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dog howling at concertinas

The Sandman 07 Jan 07 - 02:14 PM
Zany Mouse 07 Jan 07 - 02:21 PM
Ruth Archer 07 Jan 07 - 02:25 PM
nutty 07 Jan 07 - 04:01 PM
elfcape 07 Jan 07 - 04:32 PM
Little Robyn 07 Jan 07 - 04:36 PM
Skivee 07 Jan 07 - 04:57 PM
Seamus Kennedy 07 Jan 07 - 05:18 PM
Metchosin 07 Jan 07 - 06:12 PM
Barb'ry 07 Jan 07 - 07:26 PM
JennieG 07 Jan 07 - 07:41 PM
gnomad 07 Jan 07 - 07:43 PM
Little Hawk 07 Jan 07 - 07:51 PM
GUEST, Topsie 07 Jan 07 - 08:05 PM
Bob Bolton 07 Jan 07 - 08:11 PM
terrier 07 Jan 07 - 08:18 PM
Metchosin 07 Jan 07 - 08:41 PM
Malcolm Douglas 07 Jan 07 - 08:41 PM
Metchosin 07 Jan 07 - 08:55 PM
GUEST,Ancient Briton 08 Jan 07 - 03:32 AM
Gurney 08 Jan 07 - 04:02 AM
Ruth Archer 08 Jan 07 - 04:10 AM
GUEST,Philippa 08 Jan 07 - 07:10 AM
Scrump 08 Jan 07 - 09:18 AM
Scoville 08 Jan 07 - 09:22 AM
Sooz 08 Jan 07 - 12:11 PM
Scoville 08 Jan 07 - 12:27 PM
GUEST,jimlad (Guest) 08 Jan 07 - 01:49 PM
Rowan 08 Jan 07 - 04:51 PM
Becca72 08 Jan 07 - 07:16 PM
beetle cat 08 Jan 07 - 09:14 PM
fogie 09 Jan 07 - 05:39 AM
Mo the caller 09 Jan 07 - 06:23 AM
terrier 09 Jan 07 - 06:54 PM
GUEST,Jim 10 Jan 07 - 06:07 PM
GUEST,leeneia 10 Jan 07 - 11:54 PM
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Subject: dog howling at concertinas
From: The Sandman
Date: 07 Jan 07 - 02:14 PM

my dog howls at anglo concertinas, but not english concertinas.
are there any dog experts out there, who can explain this dog in the manger attitude.www.dickmiles.com


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Subject: RE: dog howling at concertinas
From: Zany Mouse
Date: 07 Jan 07 - 02:21 PM

I'm no expert but I have had dogs as part of my family for most of my life. Certain notes can trigger reactions of various types. Maybe the quality of the notes on an Anglo are unpleasant on his ears? Try him with other instruments. Maybe it is only one or two notes on the Anglo that acts as a trigger.

Rhiannon


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Subject: RE: dog howling at concertinas
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 07 Jan 07 - 02:25 PM

Our dog used to go out and sing with the church bells during bell-ringing practice in our village.

I don't know how that's relevant, except that JHohn Kirkpatrick does that thing where he whizzes the concertina round his head to replicate the sound of church bells.


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Subject: RE: dog howling at concertinas
From: nutty
Date: 07 Jan 07 - 04:01 PM

My dog is a music lover who only howls when I'm singing. He really believes that he is joining in and can sometimes be encouraged to finish a song solo after I have started him off.

In his younger days he was a regular folk club attendee and the only thing he has ever taken exception to was a set of french bagpipes - not because they made a strange sound but because the owner had dressed them to look like a sheep.


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Subject: RE: dog howling at concertinas
From: elfcape
Date: 07 Jan 07 - 04:32 PM

My cats get terribly upset around a concertina - the come running up to me with this amazing pained expreession in their faces and try to get me to stop playing.

The free reed sounds, especially the overtones, must hurt their ears.


