I’ll be the first to admit that I talk out loud to my dog.
It is well known that talking to newborn babies in a kind and reassuring voice improves bonding between the parent and child. Much less know is that people who talk their dogs tend to have a much stronger bond with their dogs than those owners who don’t.
A lot of people talk to their dogs, but I’m not talking about all of those words like “Get Back Here,””No No No, Not in the House,” and “Leave The Cat Alone.” I’m talking about the same types of conversations you might have with that baby or even your best friend.
OK, I’ll give you that it can be a bit embarrassing when you get caught talking to your dog about your new boss, or the argument you had with your spouse last night. For this reason you may want to use a “filter” when you talk to your dog in public. Maybe save the juicy stuff for when you are behind closed doors.
Here are several good reasons we should all have daily conversations with our dogs.
– Researchers have proven that dogs understand a lot of what we say by using cognitive association. Without understanding all of our words, dogs are capable of reading our body language and the tone of our voice in order to determine our state of mind at that moment in time.
It has also been suggested that the sounds we make help to develop an emotional feeling long before words have any meaning to them. This means that dogs read us by our body language and tone before they hear the words we speak.
– While all dogs are as different as all humans, it is a known fact that most dogs can understand as many as several hundred words.
During training an average dog is training to recognize as few as eight words and as many as one hundred depending on the kind and amount of tasks it is being train to complete. Most of this training is done through word association. We teach the dog to realize that when it hears a sound that sounds like “Sit” it needs to put its butt on the ground in order to get a reward.
Most of us also know that there are a few words that we must S-P-E-L-L O-U-T in order to keep the dog from associating the sound of it to something that it knows and understands. Dogs are capable of understanding long strings of words if they are repeating often enough. I have actually taught all of my dogs the phrase, “Don’t You Make Me Come Over There.”
– As we mentioned earlier, dogs read our body language and our tone of voice.
While there are other ways to relate to your dog, people who take the time to regularly talk to their dogs tend to have a stronger bond with them. That bond enforces trust and respect between the dog and the human.
Being closely bonded with your dog will make training easier because the dog will trust that you are asking it to do something it needs to know to please you. They see it as being mutually beneficial.
– There is an old saying: “If you have a dog you have a workout buddy, a best friend and a therapist all rolled into one.” That’s actually a lot closer to the truth than you might think.
While it is normal to contemplate issues and problems, talking to your dog can help you verbalize them which can help you work them out much quicker.
Talking to dogs is proven to help children too. There are programs that provide dogs to children who have reading and speaking problems. Dogs help them because they are a non-judgmental friend and companion who is only there to listen.
Talking to dogs also helps the elderly reconnect and stay active when they are on their own or in retirement or nursing facilities. Animals of all kinds have also been shown to have the ability to open the lines of communication from children with autism who have been previously unwilling to interact with family and caregivers.
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