Audible and Cesar Millan have teamed up for a mind boggling initiative called “audiobooks for dogs.” It 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.
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.
I think this new program is utterly terrible and is taking advantage of dog owners who feel they have to buy audiobooks for their canines to put them at ease. Audible is citing their new program is backed up by extensive research, the problem is this “research” stems from the Cesar Millan’s Dog Psychology Center, who said 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.
There is something fundamentally wrong with conducting your own research to produce the findings that you want, in order to sell audiobooks to dog owners. What is next, audiobooks for cats? Audiobooks for goldfish? Audiobooks for the despondent pollywog?
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.