Science Says Your Dogs Really Do Understand What You Say to Them

2 years ago

“Dogs ultimately want to please their owners,” says Gregory Berns, a neuroscientist from Emory University in Atlanta. Your dog understands you and tries to reply in its own way to make you happy. So, if you constantly talk to your doggy and consider yourself more like a dog parent than a dog owner, you are not a weirdo. And if science says so, we gotta go with it!

At Bright Side, we thought that you’d like to learn more about this research and here are the main things you’ll want to know about your future conversations with your furry friends.

Pet dogs can distinguish emotional expressions in human faces.

Our dogs can truly understand us when we’re talking to them. Well, not every single word we’re saying, but at least some of the words we’re using. Moreover, as research has shown, it’s all about our facial expressions. Dogs carefully watch how we express our emotions through smiling, crying, etc.

A dog can learn to discriminate between a happy and an angry face.

This happens during a dog’s daily interaction with a human. Our furry companions can actually tell how we’re feeling and that’s why they’re always there to support us when we’re feeling blue. A study showed that a dog’s ability is directly to understand emotion is related to the amount of interaction they have with humans.

Dogs keep in mind how we look when we’re happy, angry, and sad.

And if you are wondering how they even do it, it’s really simple. They use their memory. During the study, the dogs were shown 15 pairs of images of human faces. It was concluded that dogs probably keep the real emotional human faces, that they’ve been exposed to, in their memories. In the exercise, they compared their reaction to these photos to see if they could figure things out.

They have a tendency to see happiness around us!

Another thing found was that it is more difficult for them to differentiate between a sad and an angry face, but they had an immediate response to happy faces, which they recognized much easier in the photos. Our doggos love to see us happy, it’s official! And there is actually more proof for that.

More research proved that their ultimate goal is to please us.

Another research study showed that dogs understand and react to certain common words that we use, and it’s not just because they’ve been taught to do this, but because they sense their owners’ want them to get the command right, so they are trying to accomplish this for us. Dogs really want to please their owners, and maybe also receive some treats, as neuroscientist Gregory Berns says.

Do you have a pet? Share your cute selfies with your best friends with us. We’d love to see how right this research is!

Please note: This article was updated in March 2022 to correct source material and factual inaccuracies.


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