A new study of canine brains published in Science by Budapest’s Eotvos Lorand University shows that dogs react to both what humans say and how they say it.
In the study, dogs responded positively to phrases like “good boy” when they were spoken in a cheerful manner. However, when “good boy” was uttered in a neutral tone, the dogs reacted less enthusiastically. Similarly, when neutral words like “however” were spoken in a gregarious tone, the pooches were non-plussed.
“Both what we say and how we say it matters to dogs,” researcher Attila Andics tells The New York Times.