Hate to break it to you but most of the time, your dog does not really understand what you’re saying to them, as much as you hoped they did…
Researchers at the Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest studied how dogs understand human speech, and while they can filter out the nature of words, they struggle when it comes to understanding small differences.
During their studies, dogs were played words like ‘sit’, followed by similar-sounding words like ‘sut’, as well as complete gibberish like ‘bep’. The dogs were easily able to recognize the non-sensical word and didn’t respond, but the similar-sounding words triggered the same response. Basically, they can tell the difference between a command and random noise, but when it comes to the little details, the differences are beyond them.
Lilla Magyari is the lead author of the study, and she explained the results to CNN: “The brain activity is different when they listen to the instructions, which they know, and to the very different nonsense words, which means that dogs recognize these words.”
Magyari adds, “But it seems like they don’t really pay attention to all of the speech sounds. They may just not realize that all details, the speech sounds, are really important in human speech. If you think of a normal dog: That dog is able to learn only a few instructions in its life”
Although the research proves otherwise, I’m sure it will make all doggie-owners like myself feel better thinking that their furry little companion truly understands their woes!