The Human Voice Calms Our Canines

Last month, I blogged about therapy dogs adding “tutoring children” to their extensive resumes. A new innovative teaching method was introduced, which offered the comfort of dogs to young students with reading needs. It was met with a high level of success and has been used by several educational organizations on a national level. This month flipping the script somewhat, it’s been determined that in addition to assisting children, dogs benefit from the human voice in general.

Audible for Dogs

Audible for Dogs just recently announced a new offering to “foster calm, relaxed behavior” in dogs while their owners are away.

Teaming up with Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan, the new service was developed so dogs could listen to a human voice, in absence of the absence of their masters. The Audible Book publisher was inspired to create audiobooks for dogs after a 2015 study showed audiobooks were more effective in reducing stress in canines than playing music.

Audible for Dogs

In Audible's own study with 100 dogs, in partnership with the Cesar Millan Dog Psychology Center, 76% of owners who played audiobooks over a four-week period saw an increase in calm, relaxed behavior for their pooches.

Millan believes the separation anxiety your pet feel can result in bad behavior, such as — incessant barking that disturbs neighbors, destruction of furniture or peeing inappropriately. Or your dog could just end up downright depressed.

Dogs react to the human voice like humans . . .

In another finding sure to support how many pet owners think about their dogs, a study published back in 2014 asserted the brains of canines react to human voices in a very human-like manner.

This research, published in the journal Current Biology, was conducted by scientists at Eotvos University in Budapest. Their research arrived at a consensus that the canines' brains function similarly to the temporal lobe of human brains.

The research also underscored another belief of pet owners — namely that their beloved pups can actually understand what they’re saying.

“We do know there are voice areas in humans, areas that respond more strongly to human sounds that any other types of sounds,” noted Dr. Attila Andics, the lead author of the study.

“The location (of the activity) in the dog brain is very similar to where we found it in the human brain. The fact that we found these areas exist at all in the dog brain is a surprise — it is the first time we have seen this in a non-primate.”

So, the next time your dogs are wagging their tails for some good ole human attention, you might want to pick up a good book to read to them. Your voice goes a long way in bringing a big smile to their faces. Yes, dogs can smile too!

Primary Source: Current Biology