ALL is calm in the kennels of an animal rescue centre thanks to "The Hound of Music".

A soothing soundtrack of piano music is being played on a loop to the classical-loving canines at Kapellan, near Grayrigg.

The musical mutts at the Wainwright Shelter are now so soothed and laidback, staff say the kennels are 90 per cent quieter than a year ago.


In fact the trial of the "Relax My Dog" CD has been such "a huge success", said animal care manager Ruth Knowles, it may also be introduced to the catteries.

"We started trying it at the beginning of the year and it's made a huge difference to the noise levels in the kennels, and to the anxiety and stress that the dogs feel," said Ruth. "It just relaxes them."

She explained: "It's a specific CD because Classic FM has some music that's a bit too upbeat, so it's specifically made for dogs to listen to."

Kapellan, run by Animal Rescue Cumbria, was a cause dear to the heart of Alfred Wainwright, fellwalker and author. AW was the charity's chairman and benefactor. At present it is home to 13 dogs and 25 cats awaiting new homes.

Ruth said the dogs respond very differently to the pop music that staff play for themselves while cleaning the kennels. "The dogs get quite excited, but if you put something on that's quite slow and soothing they literally lie down in their beds and listen to it - it's quite surprising.

"The noise levels are completely different; our vet's noticed when she comes. Generally the kennel environment is really, really noisy but I could go and walk through now and I doubt the dogs would even bark.

"It's made probably a 90 per cent change, apart from with new dogs that are coming in. After a few days to a week, depending on the dog, it all quietens down. You've really got to see it to believe it."

Ruth also credits the use of enrichment feeders and toys such as the Kong - whereby the dogs have to use their brains to work out puzzles and mazes to reach their dry biscuits and meat - for helping to create calmer kennels. The more relaxed the canines are, the more receptive they are to training prior to being rehomed, she told the Gazette.

"Instead of breakfast and teatime taking a minute, it will take half an hour by the time they are finished," said Ruth. "They are not gulping food down and they engage their brain. It just seems to make them a lot happier and a lot calmer."

For more about the Wainwright Shelter, visit