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SCIENCE JOURNAL: GOOD BOY! DOGS KNOW WHAT YOU'RE SAYING, STUDY SHOWS


AUGUST 31 -This undated photo made available by Eniko Kubinyi of Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016 shows trained dogs, involved in a study to investigate how dogs process speech, posed around a scanner in Budapest, Hungary. A study published in the journal Science showed that their brains process words with the left hemisphere and use the right hemisphere to process intonation — just like humans. (Eniko Kubinyi/Eotvos Lorand University via AP)
Scientists have found evidence to support what many dog owners have long believed: Man's best friend really does understand some of what we're saying. Researchers in Hungary scanned the brains of dogs as they were listening to their trainer speaking to determine which parts of the brain they were using. They found that dogs processed words with the left hemisphere and used the right hemisphere to process pitch — just like people. What's more, the dogs only registered that they were being praised if the words and pitch were positive. Meaningless words spoken in an encouraging voice, or meaningful words in a neutral tone, didn't have the same effect. "Dog brains care about both what we say and how we say it," said lead researcher Attila Andics, a neuroscientist at Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest, said in an email. "Praise can work as a reward only if both word meaning and intonation match."  Andics said the findings suggest that the mental ability to process language evolved earlier than previously believed and that what sets humans apart from other species is the invention of words. While other species probably also have the mental ability to understand language like dogs do, their lack of interest in human speech makes it difficult to test, said Andics. Dogs, on the other hand, have socialized with humans for thousands of years, meaning they are more attentive to what people say to them and how. READ MORE...

ALSO: Dogs really do understand human language, study suggests


AUGUST 30 -
A new study has found that dogs' brains really can understand human language, responding to both words and the tone in which they are spoken. (Submitted by Angela Eileen Russell)
MRI scans show dogs recognize both words themselves and tone in which they're spoken Science confirms that dogs are naturally jealous /Dogs feel no shame — despite that look /Dogs pick up our intent to communicate at a glance Scientists have found evidence to support what many dog owners have long believed: man's best friend really does understand some of what we're saying. Researchers in Hungary scanned the brains of dogs as they were listening to their trainer speaking to determine which parts of the brain they were using. Horses can read human facial expressions, study suggests Dogs feel jealousy, science confirms They found that dogs processed words with the left hemisphere, while intonation was processed with the right hemisphere — just like humans. Dog MRI scanner Researchers in Hungary scanned the brains of dogs as they were listening to their trainer speaking to determine which parts of the brain they were using. (Vilja & Vanda Molnár) What's more, the dogs only registered that they were being praised if the words and intonation were positive; meaningless words spoken in an encouraging voice, or meaningful words in a neutral tone, didn't have the same effect. READ MORE...

ALSO: Pet owners can learn signs dogs are stressed


EARLIER REPORT NOV 2014 -Dogs exhibit calming signals owners can learn to recognize to help avoid a stressful situation from escalating. (Petfinder) There are ways for dog owners to learn to understand what their pets are trying to communicate by observing their body language. Dr. Anne Marie Carey, with the Atlantic Veterinary College, said there are signs dogs exhibit that owners can be aware of and react accordingly, for example when children are interacting with a dog. The veterinarian said, “Dogs are very peaceful creatures by nature. They want to avoid conflict so they developed a pretty good system of communication to say 'This is stressing me out', so it doesn’t escalate.” The calming signals are very subtle and are often mistaken for something else. The signals are: •Lip licking •Yawning •Lying down •Looking away •Stiffening Carey said these signs may look like a dog is bored, but it's not. "This is a dog saying this is really worrying me. It’s time to chill out.”  Children can be intimidating to dogs for various reasons including being loud, using quick movements and sometimes being at eye level with the dog. READ MORE...

