How do you talk to your dog?

If you often talk to your dog, you’re not alone. Researchers Alex Benjamin and Katie Slocombe from the University of York in the UK conducted two experiments to determine whether or not talking to your dog in “dog-speak” (using a high-pitched tone with dog-related words such as “walk” and “good boy”) enhances the human-animal bond.

“A special speech register, known as infant-directed speech, is thought to aid language acquisition and improve the way a human baby bonds with an adult,” says Slocombe. “This form of speech is known to share some similarities with the way in which humans talk to their pet dogs, known as dog-directed speech.”

Study results showed that dogs prefer to interact with those who speak in high-pitched, emotional tones and utter dog-relevant words. Benjamin and Slocombe hope that their findings will be useful for pet owners, as well as veterinary professionals and rescue workers.


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