Puppies And Baby Talk: New Study Claims Dogs Respond Best To High-Pitch Talking

By Claire Parker, Parent Herald January 12, 08:14 pm

"Who's a good boy/girl?" is the question that most dog owners ask whenever they play with their pets and it's not delivered in the normal tone of voice as dog owners tend to use baby talk when trying to play with their puppies. A new study suggested that baby talk is actually enjoyed by younger dogs but not in older dogs.

The Guardian reported that whenever puppies hear humans baby talk, their ears prick up but adults dog could not care less as the study concluded that older dogs do not have such preference regarding human speech. The lead author of the study, Nicolas Mathevon from the University of Lyon at Saint-Etienne, said that the study aimed to see if there is a common purpose regarding baby talk to both babies and puppies in engaging a listener that cannot speak.

The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. It was conducted by researchers from France, the United Kingdom, and the United States. As per the research, 30 women were shown images of puppies and adult dogs and they tend to talk to them at a higher pitch. The researchers asked these women to repeat the same phrases they have used to talk to the animals in the photos using their normal voice. Researchers then found out that puppies respond better to baby talk over human's normal way of speaking, as per Smithsonian.com .

As for the older dogs, the researchers said they did not care at all and believe that the possible reason for this is because the trait of puppies responding better to high-pitched talking might have disappeared as the dog aged. However, the study did not cite a clear reason as to why puppies respond better to baby talk.

Talking about the research, Evan MacLean, an evolutionary anthropologist at the University of Arizona, said that the latest study is another evidence proving that human and dog relationships, as well as parent and children relationships, are overlapping at some point. Do you talk to your pet dogs in a high-pitched voice? Share your thoughts below if you agree with this latest finding. 

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