ALSO DOG's IQ: Dogs as Smart as 2-year-old Kids


EARLIER REPORT AUGUST 2009 -Babies as young as six months old can distinguish between friendly dog barks and threatening ones. Credit: Mark Philbrick/BYU.
The canine IQ test results are in: Even the average dog has the mental abilities of a 2-year-old child. The finding is based on a language development test, revealing average dogs can learn 165 words (similar to a 2-year-old child), including signals and gestures, and dogs in the top 20 percent in intelligence can learn 250 words. And the smartest? Border collies, poodles, and German shepherds, in that order, says Stanley Coren, a canine expert and professor emeritus at the University of British Columbia. Those breeds have been created recently compared with other dog breeds and may be smarter in part because we've trained and bred them to be so, Coren said. The dogs at the top of the pack are on par with a 2.5-year-old. Better at math and socializing While dogs ranked with the 2-year-olds in language, they would trump a 3- or 4-year-old in basic arithmetic, Coren found. In terms of social smarts, our drooling furballs fare even better. "The social life of dogs is much more complex, much more like human teenagers at that stage, interested in who is moving up in the pack and who is sleeping with who and that sort of thing," Coren told LiveScience. Coren, who has written more than a half-dozen books on dogs and dog behavior, will present an overview of various studies on dog smarts at the American Psychological Association's annual meeting in Toronto. "We all want insight into how our furry companions think, and we want to understand the silly, quirky and apparently irrational behaviors [that] Lassie or Rover demonstrate," Coren said. "Their stunning flashes of brilliance and creativity are reminders that they may not be Einsteins but are sure closer to humans than we thought." Math test To get inside the noggin of man's best friend, scientists are modifying tests for dogs that were originally developed to measure skills in children. Here's one: In an arithmetic test, dogs watch as one treat and then another treat are lowered down behind a screen. When the screen gets lifted, the dogs, if they get arithmetic (1+1=2), will expect to see two treats. (For toddlers, other objects would be used.) But say the scientist swipes one of the treats, or adds another so the end result is one, or three treats, respectively. "Now we're giving him the wrong equation which is 1+1=1, or 1+1=3," Coren said. Sure enough, studies show the dogs get it. "The dog acts surprised and stares at it for a longer period of time, just like a human kid would," he said. These studies suggest dogs have a basic understanding of arithmetic, and they can count to four or five. Basic emotions Other studies Coren notes have found that dogs show spatial problem-solving skills. For instance, they can locate valued items, such as treats, find better routes in the environment, such as the fastest way to a favorite chair, and figure out how to operate latches and simple machines. READ MORE...

ALSO WATCH THIS VIDEO: THE ITALY EARTHQUAKE - Dog Lay Beside Its Deceased Owner's Coffin; Visuals Go Viral ...below this page.


AUGUST 28, 2016 -SCREENGRAB


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Good boy! Dogs know what you're saying, study suggests


This undated photo made available by Eniko Kubinyi of Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016 shows trained dogs, involved in a study to investigate how dogs process speech, posed around a scanner in Budapest, Hungary. A study published in the journal Science showed that their brains process words with the left hemisphere and use the right hemisphere to process intonation — just like humans. (Eniko Kubinyi/Eotvos Lorand University via AP)

BERLIN (AP), SEPTEMBER 5, 2016 (PHILSTAR) ASSOCIATED PRESS - August 31, 2016 - Scientists have found evidence to support what many dog owners have long believed: Man's best friend really does understand some of what we're saying.

Researchers in Hungary scanned the brains of dogs as they were listening to their trainer speaking to determine which parts of the brain they were using.

They found that dogs processed words with the left hemisphere and used the right hemisphere to process pitch — just like people.

What's more, the dogs only registered that they were being praised if the words and pitch were positive. Meaningless words spoken in an encouraging voice, or meaningful words in a neutral tone, didn't have the same effect.

"Dog brains care about both what we say and how we say it," said lead researcher Attila Andics, a neuroscientist at Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest, said in an email. "Praise can work as a reward only if both word meaning and intonation match."

Andics said the findings suggest that the mental ability to process language evolved earlier than previously believed and that what sets humans apart from other species is the invention of words.

While other species probably also have the mental ability to understand language like dogs do, their lack of interest in human speech makes it difficult to test, said Andics.

Dogs, on the other hand, have socialized with humans for thousands of years, meaning they are more attentive to what people say to them and how.

READ MORE...

