Scientists believe they have found evidence to support what every dog owners have long believed; man’s best friend does understand what we are saying.
Researchers in Hungary have scanned the brains of dogs as they were listening to their owners to determine which parts of their brain they were using.
They found it pretty quickly that dogs processed words with their left hemisphere, while intonation was processed with the right hemisphere, which is the same as humans.
Dogs only registered they were being praised if the words and tone were positive. If a word was spoken and it had no meaning, it had no effect.
“Dog brains care about both what we say and how we say it,” said lead researcher Attila Andics, a neuroscientist at Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest. “Praise can work as a reward only if both the word and intonation match.”
It is likely other species have the mental ability to understand language like dogs but further research is being done into why they don’t take any interest.
The study was published in the journal Science.