Study Says Dogs Respond Better To “Baby Voice”

To all the dog owners out there—you’re not totally crazy, after all. It turns out, that special little “for my dog only” voice you use to talk to your pets actually helps when it comes to communication and response with your canine.

According to a recent study from the U.K., dogs pay better attention to humans that use a “baby voice” tone in their speech towards them. Dogs also connect with humans better on an emotional level when their owners use “baby talk.”

The British researchers evaluated human relationships with adult dogs, in effect measuring whether the pets preferred our baby voice, scientifically known as “dog-directed speech” (DDS), or if the pups responded equally to “adult-directed speech” (ADS), which is just the way you speak to another human adult. The result: DDS was the clear winner. The study also shared that dogs, unsurprisingly, respond better when using dog-related terms, such as “walk” or “treat” instead of longer verbiage like, “I’m going to the store, you have to stay here. See you later, pup!”

Alex Benjamin, a Ph.D. student from the University of York told Huffington Post U.K., “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.”

So go ahead dog-lovers, take pride in those baby-voices and keep on keepin’ on. Your doggo loves you just the way you are, embarrassing voice and all.

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