Dogs understand human speech better than expected, study says

Posted at 10:29 AM, Sep 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-01 10:17:56-04

Time to raise the "woof" because some scientists performed a dog-gone experiment where they studied a few pooch’s brains as they heard their master’s voice.

The results: dogs not only respond to how we say things, but to the actual words we use.

“I feel like I’ve always known it’s true. I’ve had animals my whole life. These dogs definitely prove it. You can have full conversations with them and you know they understand you, or let’s say you had a bad day at work. They just come up and sit at your feet,” commented Amber Ross, who was playing with her black lab and Whipit at the dog park.

The researchers took 13 doggies with headphones into an FMRI machine and played recordings of their trainer’s voice.

The pups only felt like they were being praised when the words and tone were both positive.

The interesting thing is that the dogs processed the words in the right brain hemisphere and the pitch in the left,  which is the exact same way human brains process language.

“Over the years, just with her, I see that she can understand a lot more than what she can tell me,” said Karen Stansfield, who was spending some time with her dog, Lucy.

So it looks like man’s best friend may be a lot closer to man that we previously thought, but any dog owner could have told you that.

“He definitely understands the difference in words, so it’s not very surprising at all. He’s right there with it. You can definitely see it in his eyes and his face and his reactions,” said Nathan Campbell as his new pup Ichiro ran around the dog park.

What do you think? Do you think you're dog understands you?