A groundbreaking study has revealed that dogs are not only good listeners, but they understand our words! Their understanding of what we say depends on how we say it.
The study was performed at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest. The results were published in the journal Science. What they discovered was that dogs respond to words and the tone of voice used when the words were said.
Using an MRI (a machine that monitors brain activity), 13 domestic dogs were observed while their owners spoke certain phrases to them using different inflections.
The researchers used both happy and neutral tones, the owners would switch between neutral words and loving words of praise.
The researchers found that dogs used different parts of their brains to hear the tone of voice. Hearing words said in a positive tone, the dog’s brain knew that they were being praised.
When the dogs heard words spoken in a neutral tone, they had trouble understanding if they were being praised or not. The data showed that dogs and humans use the same parts of their brains when processing language!
The results of this study does not necessarily mean the dog understands the meaning of the words you use, just how you are saying the phrase.
How you talk to your dog whether you are using a happy or angry tone affects them. They know when you are happy or upset by your tone of voice. Dogs can also recognize body actions used repeatedly – that is why they can be trained to “sit” or “stay.”
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