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Yes, Dogs Can Speak “Human”

Our puppy, Flash Gordon. If you think he seems to be communicating, "This is MY green dinosaur," science says you are likely right!
Our puppy, Flash Gordon. If you think he seems to be communicating, “This is MY green dinosaur,” science says you are likely right!

I love animals.

Animals don’t litter. With an animal, you don’t have to dig through layers of meaning and context to find the point. An animal won’t pretend they like you to your face then gossip about you behind your back.

And, as it turns out, it may just be that animals understand people far better than people understand animals (despite what people may like to tell themselves about being the “superior” species).

For instance, a recent study at the University of Vienna has produced evidence that dogs can understand both tone and vocabulary.

Not only that, but another study at the University of Budapest showed that dogs process speech in the left brain hemisphere and tone in the right brain hemisphere just like people do.

In other words, it will no longer work (and never actually has worked) to criticize a dog using a sweet tone of voice. The dog won’t be fooled even if the person doing the criticizing is fooled.  

This also points to a shared ability to put two distinct events together – in this case, what is said and how it is said – to create new meaning. Wow.

I personally rejoice at this news. It means that the kinship I’ve always felt with non-human beings is likely shared, and on a deeper level than I have realized even if they have always realized it.

It also verifies that concepts like relationship, friendship, family – these connections can absolutely transcend species and probably always have.

Right now there are so many posts and articles on this topic, thanks to the Vienna and Budapest studies, which are bringing other past similar studies back to the news headlines again as well.

I actually don’t have time to read them all right now, but I am just so excited to learn that dolphins and dogs and parrots and all kinds of wonderful, interesting, intelligent and conscious species can meet us halfway and maybe even more than that, mentoring us with patience and perseverance until we can catch up.

Today’s Takeaway: Have you been following some of the recent studies into canine cognition and the abilities of other species? Do you feel threatened? Encouraged? Skeptical? Totally sold on the new findings? What potential do you think these research studies have to help and maybe even heal this planet we all share?

Yes, Dogs Can Speak “Human”

Shannon Cutts

Freelance writer. Author. Cockatiel, redfoot tortoise & box turtle mama.

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APA Reference
Cutts, S. (2020). Yes, Dogs Can Speak “Human”. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 29, 2020, from


Last updated: 30 Mar 2020
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