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Scientists Confirm That Dogs Do Understand Human Speech

Mark Andrew





If you own some dogs, then you already know that talking with them is pretty normal. Whether our furry friends understand you or not, however, is something most of us aren’t entirely sure about.

Well, until now. A recent study by researchers from Hungary’s Eötvös Loránd University is telling us that our pet pooches understand our words more than we thought.

In Hungary, researchers from Eötvös Loránd University told us that dogs understand human language better than we thought.


At the Family Dog Project in Budapest, scientists used fMRI to scan the brain activity of thirteen family dogs as they hear words. What’s interesting about the whole experiment was that the pets had to lie completely motionless for up to 8 minutes. The experts found out that the dogs were capable of doing so whenever they are trusted and praised.

Scientists used fMRI to scan the brain activity of dogs as they heard words.


Their brain activity revealed they understood both the tone and meaning of spoken words.


The scientists have then concluded that not only do the animals comprehend the tone of human speech – but they also understand the words as much as we humans can. Dogs use their right brain hemisphere for processing language and the left one to analyzing intonation. Their brain activity showed us that they can actually tell the difference between the meaning of distinct words and the sound.

Watch the video here:

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What does this all mean for dog lovers everywhere? Well, it just confirms that talking to your pet is indeed an effective way of communicating with them. Aside from pats and other gestures, speaking words to them is actually a good thing.

‘Both what we say and how we say it matters to dogs,’ the experts said.


‘Using words may be a human invention but now we see that the neural connections used to process them are not uniquely human.’


So if someone ridicules you for doing so, then feel free to shut them up by sharing this research with them.

To learn more about the research, go head over to the Family Dog Project website or Facebook page.

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