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Subject: RE: dog howling at concertinas
From: Little Robyn
Date: 07 Jan 07 - 04:36 PM

I used to have a little dog that 'sang' if anyone played a mouth organ. He seemed to love it and would come running to join in.
He also howled when the fire engine came past with the siren going. I'm sure he enjoyed it - he seemed to smile afterwards.
Robyn


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Subject: RE: dog howling at concertinas
From: Skivee
Date: 07 Jan 07 - 04:57 PM

This is a true story. Only the names were changed to protect the dog.
Many years back I was in a band with a concertina player, "Bob". I also had a friend ,"Linda", who had two German Shepards. They were both "rescued dogs". One of them was "Henry", a pretty twitchy dog, but he and I got along well. I would wrestle him and taunt him in ways we both found amusing. Henry had previously been abused and my goofing around with him was a stratagy to get him to relate to people again.
Linda was having a party at her place and she asked us to play. It was a big party, with two other bands. We asked Linda if we could go someplace to warm up before playing. She sent us up to her bedroom
and we started practicing.
During a brief break in our practice Henry came up to visit and get away from the party noise; he sat down near me. I started noticing that as the concertina playing went on, Henry's ears were drawing back some.
I asked Bob to stop playing for a bit. He said as he continued to play,"No, We were here first. if he doesn't like it, he can leave."
Henry's ears pulled back more...a canine was beginning to show. Bob played on. I asked Bob to stop again. He refused again.
More teeth were revealed. Henry's shoulders were starting to hunch up. I told Bob that he really should stop playing...right now. As he was refusing again and continueing to play with volume and fury, Henry jumped up and bit ME !!!
Bob finally stopped playing.
Henry didn't break the skin, but he left some pretty good marks on my ankle.
We banished Henry and went back to practice.
I now understand why Henry bit me. He was saying in "Dog", "please make him Stop That Freakin' Noise Before I Rip That Doofus's Throat Out!!!"
To sum up: Yes, I believe that dogs can have unusual reactions to concertinas.
PS, this was an English. I would frequently feel pressure in my ears from it while we played in closed spaces.
My theory is that the reeds can produce an ultrasonic overtone that is painful. This probably could be produced by either style of box.


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Subject: RE: dog howling at concertinas
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 07 Jan 07 - 05:18 PM

My dog used to sing along with me when I played the harmonica.

It wasn't a howl of pain, but it sounded similar to a wolf or coyote howl.
At least I think he was singing.

Seamus


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Subject: RE: dog howling at concertinas
From: Metchosin
Date: 07 Jan 07 - 06:12 PM

Our eldest daughter, when she visits, has been trying for a number of years to get our young Westie to sing with her, like our dear departed old dog used to. She didn't have much luck. He would occasionally let out a bit of a yowl, but seemed to get really self conscious and quit after a note or two.

Just before Christmas, I was playing a recording of her singing Puccini's O Mio Bambino Caro, for a friend and when it came on, Duff's ears perked up, he raised his head, let out a few notes and then burst into full throated song. He sang for the whole recording. It was a wonderous thing to hear and so unexpected it gave us all tears and goosebumps.

I guess with some dogs, in order to sing, their longing has to over rule their self conciousness.

Concerinas make me howl too.

But if you really want to go way beyond howling, try playing a didgeridoo in a room full of dogs. The gnashing of teeth is quite something to behold. Sort of hard on the instrument though.


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Subject: RE: dog howling at concertinas
From: Barb'ry
Date: 07 Jan 07 - 07:26 PM

Our last dog used to howl when we played english concertina. He didn't 'sing along' to any other instrument or when we sang. Maybe he had good taste!!
The cats leave the room when we put any sort of folk music on, but they belong to our daughters...


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Subject: RE: dog howling at concertinas
From: JennieG
Date: 07 Jan 07 - 07:41 PM

Lovely story Susan!

Our family cats have always tolerated our son playing drums, but they run for the hills (and there aren't any hills 'round here) when he hits the cymbals. Must be the metallic sound they don't like.

Have to say I agree with them.

