A study released earlier this month by the University of York shows that dogs really do love that baby talk.
The very same high-pitched, melodic, and emotionally engaging voice that humans instinctively use with babies will catch and hold the attention of your dog—especially if you’re using their favourite words (walkies, anyone?)
Talk Baby to Me
The scientific term for baby talk is infant-directed speech. In the York study, scientists compared dogs’ reactions to being spoken to in baby talk (dog-directed speech) to regular adult speech (adult-directed speech).
The study included words and phrases commonly used around dogs as well as random, non-dog-related words and phrases. Unsurprisingly, dogs showed a clear preference for dog-related terms. A little more surprising is that the dogs liked hearing their favourite words and the baby talk voice together best of all. Especially puppies!
So the next time you feel a little silly talking to your favourite four-legged family member like they’re a baby, be proud instead. It’s science.
Read more about the study on Science Daily.
Read more about dog directed speech at the Royal Society.