Saturday, 25 July 2009

young babies can understand dog barks and body language

Humans and canines have lived together for hundreds of thousands of years and we understand each other pretty well. It's surprising, however, to find that babies just six months old can look at photos of angry or welcoming dogs and match the pictures correctly to recorded barks, snarls or yaps.

Dogs were chosen for the experiments at Brigham Young University, reported in the Journal of Developmental Psychology, because they are a species that communicates with body language and with sound - as we do.

Here's a quote from a report at
In the experiment, the babies first saw two different pictures of the same dog, one in an aggressive posture and the other in a friendly stance. Then the researchers played - in random order - sound clips of a friendly and an aggressive dog bark...While the recordings played, the 6-month-old babies spent most of their time staring at the appropriate picture. Older babies usually made the connection instantly with their very first glance.

I'm glad to have come across this Physorg site. It looks interesting.


JD and Max said...

We thought as much! We like most little people as they're closer to our size and also seem to like playing with stuffies too! Tail wags - JD and Max.

parlance said...

Yep, those stuffies prove babies and dogs are on the same wavelength.

happy said...

This is interesting. Reminds me of a friend's baby and their pet dog. Everytime the baby scream or gurgle happily, the dog would get excited too and wag her tail. They must be sharing some jokes together LOL!

parlance said...

Happy, I reckon if we could understand babies and dogs we'd probably solve the questions that perplex humanity.