- Not only dogs. Cats too make an effort to understand you, and to communicate with you.
- Cats modulate their vocalizations to express themselves.
- OK, pets don't have an extensive vocabulary, but half a dozen words in 'cattish' or 'doggish' help pets get what they want, be it a specific food or treat or other needs.
- Talk to your cat or dog as you would talk to a toddler. Make sentences very short and clear, and repeat them daily. You will see how he will quickly learn their meaning, and how to respond to you or to make requests of his own.
- Some cats are very talkative. The following video has been around for a while but it's worth watching again. It shows two cats carrying on a conversation. Absolutely adorable.
- Time Magazine - Researchers in Hungary have investigated and recorded the brain activity of dogs, confirming that they not only understand the words we speak, but also how we say them.
- In another study 40 volunteers listened to different growls recorded from 18 dogs. Overall, participants correctly classified 63 per cent of the growl samples.
- Women were better than men at recognising when a dog was being playful or threatening, or feeling fear, scientists discovered.
Dogs can understand not only words but their intonation
Time Magazine - Researchers in Hungary have investigated and recorded the brain activity of dogs, confirming that they not only understand the words we speak, but also how we say them.
The new research, published in the journal Science and led by Attila Andics, a research fellow at Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest, reports that dogs can distinguish words and the intonation of human speech much as humans do.
For the study, dogs were exposed to recordings of their trainers' voices, who spoke to them with a range of vocabulary and intonation, in both praising and neutral ways.
Andics and his colleagues then analyzed the canines' brain activity using an fMRI scanner, revealing that they could recognize each word as distinct, as well as the way it was said. The positive words spoken in a positive tone prompted the strongest activity in the brain’s reward centers. T his study is the first of its kind to investigate how dogs' brains process speech.
Dogs can talk to humans, study suggests
The Telegraph - Dogs have a surprising ability to make humans understand what their barks and growls mean, a study has shown. Women were better than men at recognising when a dog was being playful or threatening, or feeling fear, scientists discovered.
For the study, 40 volunteers listened to different growls recorded from 18 dogs that were guarding their food, facing a threatening stranger, or playing a tug-of-war game. Overall, participants correctly classified 63 per cent of the growl samples - significantly more than would be expected by guesswork alone, said the researchers.
Each growl type was also recognised above chance level. The human listeners identified 81 per cent of the "play" growls but were less good at recognising food guarding and threatening growls.
Dr Tamas Farago and his team from Eotvos Lorand University in Hungary wrote in the journal Royal Society Open Science: "Participants associated the correct contexts with the growls above chance. Moreover, women and participants experienced with dogs scored higher in this task."
During play, dogs produced a larger number of shorter, less separated, growls than when they were aggressive or fearful, the research showed. Play growls and food guarding growls also had distinctively different pitch characteristics.
As well as identifying growl contexts, the volunteers also had to rate growls on a sliding scale according to five emotional states - aggression, fear, despair, happiness and playfulness.
Context had a "significant effect" on reading dog emotions, said the scientists. Playful growls were rated lowest for aggression, and food guarding growls highest.
The scientists concluded: "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.
"According to our results, adult humans seem to understand and respond accordingly to this acoustic information during cross-species interactions with dogs."
See more pictures of big dogs and little kids here
And photos of dogs and cats with children here