Submitted by Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger
A new study, published in the journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science suggests there may be a real universal animal language. Seems humans have a natural ability to understand “dog speak” and it peaks at about age 10. Dogs and humans have enjoyed a symbiotic relationship for eons, with selective breeding from wolves occurring over the centuries. Scientists know that species eavesdrop on each other in the wild with squirrels understanding the language of some birds and vice versa. However, this is one of the first inquiries into just what humans have picked up over the years
To run the study, Scientist Péter Pongrácz of Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, asked children (aged 6, 8 and 10 years) and adults to listen to different types of dog barks. “Some of the barks were recorded when dogs were alone. Others were recorded when dogs were playing or encountering strangers. The listeners had to categorize the barks correctly by matching them to human facial expressions: fearful/lonely, angry, playful.
All of the listeners could easily tell when dogs were angry. Only the older kids, however, correctly understood the other types of barks. They scored about the same as adults.” The study team has also conducted similar tests with blind subjects and found they,too, have an innate sense of understanding the inner feelings of dogs just from their barking sounds.
Source: Discovery News
~Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger