We all know what baby talk is… It’s that high-pitched, slow and exaggerated way we talk to infants and babies. Scientists call this universal way of speaking ‘infant-directed speech’ and discovered a long time ago that it helps babies focus and learn language faster.
It turns out puppies also prefer baby talk.
Researchers from City University of New York (USA), University of Lyon/Saint-Etienne (France) and University of Sussex (UK) researched the effects of ‘baby talk’ on puppies and older dogs. 30 female volunteers were recorded speaking normally to other humans, to pictures of puppies, to pictures of adult dogs, and to pictures of senior dogs. The female participants used phrases like “Hi! Hello cutie!”, “Who’s a good boy?” and “Come here!”. In all cases, the women used 'dog-directed speech', or friendly and slow sing-song voices, when addressing the dog photos. The women’s vocal pitches were 21% higher when addressing puppy pictures. The researchers then played back the recordings to a group of puppies, adult dogs, and senior dogs.
In every case, the puppies were very responsive to higher pitched dog-directed speech; they becoming happy and playful while hearing the recordings. The puppies were much less enthused when listening to recordings of women speaking normally to other adults. As for the adult and senior dogs, they were barely responsive to dog-directed speech even though the female volunteers specifically directed it towards them.
What are the main takeaways? First, only puppies are highly responsive to dog-directed speech, as opposed to adult dogs, and vocal pitch plays a significant role in this language. Trying to train your puppy or get him or her to focus? Use a higher-pitched, sing-song voice to get and hold his or her attention.
Second, humans commonly and ineffectively use dog-directed speech when addressing adult and senior dogs. Truth is, it has very little effect on getting their attention and maintaining focus.The study was published earlier this week by the Proceedings of Royal Society B. Click here to view the original report published by the Proceedings of Royal Society B
In June 2016, Mike and I (Steph) packed up our tiny New York City apartment and put almost everything we owned into storage. We flew to the Pacific Northwest with two suitcases and our long-haired dachshund, Django. Over the next 10 months, Mike and I worked remotely, lived in both Oregon and Southern California, and spent almost all of our free time adventuring, hiking, and camping with Django. One of our all-time favorite dog-friendly adventures was a road trip down California's Pacific Coast Highway.
In this DJANGO Dog Blog article, we highlight the best dog-friendly places to visit along the Pacific Coast Highway. Although the PCH technically ends just north of San Diego, we include our favorite pet-friendly beaches, parks, camping grounds, and vineyards to visit on your next road trip from San Francisco to San Diego. We also include an interactive Google Map highlighting each dog-friendly attraction along the route.
Heartworm disease is one of the most serious and potentially lethal canine diseases. It is prevalent throughout the United States and found all over the world. Heartworms are silent killers that can damage your dog’s heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys if left untreated.
If you are a dog owner, you are likely well aware that it is important to protect your dog against heartworm disease. You probably give your dog regular heartworm prevention medicine to ensure your four-legged friend's health and wellbeing. But have you ever stopped to wonder what exactly heartworm disease in dogs is? What causes heartworm disease, and how do dogs contract heartworms? What are the symptoms of canine heartworm disease? Can the disease be successfully treated?
Here is everything you need to know about the causes, symptoms, treatment, and prevention of heartworm disease in dogs.
When we brought Django home in 2015, he had 28 razor sharp puppy teeth. Like a human baby, Django explored the world by putting objects into his mouth. Although we (Mike and Steph) always tried to direct Django's chewing energy towards puppy-safe chew toys, Django would put things in his mouth and chew on items he wasn't supposed to. Since Mike and I were a part of his world, he inevitably started nipping and biting our fingers, hands, and toes.
While mouthing is completely normal during puppyhood, it is important to let your puppy know what is and what is NOT allowed to be chewed on. Why do puppies gnaw on everything? How do you keep your dog from biting you? Are there outdated training techniques you should avoid? When should you seek professional help for your four-legged friend?
We spoke to Denise Harmon, the founder of Brooklyn-based dog training and consultant company Empire of the Dog, for tips on preventing puppy nipping and biting. Here is everything you need to know.