Madrid municipal police

MADRID’S police dogs are in for a treat, as they will be receiving music therapy sessions, heated beds and a chill out area in their newly upgraded kennels.

The city’s municipal police force has carried out a three-month makeover of the 22 service dogs’ homes in a bid to improve their health and wellbeing.

In what is dubbed “The Mozart Effect”, the pooches will listen to classical music several times a day to reduce stress levels, with treatment tailored to individual needs depending on their job roles.

The new canine pad will also boast a grass play area with toys, a patio where they can relax in the summer months, air conditioning, a veterinary clinic and a bathing and personal care centre.

Madrid’s canine unit has been operating since 1983 and is proud of the fact a number of the dogs have double specialities, something which they say is ‘very difficult to get’

All of the dogs are trained in at least one area of detection, such as explosives, narcotics and counterfeit money, while others are taken out to rescue missions.

Officials say due to the nature of these tasks, the dogs are regularly subjected to high levels of stress.

Trials carried out by the municipal police showed that exposure to music was effective in reducing these levels.

Rafael de la Gándara, a police sergeant who heads up the canine unit, said the changes should help them to remain alert on the job and enhance performance.

The sergeant explained that the way a dog alerts a human to something they have discovered is crucial to the investigation.

“For example, when a dog is looking for drugs, it digs up the ground, which obviously wouldn’t be a good idea if it was looking for explosives, so it has to have another way of showing that it’s found something.

“Likewise, if it’s a rescue situation, it barks when it thinks it’s found someone,” said de la Gándara.

A number of tests have also shown that dogs’ anxiety was eased when listening to reggae, jazz and soft rock, whereas they are apparently not a fan of heavy metal.

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