Do you find yourself having deep conversations with your pooch? Don’t worry, you’re not the only one. And what’s more, there are actually scientifically proven reasons to talk to your dog!
Go get your old buddy because you two are about to have long and fruitful conversations after this article.
3 reasons to talk to your dog for your own well-being
If you’re a bachelor, your dog is your buddy. If you’re married, he is part of the family. Why shouldn’t you talk to him? Anyone who has ever had a dog knows they can understand humans to a certain degree. And it’s not simply wishful thinking either.
Scientists have already proved it in 2016 that they can comprehend some words and facial expressions. But if you still need more reasons to talk with your dog, here they are.
Fido is truly your friend
Humans are social beings. Even introverts and loners need human contact, albeit in small doses. According to a study by the Northwestern University, the more lonely you are, the more you tend to anthropomorphize pets.
In practice, this means that you find the same psychological benefits in talking to your dog, as you would normally have from a human interaction. Not only that, but you also create and are part of a strong bond, where companionship and loyalty are the main factors.
One of the main reasons to talk to your dog is the psychological benefits you can get from it. If you’re suffering from depression or are simply feeling overwhelmed you normally have several thoughts that worry you.
Turn them into reasons to talk to your dog! While vocalizing your worries and doubts you’re giving the brain the chance to double-analyze the information, to understand the context better and try to find a solution.
First, you need to think what you are going to say and then you hear yourself saying it. You’re both a producer and a receiver.
Directing the speech to your dog also helps because you see his adoring eyes and attentive face and immediately create a sense of empathy. You feel someone understands you and listens to you without judging, which in turn lets you speak more freely and understand yourself better.
Strengthen the bond
When you’re talking to your buddy, you probably use a high pitched voice and do some baby-talk like you were communicating with an infant. This might trigger some scoffs and laughs from the people around you, but it’s actually a positive thing.
Researchers Alex Benjamin and Katie Slocombe performed an experiment to check if dogs preferred “baby-talk” speech or “adult-speech”. The goal was to ascertain if there was a reason for humans to be talking like that or if they were simply mirroring infants in their pets.
It turns out that “baby-talk” is the most efficient one as it is easier for canines to interpret the intonation and specific words. The more the dog can understand you, the more he can relate to you. The same is valid for humans. People tend to engage more on an emotional level with pets they feel that understand them.
How to communicate with your dog
Now that you know the reasons to talk to your dog and understand their benefits, the next step is to know how to improve or create that route of communication.
Since dogs are genetically predisposed to engage physically and emotionally with their families, it’s quite easy to talk or communicate with canines.
According to the same study by researchers Benjamin and Slocombe, high-pitched voices are more likely to get the dog’s attention. This is also corroborated by a study from the University of Lyon/Saint-Etienne, according to which the high-pitched tone is key to draw their interest, even if they were already paying attention to the dog-speech.
Therefore, to improve communication with your dog, be sure to talk sweet and high as if you were an excited little girl or boy.
Use those treats
If you’re looking to actively teach your dog something, treats and snacks are your best learning tool.
For any kind of training, you should always use the same cue word to refer to the movement or action you want the dog to make. Whenever he does it, reward it. Eventually, he will learn that cue+action=treat and become an excellent pupil to the point that after a while, the snack won’t be needed anymore.
Use your face
Canines understand humans, even with their scarce vocabulary, because they can interpret non-verbal language. Particularly face expressions, although they can also learn body language too.
So, whenever you’re trying to communicate with your buddy, use your face. This will help the message go through as he will have more contextual clues to interpret what you are saying.
Plus, if your dog is deaf or has a hearing impediment, he will be relying only on non-verbal communication to create a bond with you.
Let’s bark out!
With some many positive reasons to talk to your dog, what are you waiting for? Weren’t the arguments strong enough to convince you? Then it’s time to use the ultimate excuse: it’s funny!
How else would one be able to enjoy a video such as the one that follows without having anyone talking to men’s best friends?