Dogs understand people better than previously thought
Dogs understand human language at a high level. Scientists set out to find out whether dogs will be able to recognize new words that differ only in vowel letters.
According to New Scientist, British scientists from the University of Sussex conducted an experiment in which 70 dogs of various breeds participated. The animals were given audio recordings on which different people uttered short words. These were not commands, but 6 standard monosyllabic English words, for example "had" (had), "hid" (hid) or "who'd" (who could). The announcers were not familiar with dogs, the voices and intonations were new to dogs.
Scientists observed dogs, trying to determine whether animals distinguish words by their reactions. So, if the dog turned his head towards the speaker or tilted his ears, it meant that he was listening to the word. If she was distracted or did not move, it could be concluded that the word was already familiar, or she did not distinguish it from the previous one.
As a result, experts found out that the vast majority of dogs could distinguish words well even with a difference in one sound. Previously, it was believed that such speech recognition is available only to humans. At the same time, it is clarified that due to the limitations of the experiment, it is not known whether the dogs understand the meaning of the words spoken. That remains to be seen.
Anecdote on the topic:
- What a beautiful dog you have! She's probably also smart?
- Of course! Last night, while walking, I said to her, "I think we forgot something." And what do you think she did?
- Probably ran home and brought this thing?
- No, she sat down, scratched behind her ear and began to think what it could be.