Cheers
JennieG


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Subject: RE: dog howling at concertinas
From: gnomad
Date: 07 Jan 07 - 07:43 PM

Some time in the sixties our family took a holiday in a rented cottage in Sutherland [UK] while the cottage owners were in another, older, cottage about 1/4 mile away. As soon as my Dad played his flute their collie would erupt from the other cottage, and charge up the lane to "join in" outside our window.

Recorders, fife, and fiddle produced no reaction.

I think the dog enjoyed it, he was free to leave after all, but his idea of a tune wasn't ours.


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Subject: RE: dog howling at concertinas
From: Little Hawk
Date: 07 Jan 07 - 07:51 PM

Dogs are descended from wolves and similar wolf-like animals, and all wolves (and coyotes) simply LOVE to howl. It's their way of singing. Dogs, likewise, love to howl. They do it to express many emotions (usually positive ones, but sometimes when they are mourning).

When a dog howls along with a musical instrument it's almost always because he loves the sound and wants to join in. Very occasionally it's because he doesn't like the sound, but in that case he is likely to run away from the source of the sound, not approach it.

Almost all dogs enjoy howling along with the harmonica, in my experience...as well as with police and ambulance sirens.

The dogs in Trinidad, where there are thousands and thousands of street dogs outside in any community, will all join in a communal howl at certain times of the night for as long as half a minute at a time, and it's a simply amazing thing to hear.


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Subject: RE: dog howling at concertinas
From: GUEST, Topsie
Date: 07 Jan 07 - 08:05 PM

My cat gets very emotional if I play the concertina.
Dogs do seem to enjoy singing along, and if they are familiar with the tune their voice will go up and down in the right places.


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Subject: RE: dog howling at concertinas
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 07 Jan 07 - 08:11 PM

G'day,

An old friend, Ralph, has been palying fiddle for almost as long as the "folk revival" has existed in Australia. Many years back he had a Basenji, a dog that is closer to the wild dog / 'dingo' class than the long-domesticated dogs. (The Basenji doesn't bark, but howls ... and can climb trees and fences, because it has retractable claws that stay sharp - as do other wild dogs.)

Whenever Ralph decided to practice fiddle ... his Basenji would hear the very first notes and come running from wherever he was, sit at Ralph's feet, throw his head back ... and howl along! We figured the sound evoked race-memories of the ancestral Basenjis howling on the African veldt ... and there was no persuading him out of it! (Come to think of it, that must have been around the time Ralph started borrowing the Bush Music Club premises for music and PA-setup practice!)

Captain birdseye's dog obviously associates the specific sounds of the English constant screamer with the captain himself, as leader of the local pack (the dog, the captain ... and any other English system visitors) and wants in on the session.

Regard(les)s,

Bob


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Subject: RE: dog howling at concertinas
From: terrier
Date: 07 Jan 07 - 08:18 PM

Dogs around humans get used to human noises i.e. speech, even singing. But when we introduce a foreign noise such as playing a musical instrument, us canines can react in some strange ways. Remember, dogs and cats 'hear' differently to humans. For a start, canines and felines have a much wider audio range from humans. Where
humans create and live with a lot of noise, their brains 'block out' a lot of the unwanted sound. Dogs and cats are relatively quiet compared to humans and for good reasons. If an animal is hunting, the noisiest animal can become the hunted. So the brains of non human animals 'block' very little of the audio spectrum. How many people have have said "my dog can hear my car coming from half a mile away". This is not just the dogs increased sensitivity to sound pressure (volume) but also its audible range. The dog can hear a lot more of the 'sound' than the human. So the sound that humans hear when an automobile approaches is probably nothing like what the dog or cat hears. Most small animal road kill is not because the animals wander about in the road all the time, but because as the vehicle gets closer, the animal becomes confused because of the increasing
noise level, then panic causes it to flee the oncoming danger. The animal can run faster in an open space and unfortunately, that space will probably be the open road.
Why did Skivee get bitten when sombody else was playing concertina? The noise was putting the dog at a disadvantage and causing the dog to worry: not knowing the 'pecking order' in the room, the dog decided to 'warn' Skivee of the impending danger. Flutes and whistles make some strange confusing sounds to dogs. A few puppy litters ago, I was playing flute and became aware of scuffling sound from the 'nursery'. When I looked in on the bitch with her two week old puppies, she was frantically running round the room searching for her 'lost' puppy in distress. I stopped playing and she settled again. Quite a few of the dogs will sing along with live music but very seldom will a dog respond to 'canned' music. The music on CD or radio is cleaned up sound and nothing like 'live' sound. The bits of the noise from that concertina that Skivee couldn't hear where probably blasting the dog's eardrums, but a CD of concertina music probably would not bother it. So why don't the dogs run away from the sounds they don't like? Because they are natural hunters. It's safer to stay and fight now than become the hunted later on.
Every morning, our eldest Terrierist, Megan, sits in the middle of the yard and begins to 'sing'. One by one the rest of the pack join in. It's a lovely sound to hear them doing roll call. All present and alive.

