The scientists at Eötvös Loránd University (Budapest) found out what perhaps most dog owners have known since the very first day they met their beloved pets - dogs can understand what some words mean.
The scientists were able to convince 13 dogs to lie inside an MRI machine and be analysed, while a number of spoken commands were given to them. What they found out was, that much like humans, dogs aren't just processing the noise; they are processing the word and whether the intonation is positive or negative!
When the #scientists tried out common remarks like "well done" and "good boy", they realised that when these are spoken with positive intonation, both sides of the dog's brain lit up; however, when the same remarks are said in a neutral tone of voice, the #dogs didn't respond.
This study shows that dogs not only separate what we say from how we say it, but also that they can combine the two for a correct #interpretation of what those words really mean. As dog-owners love talking to them all the time, it is good to know that they are indeed the great listeners we already knew they were. We just have to mind the tone.