We all speak to dogs. Though none of us may speak dog (I don’t care what you say, Cousin Ralphie!) and dogs may not speak English (I don’t care what you say, Goofy!) there is an inherent understanding between hoomans and pups. What’s the root of it, though – and where is the line drawn? Your dog shows guilt after you reprimand him for licking up grandma’s delicious apple butter, but can he also understand every word as you read Fifty Shades out loud?
Turns out, maybe he can…in a way.
New research conducted at the University of Sussex suggests that while dogs may not fully grasp the meaning in every bit of human speech, they may have a solid handle on the emotion behind it. Similar to visiting abroad and not knowing the language, we can communicate through enough emotion to get certain points across and hopefully be successfully led to the Louvre men’s room. A study, co-authored by doctorial candidate in psychology Victoria Ratcliffe, looks to determine just to what extent pups “get your gist.”
The study went a li’l something like this:
– 250 dogs of all breeds, age, and size were brought into a lab. (Was it a black lab? Lol, I gotta call the New Yorker!)
– The dogs were placed in a room with a speaker on either side of their head.
– From there, a few sound clips were played. 1) A clip of their owners saying “Come on, then!” (Classic British people) but with the emotion removed electronically and the sound distorted. In other words, they couldn’t tell WHO said it or HOW the command was being said. 2) A clip of their owners saying the same thing, but with the words completely distorted. In other words, they couldn’t tell WHAT was being said, but could focus on the emotion. 3) A clip of static noise.
Read the rest at: http://barkpost.com