How many times have you spoken to your dog and you have thought… This dog understands me! The corporate and facial expressions, the attention, the look … everything together makes our pet a magnificent listener, but, does it really understand the meaning of our words?
The answer to this question is yes, which confirms that our dogs are really extraordinary and intelligent.
A study published in the journal Science, carried out by the team of Attila Andics, from the Department of Ethology of the Eötvös Loránd University, confirmed a couple of years ago that dogs are capable of interpreting human language. This implies that they understand both what we say and what we do not say, or, in other words, verbal and non-verbal language. And that’s not all! Apparently, the dogs use the left hemisphere to process words and a region of the right cerebral hemisphere for intonation. In this way only when there is a connection between word and intonation does the dog process it. “Dogs can learn the words that are relevant to them and often used by their owners to address them. The words to congratulate them are an example “Attila’s team assured. Even more important is knowing that they process positive reinforcement better, so if we want to train our pet this information can be very useful to achieve our goals. The punishments and the bad words only cause the dog a situation of stress since he is not able to understand what he has done wrong, he just recognizes that there is something that we did not like. Therefore, he learns nothing, enters a state of submission, and after a short time he forgets what has happened. In summary it is not a good training method.
We can even go further, understanding that there really is an understanding of language by our dogs in the future we could create better cooperation and communication between human beings and dogs. All these data what they reveal to us is that the similarities between animals and humans are getting closer and closer.