’s favourite, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien and narrated by Rob Inglis.

"The research shows audiobooks can potentially increase the likelihood of rehoming kennelled dogs, so to celebrate Audible for Dogs, Audible has partnered with the Sydney Dogs and Cats Home.

"Audiobooks from the Audible for Dogs collection are being played for their rescue dogs, who may find the shelter environment stressful.

"From today until 2 November 2019, Audible will donate $1 per purchase of any audiobook in the Audible for Dogs collection to the Sydney Dogs and Cats Home, up to a maximum donation of $10,000."

Dr Susan Hazel, Senior Lecturer, Animal Behaviour, Welfare & Ethics, from University of Adelaide said: “Recent research suggests listening to audiobooks can reduce high-stress indicators such as barking, howling, pacing or standing in kennelled dogs.

"Humans have selected canine companions over thousands of years based on those that like being with people the most. Which now means they may not like it when we leave them alone. For some dogs, audiobooks may be helpful when an owner is not at home, providing a calming human voice.”

Osher Günsberg, host of reality TV franchise, The Bachelor Australia, said: “I’m passionate about mental health, and that extends to my dog, Frankie’s, wellbeing too.

"I’m stoked to partner with Audible to bring spoken-word entertainment to Aussie dogs to help keep them company when we’re out and about.

"I feel more at ease knowing Frankie is in the company of specially curated audiobooks chosen for their calm and even narration. Lately, I've been leaving him listening to The Lord of the Rings which, he seems to enjoy.”

Leanne Cartwright-Bradford, country manager of Audible Australia, said: “Move over dog-eared books – we’re excited to bring Audible for Dogs to Australian dog owners, harnessing the power of spoken word entertainment to help provide comfort to our dogs.

"There are so many ways our customers use Audible, from listening while commuting, to doing the housework, relaxing at home or exercising at the gym, and now keeping their dogs company when owners aren’t at home.”

Faith Harrsen, marketing manager, Sydney Dogs and Cats Home, said: “Many of our rescue dogs find the shelter environment stressful, and we’ve found having a familiar voice and tone playing daily from the Audible for Dogs collection has contributed to a more calming space.

"Aladdin, currently our longest-term doggy resident, has been listening to Sherlock Holmes narrated by Stephen Fry, along with our other kennelled dogs.

"He can be reactive, barking as other dogs pass his kennel, but our team of behaviourists have observed that when the audiobook is playing it appears to distract him and he usually listens quietly and calmly, which has been wonderful to note.”

With a 30-day membership trial, new listeners can enjoy one free audiobook, including any one of the specially curated Audible for Dogs collection at

Here's more detail on how to get et Audible for Dogs for your canine companion.

"Dog owners can purchase an Audible for Dogs audiobook bundle for $19.99 each, or 1 credit if you’re an Audible member, until 31 December 2018. Audible membership is $16.45 per month and renews automatically. Cancel anytime."

Audible for Dogs: The Classic Collection

Some of our favourite narrators bring these classics to life, including Rosamund Pike’s reading of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, and Richard Armitage’s interpretation of Charles Dicken’s David Copperfield. The enthralling narration will keep your pup entertained for hours.

1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, narrated by Rosamund Pike 
2. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens, narrated by Richard Armitage 
3. Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery, narrated by Rachel McAdams 
4. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, narrated by Jake Gyllenhaal 

Audible for Dogs: The Aussie Collection

Give your dog some home-grown Aussie stories about brilliant and inspiring Australian lives, including their canine companions. This bundle includes the classic dog tale Red Dog, Tim Winton’s drama Cloudstreet, and a cunning crime tale, The Spotted Dog, by Kerry Greenwood.

1. Cloudstreet by Tim Winton, narrated by Peter Hosking 
2. Red Dog by Louis de Bernieres, narrated by David Field 
3. Working Dog Heroes by Steve Austin, narrated by David Tredinnick 
4. The Spotted Dog by Kerry Greenwood, narrated by Jennifer Vuletic 

Audiobooks in the full Audible for Dogs collection:

1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, narrated by Rosamund Pike
2. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens, narrated by Richard Armitage
3. Sherlock Holmes: The Definitive Collection by Arthur Conan Doyle, narrated by Stephen Fry
4. Cloudstreet by Tim Winton, narrated by Peter Hosking
5. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty, narrated by Caroline Lee
6. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien, narrated by Rob Inglis 
7. Tracks by Robyn Davidson, narrated by Angie Milliken 
8. How Dogs Love Us by Gregory Berns, narrated by LJ Ganser 
9. Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? By Frans de Waal, narrated by Sean Runnette 
10. Greenlight by Benjamin Stevenson, narrated by Rupert Degas 
11. Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery, narrated by Rachel McAdams
12. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, narrated by Jake Gyllenhaal
13. Red Dog by Louis de Bernieres, narrated by David Field
14. Working Dog Heroes by Steve Austin, narrated by David Tredinnick
15. The Spotted Dog by Kerry Greenwood, narrated by Jennifer Vuletic


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.



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