If you speak to your dog in a ‘baby’ voice, recent research shows you’re not alone!
Do you ever find yourself talking to your dog in a different voice? Do you think that they respond better when your voice goes up to a higher pitch? At Barking Mad Dog Care, we know that our clever canines certainly seem to understand everything we say and have their own ways of communicating a clear response!
BBC News has recently reported on the first investigation of potential factors causing dog-directed speech and its immediate impact on dogs’ behaviour. In ‘Dog-directed speech: why do we use it and do dogs pay attention to it?’ by Tobey Ben-Aderet, Mario Gallego-Abenza, David Reby and Nicolas Mathevon, an international team of scientific researchers carried out a study to decode how we talk to dogs and concluded that puppies were responsive to this kind of speech.
BBC News states:
‘When we talk to dogs, we often speak slowly in a high-pitched voice, similar to the way we talk to young babies. The researchers think this way of talking may be our natural way of trying to interact with non-speaking listeners.
Prof Nicolas Mathevon of the University of Lyon/Saint-Etienne in France said pet-directed speech is similar to the way we talk to young infants, which is known to engage their attention and promote language learning.
“We found that puppies are highly reactive to dog-directed speech, in the absence of any other cues, like visual cues,” Prof Mathevon told BBC News. “Conversely we found that with adult dogs, they do not react differentially between dog-directed speech and normal speech.”
Andrea whispers to puppy Pika
Dr David Reby, a psychologist at the University of Sussex, said the research could lead to better ways for humans to communicate with animals.
“There could be a practical use if we identify in the long term ways to speak to dogs that help and support their acquisition of new commands.”
What do you think? Do you speak in a different tone of voice to your dog than you would a human best friend? This study certainly makes interesting reading! You can follow the above links to read the full news story and study.