:o) T.


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Subject: RE: dog howling at concertinas
From: Metchosin
Date: 07 Jan 07 - 08:41 PM

Thanks Jennie.

Well I don't know about CD's being too cleaned up, Duff definitely responded to a CD recording.

On the other hand, Old Wort was a bit particular. Although he would sing with our daughter live or recorded on any media, the only other singer he was interested in was Leontyne Price. The latter was on a vinyl recording, maybe that's why. Although he didn't care much for Kiri or Maria Callas at all, even on vinyl. I can understand his aversion to Callas, quite often she was off key.


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Subject: RE: dog howling at concertinas
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 07 Jan 07 - 08:41 PM

As has already been mentioned, free reeds in particular (but other instruments also) produce harmonics and other 'overtones' that are perfectly audible to dogs and cats, though we can't hear them. An old cat of mine used to behave in exactly the way 'elfscape' describes. He'd even come back into the house from the end of the garden in order to get me to stop playing. The concertina in question was an elderly and rather poor Salvation Army system duet, which won't have helped; but he had no problem with any other instrument, and he certainly encountered a wide range over the years.

A later cat had similar problems with violins, no matter how good -or bad- the instrument or player, but reacted not at all on the (by then) very rare occasions when the concertina came out. He'd exit the house at speed if anybody even made to open a fiddle case; but was perfectly happy to sleep in the case if he came in and found it unoccupied.

Neither cat ever took exception to recorded music.

Even if I played one I wouldn't inflict a didgeridoo on an animal, but whether the problem there is ear-piercing harmonics or gut-churning subsonics I can't begin to guess. You'd need to check with an elephant.


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Subject: RE: dog howling at concertinas
From: Metchosin
Date: 07 Jan 07 - 08:55 PM

Well the dogs survived OK, but the didge had a few scars. I have no idea how sensitive dogs ears are to sub sonic stuff. My husband is certain that he killed our daughters' guinea pig when they were little, though. He was wailing away on electric guitar in the same room as the cage, one night and when we got up in the morning the guinea pig was toast. He felt sick about it for years.


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Subject: RE: dog howling at concertinas
From: GUEST,Ancient Briton
Date: 08 Jan 07 - 03:32 AM

My 2 terriers sing along together to "those endearing charms" when played on wife's piano box. They also howl in protest when I play more than one note at a time on my button box, but the Jack Russel listens to recordings of box players - he curls up and goes to sleep in front of the speakers.


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Subject: RE: dog howling at concertinas
From: Gurney
Date: 08 Jan 07 - 04:02 AM

Mine too, AB. All the cats and one dog hate my Latchenal, which is in Sally Army pitch (nearly) but ignore recordings, even of the same concertina.
The dog regarded it as another, and probably dangerous, animal. Shades of Les Barker's poem 'Arnold.'


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Subject: RE: dog howling at concertinas
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 08 Jan 07 - 04:10 AM

We always assumed our dog Sammy's singing with the church bells was an enjoyable experience for him - he'd leg it out to the garden as soon as the first chime went up, sit on the top step and howl away. If the front door was shut, he'd become agitated and scratch at it, and come and get us so that we'd open it for him. I was always wothwhile having guests around on a Tuesday evening to witness his performance.


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Subject: RE: dog howling at concertinas
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 08 Jan 07 - 07:10 AM

My two dogs don't pay much heed to my playing fiddle or dulcimer or a friend playing guitar, flute or tin whistle. Sometimes they try to lick my face if I suddenly start singing. I have met dogs that do howl along with a fiddle, however. I agree with people who have written that sometimes when dogs join in, they are enjoying themselves rather than indicating displeasure. I think if they were annoyed they'd be more likely to either go and hide or to growl and/or bark.

One year at the Willie Clancy week in Miltown Malbay we met a very talented dog who would sing along when my late friend Alex played harmonica. The dog stopped and started along with the music and varied his pitch appropriately, even to the extent, I thought, of straining his voice. It did seem to me that he was trying to join in and sing along and when the music stopped he would sit and wait expectantly for more.

My dogs don't pay much attention to tv unless they hear other dogs. Sometimes they howl in response, which is quite amazing. One dog starts, the other responds and it escalates from there - with a variety of pitches - until my fascination gives way to my fear of complaints from the neighbours and I tell the dogs to shut up.

It would be interesting to hear more about how the Anglo and English concertinas sound different from each other and whether other dogs show the same discrimination as Capt. Birdseye's dog does.


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Subject: RE: dog howling at concertinas
From: Scrump
Date: 08 Jan 07 - 09:18 AM

Our cat seems to dislike any kind of instrument, especially stringed ones - he will exit the room if I even pick up a guitar. Our previous cat didn't seem to mind my playing at all, so I was a bit put out the first time I played the guitar in front of the current cat - I thought it was my technique he was criticising :-)

As an experiment soon afterwards I picked up a banjo and the same happened - this time I didn't have to play a note! Now I find, that even if the cat appears to be sound asleep in his little basket in the corner of the room, as soon as I pick up a guitar, without playing a note, he'll be wide awake in an instant and dash out of the room :-(

I guess I could try picking up a tennis racket to see if that has any effect :-)

It's a shame, because I sometimes don't play the guitar when the cat's around, as I don't like to upset him!

Anyway, I'm glad to find out it's not just my cat - I just wish ours could learn to at least tolerate my playing. As others have said above, he doesn't seem to mind recorded music (even my own!)


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Subject: RE: dog howling at concertinas
From: Scoville
Date: 08 Jan 07 - 09:22 AM

Our old dog only howled to "Happy Birthday" (probably because it's always sung off-key). Or if we howled with him.

Current dog doesn't howl but asks to go outside the instant she sees me pick up the fiddle.


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Subject: RE: dog howling at concertinas
From: Sooz
Date: 08 Jan 07 - 12:11 PM

My dog howls along to my melodion, English concertina and a variety of whistles. I have suggested it is because she doesn't know the words but everyone else points to the quality of my playing. (She doesn't howl to a recording of John Kirkpatrick so they may be right!)


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Subject: RE: dog howling at concertinas
From: Scoville
Date: 08 Jan 07 - 12:27 PM

Mine knows the words but can't pronounce them clearly. (Mine knows freakin' EVERYTHING if you ask her . . .)


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Subject: RE: dog howling at concertinas
From: GUEST,jimlad (Guest)
Date: 08 Jan 07 - 01:49 PM

Our two dogs Matthew and Duncan have preformed together for years and can howl/sing to many instruments from Apallachian Harp to Zither. They have just released a CD called 'Hotel California the Best of The Beagles'


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Subject: RE: dog howling at concertinas
From: Rowan
Date: 08 Jan 07 - 04:51 PM

I've had a few dogs accompany me on various anglos but not on button accordions, melodions nor mouth organs. They're all free reeds and thus will produce a rather square wave but the super harmonics will probably vary with the variations in quality of reed and its fit in the frame. But the dogs may also give me quizzical look, as though they're trying to work out which tune I'm playing, or whether they can fit their own words to it.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: dog howling at concertinas
From: Becca72
Date: 08 Jan 07 - 07:16 PM

The Beagle we had when I was a kid was quite upset when my father decided to try to teach himself the banjo. From what I've read about here, though, maybe he actually enjoyed it, but it sure sounded like he wanted it to stop. He'd throw his head back and hoooowl.

