If you are a dog owner, you value your dog’s presence in your life and you know he understands almost every word you say. Studies have revealed that dogs are a special species that understands human communication in ways no other species can. So what should you know about talking to your dog?
Talking to your dog
People who talk to their dogs, regardless of whether they understand the words, are more bonded to them. Dogs can be trained to understand at least a few words and phrases that help them better behave in certain situations. The words will slip into dogs’ lexicon over time, determining their behavior.
Scientists have found that speaking in a dog way increases the chances that your dog understands what you’re saying. Research has shown that people tend to communicate differently to dogs than to other humans. Sentences have their structure changed, they are shortened and simplified, the tone of voice is higher, similar to speaking to young infants. Dogs have a sensitivity to the human voice that allows them to identify when they must respond and when not.
Although it was criticized some time ago for slowing down a baby’s development, baby talk has proven to be an effective way to introduce infants to language. A high level of repetition in dog talk is effective and constructive when it comes to interacting with dogs. For example, talking to puppies using dog-directed speech makes them react and pay attention to the human instructor. Baby talk consists in an excited and higher-pitched voice and has a great success, especially to puppies. As a dog grows up, your tone of voice should adjust, so talk to him as you would to a friend, gently and in a natural tone.
Tone of Voice
Studies have revealed that dogs and humans use the same area of the brain to process the emotional meaning of speech patterns. Dogs are able to understand their owners psychically. Even if your dog doesn’t understand the exact meaning of a word, your tone of voice helps him understand what you are trying to tell. Dogs have the capacity to decode the emotion transmitted by the sound of the voice. You probably know that about 80% of the meaning in our language comes from body language and tone of voice rather than the actual words we use.
Dogs understand what people say as well as a two-year-old child. The average dog understands about 100 words, that’s why you should choose carefully the words you use, especially when interacting with a puppy. Of course, a dog is capable to learn more if he is instructed on a daily basis. When you are talking to your dog, his intelligence is enhanced and the bond between you becomes stronger.
Another means of communication with dogs consists of physical gestures. Dogs are likely to respond to human gestures, such as pointing, in ways other species don’t. Dogs recognize pointing as an attempt to communicate because they have adapted to the human environment. They decode this gesture as a mild command to do something rather than a way of sharing information. This is due to the fact that dogs were used for herding and hunting. Therefore, they were guided over a great distance by gestural instructions.
Benefits of talking to your dog
Talking with your dog can help you work through difficult situations and discussions and improves human relationships. Furthermore, it helps adults concentrate on the present and stay active. The practice has proven that men talk to dogs less than women with a similar level of attachment.
Talking to dogs helps children get a non-judgmental friend and enhance their self-development. Dogs are ideal partners for children with autism that don’t want to interact with humans. Dogs have a special skill to elicit communication from these children and make them willing to interact.
As they make some efforts to understand human speech and gestures, dogs prefer movements and the open-mouthed play face, when it comes to spending time together. If you truly love your dog, try to use this type of communication, too, and enjoy some quality time with your furry companion. If you don’t have a dog yet, but you’re looking for puppies for adoption, you should prepare yourself to handle your new life with a special companion and enjoy each moment spent together.
Troy works as a Marketing Executive for PremierPups, a nice website with cute Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppies for sale. Troy is passionate about animals and loves to help people find the right dogs for them. In addition to reading and writing about animals and psychology, Troy enjoys spending quality time with his beloved dog.