Typically characterised by a high-pitch, sing-song tone with slow simple phrases repeated over and over, almost every dog owner has been known to indulge in dog speak. For instance, remember how you’d ask who’s a good boy/girl at least 50 times a day? We’re not sure about you, but we’re guilty as charged.
While it’s a common phenomenon, we decided to dig in a little deeper. Does your dog understand dog-speak? More importantly, does it understand you?What Is Dog-Speak?
When talking to human babies, we have a tendency of talking to them through higher pitches and at a reduced speed. This is believed to help in language acquisition and improve the bond between baby and adult.
Likewise, dog-directed speech is characterised by the same traits, and plays an equally important role in furkid-pawrent relationship as well.Dogs Love Dog-Speak
Much research has been dedicated to the effects of dog-directed speech versus adult-directed speech on dogs. Attention spans of the dogs were measured during both speech types, and it was found that they stared longer at the person using dog-speak. Moreover, they also preferred to spend more time with those who use this type of speech register. In essence, dogs do respond to dog-speak.Dog-Relevant Words Work
Some experiments have also been conducted to determine whether the content of the dog-directed speech affects the dog’s response. For example, dogs were told ‘let’s go for a stroll’ and ‘you are a good dog’ both in similar stress patterns and tone.
It was found that dogs displayed a preference for the person who used dog-speak with dog-related words, i.e. the latter. In contrast, they didn’t interact as much with the person who used human-directed speech with no dog-directed words.
The findings suggest that dogs are more attuned to dog-speak – it improves their attention span and strengthens the bond with their pawrents.Communicating With Your Pup
When engaging in dog-speak, it’s best to note the following pointers: