Study Confirms That Your Dog Totally Knows What You’re Saying

Tell us something we don’t know! Of course our dogs know what we’re saying when we talk to them and tell them how wonderful they are. Now we just have science to tell us that we were right all along.

In a recent study, researchers found that our pups have similar brain functioning on how language and speech are perceived and processed to us humans.

Now this is our kind of science project.

In the study, lead author Attila Andics of Eötvös Loránd University, used an MRI machine to capture brain activity in dogs. After having the 13 dogs, who were trained to sit motionless, enter the machine, Andics had the dog’s owner say words that were both praising and neutral, such as the words “super” and “however.” Andics then would ask the owner to say both words in a high-pitched praising tone and also in a level-pitched neutral tone.

The results were shocking (well not really, dogs are amazing and couldn’t possibly impress us more than they already do). But, he found that dogs process certain words we say, regardless of tone in the same way humans do – in the left side of the brains. However, tone is processed in the right side of the brain, again, just like humans. Andics explains that these results show “…that dogs not only separate what we say from how we say it, but also that they can combine the two for a correct interpretation of what those words really meant.”

So basically, the next time someone looks at you funny for having a full-on conversation with your dog or when you ask for permission from a dog owner to say hi to their dog, you can know in your heart that those pooches know exactly what you’re saying because, why? Science.


Ali Lizzi is a New York City based freelance fitness, health and beauty writer and an active member of the fitness community. She’s always up for discovering a new fitness studio to sweat in, flying to another city to travel to and eating any kind of vegan bites that she can get her hands on. Follow her journey on Instagram!