Do dogs care what you say?

Not really. Sorry, dog whisperers. And why should they? According to a new study, dogs prefer something else over “good dog” or anything else you have to say: petting. And it’s not even close.

“What we say to dogs doesn’t seem to be rewarding to them at all,” said one of the researchers, who had one person praise a dog and another pet it and found that dogs showed far more interest in the people petting them. In fact, the dogs showed no more interest in spoken praise than in having no interaction at all. Maybe it shouldn’t be surprising. Dogs. Don’t. Speak. Human.

—Tim Gihring, editor

September 16, 2014

Source: Discover Magazine, September 7, 2014