We recently shared the news that dogs prefer praise to treats. Hot on its tails, a new study has revealed more doggy science. According to researchers in Budapest, Hungary, your dogs knows when you’re being genuine and when you’re faking it.
The above video originally appeared here.
It’s thought that dog’s and human’s evolutionary history is so closely tied that dogs have learned to understand not only human language but also tone of voice and body language, too. In fact, dogs and humans are so similar that our brains are wired to deal with information in the same way!
The experiments – in which, you’ll be glad to hear, dogs were left unrestrained and awake and as a bonus they were showered with praise – focused on changing up the tone of voice used for common doggy praise phrases. As a scientific control, normal phrases, which we wouldn’t usually say to our dogs, were also used.
The results reveal that your dog knows when you really mean it. Saying “good boy” to your dog using a neutral tone of voice has roughly the same effect on your dog’s happiness levels as saying a random word such as “however”. The study also reveals that when we shower our dogs with reverse compliments such as “you stinky mess”, they can interpret that as praise because of our body language.
What does this mean for you and your dog? Well, when you want to reward your pooch, it’s not only beneficial to shower them with lots of loving words, but to match the words with your tone of voice and body language.