12 C
New Delhi
Monday 9 December 2019
Sci-Tech Health Dog-speak important for bonding with pet

Dog-speak important for bonding with pet

Scientists have shown that the way we speak to our canine friends is important in relationship-building between pet and owner, similar to the way that 'baby-talk' is to bonding between a baby and an adult

London: Scientists at the University of York have shown that the way we speak to our canine friends is important in relationship-building between pet and owner, similar to the way that ‘baby-talk’ is to bonding between a baby and an adult.

Speech interaction experiments between adult dogs and humans showed that so called “dog-speak” improves attention and may help humans to socially bond with their pets.

Previous studies on communicating with dogs had suggested that talking in a high-pitch voice with exaggerated emotion, just as adults do with babies, improved engagement with puppies but made little difference with adult dogs.

Researchers at York tested this theory with new experiments designed to understand more about why humans talk to dogs like this and if it is useful to the dogs in some way, or whether humans do this simply because they like to treat dogs in the same way as babies.

Dr Katie Slocombe from the University of York’s Department of Psychology said: “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. 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.

“This high-pitched rhythmic speech is common in human interactions with dogs in western cultures, but there isn’t a great deal known about whether it benefits a dog in the same way that it does a baby.

“We wanted to look at this question and see whether social bonding between animals and humans was influenced by the type and content of the communication.”

Unlike previous experiments, the research team positioned real humans in the same room as the dog, rather than broadcasting speech over a loudspeaker without a human present. This made the set up much more naturalistic for the dogs and helped the team test whether dogs not only paid more attention more to ‘dog-speak’, but were motivated to spend more time with the person who had spoken to them in that way.

Researchers did a series of speech tests with adult dogs, where they were given the chance to listen to one person using dog-directed speech containing phrases such as ‘you’re a good dog’, and ‘shall we go for a walk?’, and then another person using adult-directed speech with no dog-related content, such as ‘I went to the cinema last night.’.

Attention during the speech was measured, and following the speech, the dogs were allowed to choose which speaker they wanted to physically interact with.

The speakers then mixed dog-directed speech with non-dog-related words and adult-directed speech with dog-related words, to allow the researchers to understand whether it was the high-pitched emotional tone of the speech that dogs were attracted to or the words themselves.

Alex Benjamin, PhD student from the University’s Department of Psychology, said: “We found that adult dogs were more likely to want to interact and spend time with the speaker that used dog-directed speech with dog-related content, than they did those that used adult-directed speech with no dog-related content.

“When we mixed-up the two types of speech and content, the dogs showed no preference for one speaker over the other. This suggests that adult dogs need to hear dog-relevant words spoken in a high-pitched emotional voice in order to find it relevant.

“We hope this research will be useful for pet owners interacting with their dogs, and also for veterinary professionals and rescue workers.”

University of York

Subscribe to our newsletter

You will get all our latest news and articles via email when you subscribe

The email despatches will be non-commercial in nature
Disputes, if any, subject to jurisdiction in New Delhi

Leave a Reply

Opinion

Fire: Uphaar To Mandi, Delhi Remains Incorrigible

After every fire tragedy, it is learnt illegal factories were operating in residential areas also with illegally built hotels, theatres, etc

Taliban-US Talks Bode Ill For India, But Can’t Be Helped

On the one hand, infrastructure projects of India worth crores are at stake; on the other, Pakistan is vying for the day a Taliban-ruled Afghanistan can serve it again as a terror launchpad

India Not Ready For End To Death Penalty

India hardly has an efficient apparatus of governance, but if this is what we have, we must live with the death of a killer by a court order

Trump Drives Democrats And Media Crazy

America can never be the same again, even after Trump leaves the White House,” say many, and you can read that anywhere

Balasaheb Thackeray’s Legacy Up For Grabs

The Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena has failed to live up to the ideals of Balasaheb, leaving a void that the BJP alone can fill
- Advertisement -

Elsewhere

Factory owner Md Rehan arrested; 29 of 43 bodies identified

The construction units in the factory area did not have a no-objection certificate (NOC) of the fire department

Taliban-US Talks Bode Ill For India, But Can’t Be Helped

On the one hand, infrastructure projects of India worth crores are at stake; on the other, Pakistan is vying for the day a Taliban-ruled Afghanistan can serve it again as a terror launchpad

महिला ने की बेटी को जलाने की कोशिश—किस हद तक जाते हैं एक्टिविस्ट्स

राजीव गोस्वामी का नाम आपने सुना होगा, जिसने मंडल कमीशन के विरोध में ख़ुद को आग लगा ली थी, पर इस महिला एक्टिविस्ट ने उस हद को भी पार कर लिया

India Not Ready For End To Death Penalty

India hardly has an efficient apparatus of governance, but if this is what we have, we must live with the death of a killer by a court order

Vinay Sharma, Nirbhaya case convict, wants mercy plea back

This could be Vinay Sharma's delaying tactic, believe legal experts, as the reason he has cited for the withdrawal of the plea is implausible

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you

For fearless journalism

%d bloggers like this: