Has your dog ever started howling when Law & Order comes on? If so she’s not alone. It seems there’s something about the theme song that drives dogs crazy. Whether that’s crazy in a good way or a bad way is something we can’t be sure of, but it definitely has an effect on lots of dogs.
If seeing is believing, check out the above video, or the 28 videos (yes, 28) on this single web page. (Get those all going at the same time and you’ll find yourself howling…)
“The reason they do that is because the music has a combination of clarinets and high-decibel sounds,” celebrity pet trainer Bash Dibra told the New York Post. “When the music hits a certain note, it . . . hits a signal in their auditory nerve and makes them howl.
Either that, or they look forward to seeing what’s going to unfold in the latest edge-of-seat episode.
Back to the music, here’s a Wikipedia explanation of the theme song:
The music for Law & Order is composed by veteran composer Mike Post. The music is deliberately designed to be minimalist to match the abbreviated style of the series. Post wrote the theme song using electric piano, guitar, and clarinet.
In addition, scene changes are accompanied by a tone generated by Post. He refers to the tone as “The Clang,” while Entertainment Weekly critic Ken Tucker has referred to the sound as the “ominous chung CHUNG” and Richard Belzer as “the Dick Wolf Cash Register Sound.” The tone consists of only two notes and was generated electronically combining six or seven different sounds to get just the right deadbolt effect.
If you want to hear the music unfettered by howling video dogs, go to the Wikipedia page and scroll part way down, to a box entitled Audio Samples of Law & Order. Or check out any of the gazillion clips available online. Here’s one featuring the complete theme:
Let us know what your dog thinks!
(Another thank-you to Dogster reader, Phil, who told us about this odd phenomenon.)