When you talk to your dog, does he cock his head as if he is really listening to what you are telling him? Do dogs understand words? Pet expert Arden Moore writes that dogs understand your voice tone more than the actual words to gauge if you are delivering praise or discipline. Try this test. Stiffen your muscles, grab a telephone book, and begin to call out the names alphabetically in a stern, low tone in front of him. Watch his response. I bet he will glance your way, crouch down, and move away from you almost as if to say, “I can tell you’re angry and Im not sure why.”
Now repeat the exercise, but this time, relax your muscles, sit on the floor, and call out the names in thephone book in a cheery, musical tone. Watch what he does. He will probably race over to you with a circular wag and a happy, open-mouth grin and try to give you kisses.
The same words spoken in a different tone elicit different reactioins from your dog. Although tone matters more, many dogs do understand specific words and phrases. That’s because we have been consistent when speaking these words followed by a particular action.
Next: Rico the Wonder Dog