My dog never gave me the "head tilt" like Lassie, Benji or even Rin Tin Tin might have on television, but she sure gave me an expression that said she was hip to my words. By the time we'd been together for a few years, her vocabulary was on its way to making our life together an adventure. While she still had her vision, I would use visual prompts to play games with her. Later when she couldn't see with her eyes, I watched as she used her ears to understand what we were saying.
"Although we cannot say how much or in what way dogs understand information in speech from our study," Ratcliffe said, "we can say that dogs react to both verbal and speaker-related information and that these components appear to be processed in different areas of the dog's brain.”
More from Discovery News:
Study co-author Victoria Ratcliffe, of the School of Psychology at the University of Sussex, said in a press release that dogs are paying attention “not only to who we are and how we say things, but also to what we say.”
Ratcliffe and supervisor David Reby played recorded speech from either side of test-subject dogs, such that the sounds entered each of the dogs’ ears, with the same amplitude.
How do you communicate with your dog? Do you play games that helps them understand your words or actions? What do you make of this study?