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Humans tend to speak to dogs in a particular manner – a little like cooing to a baby.
Referred to as ‘dog directed speech’, people tend to change the structure of their sentences as well as the tone of their voice when talking to their furry companions.
Shortening sentences and speaking in a higher-than-normal pitch are markers of this type of speech – similar to when we talk to little children.
Research published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B showed that speaking to puppies in a high pitch makes them understand you better.
People were shown images of adult dogs and puppies, and instructed to say certain words and phrases – ‘Come here! Good boy! What a good boy! Hi! Hello cutie!’ – which were recorded.
Results found that people did indeed change their voice - and repeated the words in a high pitch when they saw the picture of a puppy.
While adult dogs did not react to the changes in pitch, the puppies did, and responded more strongly to the high pitch voices.
So, teaching your puppy how to behave may be less to do with a harsh tone of command, and more an elevation of tone.
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