Puppies Love Your Baby Talk, but Dogs Don’t.

When you first meet a dog, it’s hard not to escape the high-pitched voice that people use when talking to babies. New research shows that puppies do like this voice, but you might be wasting your breath with older dogs.

A study published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences looked at how recordings from adults using different voices affect dog behavior. “Pet-Driven Speech,” which implies a softer, higher tone and slower pace of speech, had a big impact on the puppies. When it came to changing their behavior, they were very responsive to sounds, which suggests that babbling has functional implications for your little puppies. When training a newborn dog, it seems beneficial to talk to them like babies.

On the other hand, older dogs did not respond to this type of voice other than normal speech. Like humans, they seem to grow out of the goo-ha-ha-ha chatter. So why, then, are we still doing this? Researchers believe it has something to do with our wiring. We tend to use slow children’s voices to facilitate communication with most non-verbal listeners. Perhaps this is a spontaneous, instinctive way to communicate with our “young”, even if they are a little hairier. Plus, the dogs are cute as hell and it’s hard to miss.

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