Paws and Pitch: Why Dogs Love Women’s Voices and Baby Talk

Joanne Baker | Saturday, August 26th, 2023

Hey there! Did you know that dogs really pay attention to how we talk to them? Just like how we talk differently to babies, we also use a special way of speaking to dogs. When we talk to babies, we use a high-pitched voice that sounds all nice and musical. This is called “Motherese.” And guess what? When we talk to dogs, we have a similar kind of special talking style called “Doggerel.” It’s like we can’t help but use this way of talking when we’re around cute little pups!

Scientists have found out some cool stuff about this. They discovered that when we use this special way of talking, both babies and dogs listen better. Our brains actually like this type of talking! When babies hear Motherese, their brains get really active. But here’s the exciting part: dogs’ brains also get super active when they hear Doggerel or even when they hear people talking like that to babies.

Now, let’s talk about why dogs might listen more to women. A study used something called fMRI to look at dogs’ brains while they heard different types of talking. And guess what? The special parts of a dog’s brain that pay attention to Doggerel and Motherese are most sensitive to women’s voices. So, dogs really like when women talk to them using that special way!

This might explain something cool. You’ve probably noticed that lots of dog trainers are women, right? Well, this study gives us a hint why. Dogs might actually understand and like learning from women’s voices better. That’s why women might be really good at training dogs. It’s not just about being kind – it’s also about how our voices sound to dogs.

So, next time you see someone talking to their dog in a funny, high-pitched way, remember that dogs love it. And if you ever want to be a great dog trainer, using that special way of talking might help a lot!