Friday, 28 November 2014

Do Dogs Understand Words or Emotions?

by Tia Ghose, Staff Writer | November 26, 2014 12:00pm ET

Come boy! Off the couch! Aww, who's my widdle fur baby?

It's an age-old debate: Do dogs understand the words their owners say to them, or are they just cuing in to the tone of voice?

It turns out it may be both: Man's best friend not only hears the meaning of human speech, but also perceives the emotion behind it, new research finds.

Although the new findings don't prove that dogs fully understand all of the emotional aspects of human speech, they do show that dogs are at least paying attention to it, said study co-author Victoria Ratcliffe, a doctoral candidate in psychology at the University of Sussex in England.

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