Researchers imaged the brains of 13 dogs using a technique called functional MRI, or fMRI, which records brain activity.

The dogs— six border collies, five golden retrievers, a German shepherd and a Chinese crested — were trained to lie motionless in the scanner for seven minutes during the tests. The dogs were awake and unrestrained as they listened to their trainer's voice through headphones.

"The most difficult aspect of this training is for dogs to understand that being motionless means really motionless," said Andics, who published the findings in the journal Science.

While dog owners may find the results unsurprising, from a scientific perspective, it's a "shocker" that word meaning seems to be processed in the left hemisphere of the brain, said Brian Hare, associate professor of evolutionary anthropology at Duke University, who had no role in the research.

Emory University neuroscientist Gregory Berns cautioned that the study involved a small number of dogs. Before concluding it's a smoking gun for word processing, "they should have looked for other evidence in the brain," he said in an email.


CBC NEWS CANADA

Dogs really do understand human language, study suggests The Associated Press Posted: Aug 30, 2016 9:43 AM ET Last Updated: Aug 30, 2016 12:52 PM ET


AUGUST 30 -A new study has found that dogs' brains really can understand human language, responding to both words and the tone in which they are spoken. (Submitted by Angela Eileen Russell)

MRI scans show dogs recognize both words themselves and tone in which they're spoken

Science confirms that dogs are naturally jealous

Dogs feel no shame — despite that look

Dogs pick up our intent to communicate at a glance

Scientists have found evidence to support what many dog owners have long believed: man's best friend really does understand some of what we're saying.

Researchers in Hungary scanned the brains of dogs as they were listening to their trainer speaking to determine which parts of the brain they were using.

--Horses can read human facial expressions, study suggests

--Dogs feel jealousy, science confirms

They found that dogs processed words with the left hemisphere, while intonation was processed with the right hemisphere — just like humans.


DOG MRI SCANNER: Researchers in Hungary scanned the brains of dogs as they were listening to their trainer speaking to determine which parts of the brain they were using. (Vilja & Vanda Molnár)

What's more, the dogs only registered that they were being praised if the words and intonation were positive; meaningless words spoken in an encouraging voice, or meaningful words in a neutral tone, didn't have the same effect.

READ MORE...

"Dog brains care about both what we say and how we say it," said lead researcher Attila Andics, a neuroscientist at Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest. "Praise can work as a reward only if both word meaning and intonation match."


dog mri -Lead researcher Attila Andics said the findings suggest that the mental ability to process language evolved earlier than previously believed and that what sets humans apart from other species is the invention of words. (Enikő Kubinyi)

Andics said the findings suggest that the mental ability to process language evolved earlier than previously believed and that what sets humans apart from other species is the invention of words.

Brain language abilities not uniquely human

"The neural capacities to process words that were thought by many to be uniquely human are actually shared with other species," he said. "This suggests that the big change that made humans able to start using words was not a big change in neural capacity."

While other species probably also have the mental ability to understand language like dogs do, their lack of interest in human speech makes it difficult to test, said Andics.


Dogs MRI language study -All of the dogs were awake, unrestrained and happy during the tests, researchers said. (Eniko Kubinyi)

Dogs, on the other hand, have socialized with humans for thousands of years, meaning they are more attentive to what people say to them and how.

Researchers imaged the brains of 13 dogs using a technique called functional MRI, or fMRI, which records brain activity.

The dogs— six border collies, five golden retrievers, a German shepherd and a Chinese crested — were trained to lie motionless in the scanner for seven minutes during the tests. The dogs were awake and unrestrained as they listened to their trainer's voice through headphones.

"The most difficult aspect of this training is for dogs to understand that being motionless means really motionless," said Andics, who published the findings in the journal Science.

Andics noted that all of the dogs were awake, unrestrained and happy during the tests. "They participated voluntarily," he said.

While dog owners may find the results unsurprising, from a scientific perspective, it's a "shocker" that word meaning seems to be processed in the left hemisphere of the brain, said Brian Hare, associate professor of evolutionary anthropology at Duke University, who had no role in the research.

