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Does Your Dog 'Talk' to You?

Robert Preidt (Preidt, 2017)


Bibliography


Preidt, R. (2017, 10 19). www.everydayhealth.com. Retrieved from Does Your Dog 'Talk' to You?: https://www.everydayhealth.com/pet-health/does-your-dog-talk-you/



Some people swear their dogs can communicate with them. A new study adds some credence to that belief.

Dogs use more facial expressions when people are looking at them -- likely in an attempt to communicate with humans, researchers in the United Kingdom concluded.

"The findings appear to support evidence dogs are sensitive to humans' attention and that expressions are potentially active attempts to communicate, not simple emotional displays," said study leader Juliane Kaminski.

Kaminski, who's with the University of Portsmouth Dog Cognition Center, and her colleagues assessed 24 dogs of various breeds, ages 1 to 12 years. All were family pets.

There was clear evidence that the dogs made facial expressions in response to human attention, the researchers said.

The most commonly used expression? Brow raising -- often called "puppy dog eyes" -- which makes the eyes appear bigger. This often elicits an empathetic response from dog owners, the study authors noted.

The dogs did not make more facial expressions when they saw food. This suggests they use facial expressions to communicate, not just because they are excited, said Kaminski.

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