I played the clarinet all through middle and high school (I was 2nd chair 1st clarinet so I know I was pretty good) and I had a dog who would stick her snout up the end of the clarinet. Not sure if she was objecting or trying to find out where the sound was coming from.

Finally, my sister has a pug who will "sing" if you coax him with a really obnoxious, high pitched screetching "song" of your own.


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Subject: RE: dog howling at concertinas
From: beetle cat
Date: 08 Jan 07 - 09:14 PM

My dad and I both play English concertina. Whenever my dad plays, our dog sits at attention, staring at him till he stops, giving him that "please take me for a walk" look. I don't have quite the same effect on her. In our case, I think that it the style of playing that makes the difference. I play more mellow slow harmonious things, while dad is somewhat of a beginner who plays shanties.


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Subject: RE: dog howling at concertinas
From: fogie
Date: 09 Jan 07 - 05:39 AM

Now my dog (a 3-legged dalmation) will always howl if I play mouth organ, but wont if I play melodeon. However a couple of years ago I tried to learn the trombone and this evoked abject terror. She got out the house and ran off down the road. Any sort of trumpeting noise startles her. She cant cope with trombones or tubas, and ran away while I was playing at a street fair when a tuba joined in. It must rattle their ear drums something horrible!


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Subject: RE: dog howling at concertinas
From: Mo the caller
Date: 09 Jan 07 - 06:23 AM

My daughter has just got a kitten that was brought up to the sound of music ( mostly recorders). We had our session at her house last week (so that it's ex-'mum' could see it) and it spent most of its time charging around and winding in and out the legs of the music stands, but an amazing half hour asleep on my lap while I blew down my descant.
my cat has got used to it now but used to attack my feet while I played, wouldn't leave the room even if the door was open.


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Subject: RE: dog howling at concertinas
From: terrier
Date: 09 Jan 07 - 06:54 PM

I've just read all your posts to Megan terrier and she thinks you're all nuts. :0)
When I sing at home, she just quietly takes herself off to another room......she knows she can sing better than any mere HUMAN.
When the new puppies are old enough to walk, I like to stand the guitar up on end,the nosey pups will gather round to have a look what it is. I then gently strum the strings. After the first fright they push their little noses onto the sound board to feel the vibrations and wag their tails like fury.


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Subject: RE: dog howling at concertinas
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 10 Jan 07 - 06:07 PM

My son has had to give up playing the mouth harp because of his dog's reaction to it. When he brought his dog to our place at Christmas, I put on a Willie P. Bennett recording and he howled at the songs with mouth harp in them.
I think it's a fairly common problem among dog owners. Listen to Uncle Charlie and His Dog Teddy by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.


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Subject: RE: dog howling at concertinas
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 10 Jan 07 - 11:54 PM

I'm impressed with the variety of reactions that animals show. I have this to contribute.

One day, years ago, we had a number of friends over with their instruments. I remember guitar, banjo, and recorder. Maybe a mandoline. At the time, I was taking care of a friend's two cats as well as my own. After we had been playing an hour or more, a guest called our attention to the cats - they had spaced themselves on chairs, 120 degrees apart and were listening to the music with their paws tucked under their chests.

However, when my cat was staying at a friend's house one weekend, she objected seriously to the playing of Beethoven's Appasionata. (sp) It must have been too loud, because she would run and bounce on the hardwood floor, stiff-legged, so as to make as much noise as possible. People who don't know cats say things like "If she doesn't like it, she can leave" but such people don't know cats. A cat has to be in charge!


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