Why using ‘baby-talk’ improves our bond with dogsy

Post First Published: December 24 2021 1:25 PM Post First Updated: September 9 2022 12:19 PM


Using “dog-speak” is important in building a bond between a dog and their owner, scientists from the University of York have found.

During a series of tests, dogs were spoken to in a high-pitched voice and again in a normal adult voice.

Researchers then monitored which speaker the dogs responded to and wanted to interact with.

PhD student Alex Benjamin said it seemed dogs were more likely to favour the speaker who used a high pitch.

Baby talk

The researchers wanted to test whether speaking to dogs in “dog-directed” speech was useful to the animals, or whether humans did this simply because they view pets in the same way as babies.

“Dog-directed” speech involves speaking in a high-pitched voice with exaggerated emotion – in a similar way that adults often talk to small children.

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