Emory University neuroscientist Gregory Berns cautioned that the study involved a small number of dogs. Before concluding it's a smoking gun for word processing, "they should have looked for other evidence in the brain," he said in an email.

DOGS FEEL NO SHAME DESPITE THE LOOK


CBC CANADA (THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Pet owners can learn signs dogs are stressed CBC News Posted: Nov 18, 2014 6:27 PM AT Last Updated: Nov 18, 2014 6:27 PM AT


German Shepherd: Dogs exhibit calming signals owners can learn to recognize to help avoid a stressful situation from escalating. (Petfinder)

There are ways for dog owners to learn to understand what their pets are trying to communicate by observing their body language.

Dogs exhibit calming signals owners can learn to recognize to help avoid a stressful situation from escalating. (Petfinder)

Dr. Anne Marie Carey, with the Atlantic Veterinary College, said there are signs dogs exhibit that owners can be aware of and react accordingly, for example when children are interacting with a dog.

The veterinarian said, “Dogs are very peaceful creatures by nature. They want to avoid conflict so they developed a pretty good system of communication to say 'This is stressing me out', so it doesn’t escalate.”

The calming signals are very subtle and are often mistaken for something else.

The signals are:

•Lip licking
•Yawning
•Lying down
•Looking away
•Stiffening

Carey said these signs may look like a dog is bored, but it's not. "This is a dog saying this is really worrying me. It’s time to chill out.” 

Children can be intimidating to dogs for various reasons including being loud, using quick movements and sometimes being at eye level with the dog.

READ MORE...

Pet owners can teach their pets to be calm and relaxed around children but Carey said it takes time and it is a process.

“We have very high expectations on our dogs and sometimes we put them in situations that are dangerous and just assume just because they are not doing anything bad, they’re happy about it.”

Carey said the calming behaviours are at the bottom of a ladder of behaviours that leads to growling, biting and snapping.

If a dog is exhibiting the calming signals and the owner recognizes that, then it can avoid a more serious situation from taking place.

“The appropriate thing to do is to remove the dog from that situation.”

Carey adds many serious situations can be avoided once a pet owner learns to recognize the signals the dogs employ.

4 Comments
Commenting is now closed for this story.

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Maryann
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Maryann
Great article. Dr. Carey is a brilliant and devoted veterinarian. I listened to the CBC radio interview this morning and found myself thinking about what was said about small children and dogs. I really feel that the public has to be more aware of the signals that dogs give us.

1 year ago 
roxypoxy
Flag
If lying down is a sign of stress then my dog must be suicidal.

1 year ago 
sugarpei
Flag
sugarpei
@roxypoxy: That is hilarious. L0L. That's the funniest thing I've read lately.

1 year ago 
2ndsoberthought
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2ndsoberthought
Now if only parents could spend as much time and attention to whether or not their kids are stressed.

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LIVE SCIENCE

Dogs as Smart as 2-year-old Kids By Jeanna Bryner, Live Science Managing Editor | August 8, 2009 10:00am ET


Babies as young as six months old can distinguish between friendly dog barks and threatening ones.
Credit: Mark Philbrick/BYU.

The canine IQ test results are in: Even the average dog has the mental abilities of a 2-year-old child.

The finding is based on a language development test, revealing average dogs can learn 165 words (similar to a 2-year-old child), including signals and gestures, and dogs in the top 20 percent in intelligence can learn 250 words.

And the smartest?

Border collies, poodles, and German shepherds, in that order, says Stanley Coren, a canine expert and professor emeritus at the University of British Columbia.

Those breeds have been created recently compared with other dog breeds and may be smarter in part because we've trained and bred them to be so, Coren said. The dogs at the top of the pack are on par with a 2.5-year-old.

Better at math and socializing

While dogs ranked with the 2-year-olds in language, they would trump a 3- or 4-year-old in basic arithmetic, Coren found. In terms of social smarts, our drooling furballs fare even better.

"The social life of dogs is much more complex, much more like human teenagers at that stage, interested in who is moving up in the pack and who is sleeping with who and that sort of thing," Coren told LiveScience.

