Who are you talking to mom?

All parents know that talking to your children strengthens the bond between child and parent. Well, many pet owners consider their pets as their babies; "fur babies", as we often refer to them. So, does talking to Fido create a bond as it does when talking to your child? 

Cheryl Douglas · March 26, 2019

Mom, Who are you talking to? 

By Cheryl Douglas 

All parents know that talking to your children strengthens the bond between child and parent. Well, many pet owners consider their pets as their babies; "fur babies", as we often refer to them. So, does talking to Fido create a bond as it does when talking to your child? 

Researchers, Alex Benjamin and Katie Slocombe, at the University of York in the United Kingdom wondered the same thing, so they conducted a study to find out if so-called, "dog-speak" improves bonding between pets and humans. 

In western cultures, when speaking to an infant, "baby-talk" is the most common way of communication. This positive, high-pitched form of speech is known as, "infant-directed speech". This form of speech is known to share some similarities with the way in which humans talk to their dogs. This is called, "dog-directed speech". 
 

Researchers at York tested this theory to better understand why humans talk to dogs like this, and if it is useful to the dogs in the same way as babies. The following are those findings. 

(https://www.york.ac.uk/news-and-events/news/2018/research/dog-speak-important-for-social-bonding/)

Dog-related content

Researchers did a series of speech tests with adult dogs, where they were given the chance to listen to one person using dog-directed speech containing phrases such as 'you're a good dog', and 'let's go for a walk?', and then another person using adult-directed speech with no dog-related content, such as 'I went to the movies last night.' 

Attention during the speech was measured, and following the speech, the dogs were allowed to choose which speaker they wanted to physically interact with. 

The speakers then mixed dog-directed speech with non-dog-related words and adult-directed speech with dog-related words, to allow the researchers to understand whether it was the high-pitched emotional tone of the speech that dogs were attracted to or the words themselves. 

Preferences

Alex Benjamin, PhD student from the University's Department of Psychology, said: "We found that adult dogs were more likely to want to interact and spend time with the speaker that used dog-directed speech with dog-related content, than they did those that used adult-directed speech with no dog-related content. 

"When we mixed-up the two types of speech and content, the dogs showed no preference for one speaker over the other. This suggests that adult dogs need to hear dog-relevant words spoken in a high-pitched emotional voice in order to find it relevant." 


There you have it! Fido does wants you to talk to him. Studies have also proven that talking to your dog is great for human's health, too. I mean, who else can keep all our secrets with no judgments? 

So if you’ve had a tough day, I suggest that you make a nice, warm cup of tea or sip on a glass of wine, put your feet up and just talk it out with Fido…he is waiting and willing to hear what you have to say. 

Raw Food Tip:

"Canned and kibble diets - which are heat-processed - do not provide a 100% balanced diet for our dogs and cats. Once the vital nutrients are altered or destroyed by extreme heat, you cannot substitute synthetic vitamins and minerals back in and have them be anywhere as effective and utilized in the body compared to the way nature has provided them. So it is best to feed your pet fresh, raw foods like the BARF Diet, and eliminate as many processed pet foods as possible. This will provide the best possible defense against a subclinical nutrient deficiency." 

- Robert Mueller Sr. 

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Cheryl Douglas

Cheryl Douglas

Cheryl Douglas is one of BARF® World’s Raw Food Specialist. In addition, she offers Administrative support to the BARF® World office, as well as specializing in logistics. She has a strong background in customer service and public relations. She is passionate about pets; specifically rescue dogs. She is a Minnesota native; born and raised, and enjoys spending time with her family and friends.

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What is BARF?

"BARF®" is our acronym that means Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. It is a complete and carefully balanced blend of raw meat, fruits, vegetables and bone. Our formula mimics what nature has designed our pet's to thrive on in the wild. The result is a pet free of allergies, digestive problems, and full of life!