We haven't uploaded a new video for awhile, but I think this one is pretty good. Sierra does a great rendition of a Jazz Classic while being a Lazy Singing Dog. What do you think?
I like how Sierra is so expressive with her voice, even when lying down and relaxing. Shows just how musically inclined my girl is. Even if she isn't always on key, I still think she has pretty good singing chops. It's not like she attended music school or anything, you know. Sierra is a completely self taught singer.
By the way, instead of me telling people what the sing is I thought it would be fun if people took a guess. Does anyone know what the song I am playing on my saxophone is in the video? Brownie points to anyone that leaves a comment below and knows what the song is.
I have had complaints all over the internet that me playing with Cody and Sierra, aka the Singing Dogs, is abusive and hurts their ears. I just want to make it clear that a couple of points and clear the air about Cody and Sierra's singing.
Not Trained: The Singing Dogs are not trained to “sing” and it is not like I have spent hours and a lot of effort to make either of them learn to sing. It is just for fun and if they sing great, it is not like I am trying to go on the tour with the singing dogs. (Of course if you think we can go on tour and want to give us a record deal, I am totally up for that.)
They Like Singing: Cody and Sierra both actually really like to sing. Often they will come into the living room when I am playing my saxophone to sing songs with me. I do not force them at all to do anything. Both Singing Dogs are free to leave the room if they don't want to sing or don't like my saxophone playing. Unfortunately… that happens quite often.
I Wouldn't Play if it Hurt Their Ears: If I truly thought that playing my saxophone with Cody and Sierra hurt their ears I would have stopped playing saxophone. I love playing and listening to music but would not want to hurt my dogs in any way, shape, or form.
Believe me I appreciate and understand people's concerns about the singing dogs. There are a lot of other people in the world who do abuse dogs and animals. I think your efforts are better spent focusing on those people though and not making a big thing of our YouTube videos.
I have to thank Devan McGuinness for letting me know about this great Dogs in Music article by Stanley Coren that featured on Modern Dog Magazine. (She wrote about us on Babble by the way.) Apparently there have been several musicals written for dogs and with dogs. Hey, maybe Cody and Sierra could try out? 🙂
While the Dogs in Music article is interesting, this part of the article should calm anyone who thinks playing music with dogs is bad.
Scientific analyses suggest that canines have a sense of pitch. Recordings of wolves have shown that each will change its tone when others join the chorus. No wolf seems to want to end up on the same note as any other in the choir. This is why a dog howling along with a group of singing humans is instantaneously noticeable. He is deliberately not in the same register as the other voices, and seems to revel in the discordant sound he creates.
The kind of human music that most often induces dogs to howl is produced on wind instruments, particularly reed instruments such as clarinets or saxophones. Sometimes dogs can be induced to howl by a long note on the violin or even by a human holding a long note while singing. Perhaps these sound like proper howls to the dog and he feels the need to answer and join the chorus.
It is a pretty interesting article on dogs, music, and singing. I suggest you read the whole article as I found it quite fascinating.
Apparently Cody and Sierra are not quite as famous as some singing dogs. Lyndon Johnson had a singing dog named Yuki that liked to accompany him while he sang.
Probably the most famous human-dog duet ever recorded involved the President of the United States in 1967. President Lyndon Baines Johnson had developed a strong bond with a white mixed-breed terrier bearing the unassuming name “Yuki.” Once, while cameras rolled, Johnson sat in the oval office of the White House, with Yuki on his lap, and gave an impromptu performance. The president first sang a Western folk song and then a bit of an operatic aria, both hideously off key, while Yuki accompanied him with gleeful and vigorous howls. The press reports describing this duet were rather demeaning, and music critics suggested that having the dog howl part of an opera was equivalent to having the president make disparaging comments about classical music. Johnson, however, enjoyed “singing” with the dog and was not the least disturbed by the furor it caused. He even proudly displayed one article that described their performance, noting, “Not all the comments are bad. This one says that I sing almost as good as the dog.”
Too bad the press didn't like Lyndon Johnson and Yuki's duets. Imagine if he had been president when there was Youtube? I wonder if Yuki would have helped his presidential approval rating go up? I bet it would have!
Anyway hopefully people will understand there is nothing bad or terrible about Cody and Sierra singing to the sweet sounds of the saxophone.
This was posted on Adam's Auto Advice on December 27, 2011 but I thought I should share it here.
Yesterday Sierra, Cody, my Mom and I appeared on Anderson Cooper's new daytime talk show, Anderson, on national TV! It was quite amazing to see ourselves on TV with Anderson Cooper. It was sort of surreal, “Was that real?”
Then I flashed back to when we actually went up to New York City for the taping and remembered talking with Anderson Cooper. That was real!
When you see yourself on national TV though, you realize a lot of people will see this! My immediate thoughts when I saw myself on TV were, “Is that really me?” You tend to have an outer image of what you think you look like. When you see a picture of yourself you are not crazy about you rationalize, “Oh well, nobody will see this!”
I was pleased with how the whole segment turned out. You are kind of afraid that maybe you did something odd or stupid, and did not realize it. Then it will be shown on TV! I thought my playing was good, and Sierra's singing was wonderful. It looked like Cody was going to sing, but I guess he wasn't in the mood. He had such a stoic and proud look when Sierra was singing. He's got a great voice as well, but maybe he just wanted Sierra to have the spotlight.
At least I was happy I able to keep my composure. I was also happy that the dogs behaved and that they looked very nice on TV. The baths definitely helped!
When the segment aired Cody watched intently like he usually does when dogs are on TV. However, this time he was watching himself. Sierra did something pretty hilarious. When she heard herself on TV, she vocalized softly while lying down on the bed through the entire song. It was great!
In Baltimore it was on NBC at 2pm, but other people told me it was on Fox and CBS. People also wrote emails saying the show aired at 9am and 10am in some parts of the country. I don't know how TV works these days!
I hope this leads to more opportunities for us. I have consulted with Sierra and Cody and they would like to use their musical gifts to help animals in need.
Please visit National English Shepherd Rescue (NESR), if you want to learn more about English Shepherds. Maybe you would even like to adopt one to love and cherish.
We haven't made any videos in awhile, but this is a short and sweet video brought to you by Singing Dogs which should put a smile on peoples faces for Labor Day Weekend.
I love the playing the blues on my saxophone but not as much as Cody and Sierra like singing to the blues it seems! For some reason anytime I play these notes and this blues scale they both sing. I guess we will work on a song that we can all enjoy.
Welcome to our great website SingingDogs.net! This website brings you the latest news, information, and videos from Singing Sierra and Crooning Cody. These two wonderful English Shepherds love music and are fabulous singers that like to accompany the sweet sounds of the saxophone. This website will allow Cody and Sierr to share their musical talents with the world. Please check back frequently for updates!