Coren, who has written more than a half-dozen books on dogs and dog behavior, will present an overview of various studies on dog smarts at the American Psychological Association's annual meeting in Toronto.

"We all want insight into how our furry companions think, and we want to understand the silly, quirky and apparently irrational behaviors [that] Lassie or Rover demonstrate," Coren said. "Their stunning flashes of brilliance and creativity are reminders that they may not be Einsteins but are sure closer to humans than we thought."

Math test

To get inside the noggin of man's best friend, scientists are modifying tests for dogs that were originally developed to measure skills in children.

Here's one:

In an arithmetic test, dogs watch as one treat and then another treat are lowered down behind a screen. When the screen gets lifted, the dogs, if they get arithmetic (1+1=2), will expect to see two treats. (For toddlers, other objects would be used.)

But say the scientist swipes one of the treats, or adds another so the end result is one, or three treats, respectively. "Now we're giving him the wrong equation which is 1+1=1, or 1+1=3," Coren said. Sure enough, studies show the dogs get it. "The dog acts surprised and stares at it for a longer period of time, just like a human kid would," he said.

These studies suggest dogs have a basic understanding of arithmetic, and they can count to four or five.

Basic emotions

Other studies Coren notes have found that dogs show spatial problem-solving skills. For instance, they can locate valued items, such as treats, find better routes in the environment, such as the fastest way to a favorite chair, and figure out how to operate latches and simple machines.

READ MORE...

Like human toddlers, dogs also show some basic emotions, such as happiness, anger and disgust. But more complex emotions, such as guilt, are not in a dog's toolbox. (What humans once thought was guilt was found to be doggy fear, Coren noted.)

And while dogs know whether they're being treated fairly, they don't grasp the concept of equity. Coren recalls a study in which dogs get a treat for "giving a paw."

When one dog gets a treat and the other doesn't, the unrewarded dog stops performing the trick and avoids making eye contact with the trainer. But if one dog, say, gets rewarded with a juicy steak while the other snags a measly piece of bread, on average the dogs don't care about the inequality of the treats.

Top dogs

To find out which dogs had the top school smarts, Coren collected data from more than 200 dog obedience judges from the United States and Canada.

He found the top dogs, in order of their doggy IQ are:

  1. Border collies
  2. Poodles
  3. German shepherds
  4. Golden retrievers
  5. Dobermans
  6. Shetland sheepdogs
  7. Labrador retrievers

At the bottom of the intelligence barrel, Coren would include many of the hounds, such as the bassett hound and the Afghan hound, along with the bulldog, beagle and basenji (a hunting dog).

"It's important to note that these breeds which don't do as well tend to be considerably older breeds," he said. "They were developed when the task of a hound was to find something by smell or sight." These dogs might fare better on tests of so-called instinctive intelligence, which measure how well dogs do what they are bred to do.

"The dogs that are the brightest dogs in terms of school learning ability tend to be the dogs that are much more recently developed," Coren said. He added that there's a "high probability that we've been breeding dogs so they're more responsive to human beings and human signals." So the most recently bred dogs would be more human-friendly and rank higher on school smarts.

Many of these smarty-pants are also the most popular pets. "We like dogs that understand us," Coren said.

We also love the beagle, which made it to the top 10 list of most popular dog breeds in 2008 by the American Kennel Club. That's because they are so sweet and socialable, Coren said. "Sometimes people love the dumb blonde," Coren said.

And sometimes the dim-wits make better pets. While a smart dog will figure out everything you want it to know, your super pet will also learn everything it can get away with, Coren warns.

Are Dogs Smarter Than Cats?

READ: Heartbreaking image shows loyalty of dog refusing to leave owner's coffin after horror Italy earthquake

13:42, 27 AUG 2016 UPDATED 16:42, 27 AUG 2016 BY ALEX WELLMAN The blond spaniel stares
ahead while sitting quietly next to the coffin

WATCH YOU TUBE VIDEO:

 
https://youtu.be/Vjmi55Yu_7A
Dog Lay Beside Its Deceased Owner's Coffin; Visuals Go Viral


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