Dawg Talk

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STUDY: Dogs Do Understand What You’re Saying

Well, some of what you’re saying. From the Associated Press:

Scientists have found evidence to support what many dog owners have long believed: man’s best friend really does understand some of what we’re saying. Researchers in Hungary scanned the brains of dogs as they were listening to their trainer speaking to determine which parts of the brain they were using.

They found that dogs processed words with the left hemisphere, while intonation was processed with the right hemisphere — just like humans.

What’s more, the dogs only registered that they were being praised if the words and intonation were positive; meaningless words spoken in an encouraging voice, or meaningful words in a neutral tone, didn’t have the same effect.

“Dog brains care about both what we say and how we say it,” said lead researcher Attila Andics, a neuroscientist at Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest. “Praise can work as a reward only if both word meaning and intonation match.”

A spokesman for the cat community reacted to news of the study by staring blankly into another room.

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3 Responses to Dawg Talk

  1. Zorba says:

    I saw this, and thought it was very interesting. I’ve always kind if thought that, not only do dogs understand what we are saying, many times, they seem to know what we are going to do, even if we are not giving any overt signs of it!
    I love both dogs and cats. I’ve always thought that cats also understand what we are saying, they just don’t give a shit. 😄
    (BTW, I consider myself more of a cat than a dog.)

  2. Tara says:

    When I ask Lucy if she wants to go for a car ride she gets very excited and starts jumping all over the place . If I ask her if she has to go potty she runs to the door . If she’s taking a long time to do her business I tell her “get busy” and she goes to it . They do indeed understand us .

  3. rainnnn says:

    Cats might understand. They just don’t care…

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