Recent Studies Are Astounding!

dogs understand

A Recent University Study Reveals Dogs Do Understand What We Say

A recent university study conducted in Budapest revealed that speaking to man’s best friend is not unfounded. Most pet owners do speak to their pets as if holding a conversation, with your dog turning its head back and forth as if to grasp every word. Results of the study show that your dog understands more than you give him or her credit for.

Not only does the dog grasp the words, but the tone of voice and body language. Last week’s report states that the left side of the dog’s brain processes words, very similar to that of humans. At the same time, the right side of the dog’s brain area is working to decipher the pitch and tone of what is being said.

If you are a dog owner, you probably talk to your dog frequently, thinking that he or she is not fully understanding you unless you express yourself in a kind manner. According to the recent university study, dogs perhaps do understand more than their humans know. The research was conducted with 13 family dogs. The subjects lived with their owners and were well-trained to sit while engaging in an MRI. An MRI device scans and measures brain activity while the animal is awake.

The dogs involved in the study were predominantly golden retrievers and border collies who were fully cooperative and unrestrained through the process. Scientists gathered numerous recordings of the dog’s owner’s voices, speaking various phrases with altering intonation. Phrases were spoken with praise for the dog with varying pitch or a neutral tone. The results from each phrase and connotation were then studied to determine how the dogs processed them, according to the word and tones in their brains.

The determination was that the left side of a dog’s brain processes words in much the same way as we do, much the same as we process tone on the right side of the brain. What is differing for a dog is their “rewards center” in the brain that processes food, positive attention and a positive tone. In other words, if you praise your dog but in a neutral tone, the dog will not respond as well as the same words spoken in a happy, praising tone.

The study resulted with the fact that dogs can decipher words, intonation and a combination of the two when speaking to them. Furthermore, this research does not necessarily say dogs know the precise meaning of what we say, but they can indeed distinguish between familiar and non-familiar words, especially those associated with praise and positive attention.

Similar to past studies, some scientists believe that dogs do have neural capacities in processing words that were previously thought to be uniquely only to humans. Others feel that dogs strictly acknowledge when motivated through reward (whether through praise or treats), and don’t necessarily comprehend the meaning of words like that of humans. The study was not to determine if dogs can understand words the same as we do, but that their brains process their human’s voice in varying ways.

What the study did find is that a dog’s brain can distinguish between meaningful and meaningless words, mostly from the intonation at which they are said. It is not so much what we say, but the animal’s brain capacity to process the words and what they mean. Dogs learn specific common words that are often directed at them and often can understand the intent of what we are saying through our pitch and tone. Researchers believe other domestic animals may show similar results, like cats and horses, if closely raised by humans.

If you frequently talk to your dog, he or she may actually know more than you think. At least, the cocking of the head and wag of the tail is true impression that what you are saying is important to your pet. Dogs are indeed very intuitive.

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