Dogs can communicate like a human baby?


| 5 Comments
It's been said that dogs can tell when you are sick, sad, or happy; well, now a study has given reason to why this is. A recent study has shown that dogs are a lot like infants in the way that they are sensitive to our cues to communicate with them are our equally receptive to them as a "pre-verbal infant". 

In this study, eye-tracking technology was used to show how dogs reacted after they were given communication cues. It was found that the dogs gaze followed the person just as often as a 6 month old baby's would. This fact shows that dogs have evolved over time and become attuned to human signals. 

The only question that is still up in the air with this study is which part of communication is more important; eye contact, or directed speech? Personally I think it's all about eye contact. What do you think, can dogs really understand what we are saying or do they just follow what we are looking at?
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5 Comments

Paige,
This notion that dogs communicate like infants makes sense. That is probably why when dogs don't recognize a person they give you a confused stare. The same holds true for babies. When they meet a person they don't know they give you what my Psych 100 teacher referred to as "the baby death stare".

I found your blog very interesting because I do believe that dogs are very smart but I would not have expected that they have the same ability to communicate as infants. However, I was wondering if the ability of a dog to understand what a human was saying would vary depending on what type of dog? This article states that there are certain breeds of dogs that can understand what humans are communicating better than others.
Check it out here http://www.cesarsway.com/newsandevents/dognews/Dog-Smarts-Where-Does-Your-Pet-Rank

There are definitely some similarities between the way a baby acts and the way dogs act but i really don't think it is anything but a coincidence. When it comes to why the dogs are so good at understanding what we mean I think it really just has to do with them following our eye contact. I think if dogs were actually following our verbal communication cues it would require them to be much more intelligent than they actually are. The article below shows how dogs aren't really much smarter than your average toddler! http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/20/opinion/sunday/is-your-dog-smarter-than-a-2-year-old.html

This is great! I've always wondered if my dog could actually sense some of these things!

Paige, this article brought a smile to my face because I want to eventually get a dog when I own my first home ( I prefer huskies I think their the most beautiful dogs on the planet). You article confirm the old saying, " A dog is a man's best friend" and I can't wait to get my husky I'm going to call him "Bullet" or "Smooth"(just because I think huskies gets all the dogs they look like the serious player type dogs)(opinion)

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