Do Dogs Understand Words or Emotions?


When your dog looks like he’s paying attantion, what’s he paying attention to?
Photo by Allen, Boise

We all talk to our dogs, all day long. Go get the ball! Off the couch! Do you need to go out? But how much of what we say do they actually understand? I would guess that most dog owners overestimate the effectiveness of specific words, but we all know that it certainly seems like the dog gets the gist most of the time.

A research team at the University of Sussex in England set out to explore how much dogs focus on the actual words and how much on the “emotional aspects of human speech.” What they found is fascinating. . .

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