We’ve always known that dogs understand us on incredibly personal levels – but in a recently released study, we now have concrete evidence that dogs not only understand our feelings, but the exact words we’re saying.
A team of Hungarian scientists gathered several well-trained canines to go through an MRI machine in order to read their brain activity.
Through pre-recorded tapes, the hounds listened to their trainers recite different phrases in angry, neutral, and happy tones of voice while they were in the machine.
What they discovered was that dogs use the left hemisphere of their brain to process words while their right side distinguished tone – which is almost identical to how humans understand language.
This essentially means that even if you were to say “Bad dog!” or “We’re going to the vet!” in a cheerful tone of voice, the pooch would still be hear the negative words and feel accordingly.
“It shows that for dogs, a nice praise can very well work as a reward, but it works best if both words and intonation match,” Attila Andics of Eötvös Loránd University, lead author of the study said in a statement. “So dogs not only tell apart what we say and how we say it, but they can also combine the two, for a correct interpretation of what those words really meant.”
Click here to watch the video.