Honesty is the Best Paw-licy!
Hey Friends! It’s good to be back! I’m super excited for everything we’re working on in 2018! Tom has been busy on the computer and phone during this cold winter. We have some announcements coming in the near future! Can’t wait! How do I know all this? He tells me! I know what you’re thinking: “But Bastian, you’re a dog, you don’t know what humans are saying.” Well joke’s on you! We sure do know what you’re saying! In fact, our friends and National Geographic agree!
You see, back in 2014, a group of smart humans, I think they’re called scientists (not the Tom Cruise kind, but the Pavlov kind), did a study with some very smart dogs. These scientists talked my brethren into laying completely still in an MRI machine to do the study. Now you know us dogs like to work, so they were thrilled to take on the challenge! 13 of us, including border collies, golden retrievers, German shepherds, and Chinese crested were in on the party.
Next while they laid in the MRI machine, the humans would tell them specific words with different intonations. What the humans found in the study is that our kind was able to interpret the difference between the various words that were spoken and the intonation in the voice of the human. When the humans used praise words, it rang a bell with us pups, and our left brains lit up like a motion detecting porch light. We also pick up intonation. When given a praising intonation, the right brain lit up in the MRI! We also understand the difference between you people going through the motions and just saying the words. It takes both the praise words AND the intonation for us to believe you’re rewarding us! Yep, so not only do we know what you’re saying, we also can tell when you’re lying to us… We all know, the truth shall set you free... so if you want us to think that you think we’re good dogs, say it like you mean it!
Special thanks to Carrie Arnold and Eniko Kubinyi from National Geographic for spreading this wonderful news from Science. Find out more here: https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/08/dogs-know-saying-people-speech/