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Adults 'have the ability to translate doggy talk'


Wednesday May 17th 2017

Dog owners may be closer to understanding the growls of their pets than they think, new research suggests.

Scientists have found that many people are able to understand and translate the meaning of different noises made by dogs.

It was discovered that women are more effective than men in recognising when dogs are being playful, threatening or fearful.

With 40 volunteers listening to different growls, 63% of the samples were recognised overall. This is a significantly higher figure than if people had simply been relying on guesswork alone.

Writing in the journal Royal Society Open Science, Dr Tamas Farago and his team from Eotvos Lorand University in Hungary said that adult humans often have the ability to understand and respond to the acoustic information being transmitted by dogs.

They added: "Our results ... indicate that dogs communicate honestly their size and inner state in serious contest situations, where confrontation would be costly, such as during guarding of their food from another dog. At the same time, in contexts with assumedly more uncertain inner states, such as in play or when threatened by a stranger, they may manipulate certain key parameters in their growls for an exaggerated aggressive and playful expression."

This article was written on behalf of helpucover. helpucover is a trading style of Pinnacle Insurance plc, an insurance company who offers Pet Insurance.

Copyright Press Association 2017