Audible.com today announced the release of Audible for Dogs, an audio content destination designed to foster calm, relaxed behavior in dogs. Developed in collaboration with Cesar Millan, Audible for Dogs provides dog owners and caregivers peace of mind when leaving their dogs at home alone, knowing the dog will have the comfort of a human voice. Featuring Cesar Millan’s Guide to Audiobooks for Dogs, an original piece of content written and narrated by Millan—available free at launch—in addition to a curated rotating selection of audiobook titles with personalized introductions from Millan about their canine appeal, Audible for Dogs is available at audible.com/dogs.
“I learned from Cesar that our energy is important to the way a dog responds, so if I’m agitated because I’m feeling guilty about leaving, he’s going to feel that. Leaving Buddy at home with an audiobook to keep him company relieves my guilt and gives me peace of mind.”
Inspired by a 2015 independent academic study showing that listening to audiobooks outperformed music in reducing stress in canines, Audible teamed up with Millan to further examine the benefits of listening to audiobooks for dogs. In subsequent research with 100 dog participants, conducted in partnership with Cesar Millan’s Dog Psychology Center, 76% of dog owners who played audiobooks for their dogs reported an increase in calm, relaxed behavior in their pets over a four-week period. Dogs responded best to narrators of the same gender as their primary owner, played at average volume on an in-home listening device. Moreover, owners who keep their dog enclosed in one room or in a crate while they are away from home observed the same behavior and energy levels in their dogs as did owners whose dogs had free roam of the house or in an enclosed yard.
“Dogs are social animals, so they need to engage with someone and the purpose of Audible for Dogs is to make dogs feel there is someone with them. The person performing the audiobook is actually keeping your dog calm and taking the dog to a resting state, acting as an extension of you,” said Millan. “I’m excited to work with Audible to continue my mission of educating people on how to foster a calm, happy dog the right way.”
“I would always feel guilty about leaving my dog, Buddy, alone, but with Audible for Dogs, I felt like I was leaving him with a friend,” said Leslie, a study participant. “I learned from Cesar that our energy is important to the way a dog responds, so if I’m agitated because I’m feeling guilty about leaving, he’s going to feel that. Leaving Buddy at home with an audiobook to keep him company relieves my guilt and gives me peace of mind.”
“There are dozens of ways in which our customers use Audible—they listen while commuting, running, gardening, cooking, doing house work. We believe we have found another fun and important use case for Audible, addressing anxiety of dogs and their owners when they are separated,” said Audible Chief Content Officer Andy Gaies. “Your dog will never wax poetic about Rosamund Pike’s nuanced performance of Pride and Prejudice, but you will return home to a calmer, happier best friend.”
Each curated title by Millan features a special video introduction from Cesar himself. The titles at launch are: Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood performed by Trevor Noah, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice performed by Rosamund Pike, W. Bruce Cameron’s A Dog’s Purpose performed by William Dufris, Garth Stein’s The Art of Racing in the Rain performed by Christopher Evan Welch, Maria Goodavage’s Soldier Dogs: The Untold Story of America’s Canine Heroes performed by Nicole Vilencia, and Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows performed by Shelly Frasier.
Millan is also emphasizing the benefits of audiobooks to dogs recently adopted from animal shelters. Audible for Dogs includes an additional Millan audio original, Cesar Millan’s Guide to Bringing Home a Shelter Dog, also available as a free download. Through 2017, Audible will donate a dime per download of Cesar Millan’s Guide to Bringing Home a Shelter Dog to North Shore Animal League America, the world’s largest no-kill rescue and adoption organization, up to a total donation of $250,000.
Millan, widely known for his internationally acclaimed hit series, “Cesar Millan’s Dog Nation,” and as host of both “Cesar 911” and Emmy-nominated “Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan,” has worked with rescue and animal welfare organizations around the world and has been recognized for his commitment to the betterment of animals and their relationships with people.
With a 30-day membership trial at Audible, new listeners can enjoy one free audiobook, including any one of Cesar Millan’s picks, specially curated for Audible for Dogs.
Among the acclaimed performers who have narrated works of literature for Audible are Sean Penn, Nick Offerman, Zachary Quinto, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Lily Collins, Emma Thompson, James Franco, and Jesse Eisenberg. Audible Studios has won a Grammy Award, for its production of Janis Ian’s memoir Society’s Child, and has also been recognized with the Audie Award for Audiobook of the Year, most recently for Colin Firth’s performance of Graham Greene’s The End of the Affair. Audible invented and commercialized the first digital audio player in 1997, and has since been at the forefront of the explosively growing audiobook download segment. In 2016, Audible members downloaded an average of 17 books over the course of the year. More than half of new Audible members are first-time audiobook buyers.