You've heard of puppy love. But what about puppy talk? Researchers have studied just that.
When you speak to a dog, you might find yourself talking slowly, with a high pitch, just like you might to an infant. Researchers call this “dog-directed speech.”
In the first of several experiments, scientists had 30 women look at three images of dogs— a puppy, an adult, or an old dog— and read the following cheerful, dog-friendly sentence: “Hi! Hello cutie! Who's a good boy? Come here! Good boy! Yes! Come here sweetie pie! What a good boy!”
They also recorded the participants saying the same thing towards a person as a "human-directed” control.
Not surprisingly, the researchers found that humans used dog-directed speech with all the pooch pictures they saw, though they changed their voice to an even higher pitch, on average, for the puppies. In other words, people still used dog-directed speech even if the dog was an adult, or old.
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