Should You Talk To Your Dog In A Baby Voice?

Written by: Kristina Lalovic
'Oh you're such a good boy, do you want to go for a walk?' - said every dog owner ever. In addition, you probably say it with a high pitched voice. This voice is also known as a baby voice. But do dogs even like when we get so cute with them? Discover whether you should talk to your dog like that or not and read on.

It is important to communicate with your dog. Moreover, it’s extremely important to communicate in the right way. After all, dogs thrive on attention.

Every dog owner has its own way on how to communicate with its canine. For some its a special patting routine, for others a paw shake and for some even a good old talk. So, how do people communicate with canines after all?

Dog Communication

Ever since canines decided to make our lives more interesting they have been finding ways to talk to us. Furthermore, they have been finding ways to tell us when they are bothered with something, and in addition, they have been trying ever since to tell and show us how much they love us.

And ever since, they have been doing it using their own type of communication.

Although non-verbal communication is very important for dogs, we would love to focus here on the benefits of verbal or vocal communication with our canines.

That being said, we want to address the owner’s need to talk with their dogs in high pitched tone, or in a baby voice. After all, your pitch of voice says much more than the words you’re actually saying out loud.

Talk To Your Dog In A Baby Voice

If you have a dog you’re likely in the habit of talking with them in a really affectionate tone of voice and kind of baby-like. This kind of talk goes naturally, as you are instinctively protective over them. Just like with the babies.

Although people around you may find this kind of talk strange, you know that you are doing the right thing. And we have some rock-solid science-backed facts to support your ‘baby talk’.

The University of York is a home of the passionate canine lovers who were on a mission to learn if a dog-talk improves bonding between humans and pets. Katie Slocombe and Alex Benjamin have recognized researches in the canine-knowledge field.

In their research ‘Who’s A Good Boy?’ they included what they called direct-dog-speech a.k.a baby talk from one speaker, and adult-direct-speech from another speaker. The main difference was seen in similarities that direct-dog-speech had with a human baby bond with an adult.

Moreover, this speech comes with a significant high-pitched rhythmic speech that dogs associate with softness and safety, much more similar to emotions that humans tend to create with infants. Therefore, this dog-direct-talk benefits a dog in the same way that it does a baby.

Benjamin and Slocombe came to the conclusion that social bonding between humans and animals are strongly influenced by the type they are communicating, as well as the content of the communication.

Do Dogs Really Prefer Baby Talk?

Slocombe and Benjamin wanted to learn if the dogs prefer baby talk, and in order do so they conducted two experiments with a similar background, where humans interacted with dogs. In the first experiment, the researches tested dog-directed speech and adult-directed speech.

The dog-directed speech included sentences like ‘Shall we go for a walk? and ‘You’re a good dog’, said in a baby voice. The opposite, adult-directed speech included sentences like ‘I went to the cinema last night’, said in a normal voice.

Both experiments were conducted in the same environment. Each dog, including puppies, was leashed and brought into a room with two humans. Each dog heard records of different phrases and words, spoken in a baby voice and standard tone of voice.

The key metric for researchers was the amount of time the dogs were interested in each individual, and once the leash was off how much time they spent near the human before wandering off.

The second experiment included the same procedure but with a slight difference of saying dog words in adult-direct speech. Basically, dog sentence like ‘Shall we go for a walk?’ were said like the person was saying calm ‘Should we go to the cinema tonight?.’ Results were more than interesting.

This science team discovered that dog-directed speech grabs the dogs attention and hold it longer. Moreover, studies showed that puppies respond to the dog-direct speech regardless of what words were said, while adult dogs were more likely to respond to dog-direct speech when they hear words relevant to them, like ‘walk‘.

Overall, the study showed that dog-direct speech together with dog-relevant words enhances the dog’s attention and even strengthen the bond between pets and their humans.

So there it is. The next time someone gives you a weird look for talking to your dog using a baby voice, just tell them that science has your back.

‘Who’s A Good Boy?’

Dogs are intelligent beings. Therefore, if you want to trick your dog in doing something simply by using affectionate baby voice, you are not on a road of glory.

You need to address your dog with a concrete topic. What does it mean? It means that you should use words that are dog-oriented, like walk,treats, food, doggy park and etc. Basically, words that your canine can link with a concrete action or mutual activity.

In addition, dogs love hearing about things that they love, especially when you talk about it in a high-pitched voice. On the other hand, if you talk about treats in regular-tone voice don’t expect enormous canine’s enthusiasm. Again, they are intelligent. There are some scientist who claim that guard dogs are the most intelligent dog breeds.

Dogs Love Squeaky Noises

Dogs are fans of squeaky or high noises. You probably had an opportunity or two to hear those squeaky rubber toys. If you didn’t like the sound you can rest assured that your dog enjoyed it.

Interestingly, dogs love sounds that are high, as they associate them with something exciting and friendly. It goes naturally actually – when a dog does something nice, our tone rises.

On the other hand, dogs perceive low tones, like growling with something bad. This is also a natural occurrence, as we have a tendency to lower our voice when a dog does something bad.

This is extremely important when it comes to communicating with your puppy. High-pitched voice can improve a pup’s attention and bond you more. So, dog and human communication may sound complicated to a new dog owner, while in reality it so far from that.

Why Should You Talk To Your Dog In A Baby Voice – Key Takeaways

The next time when you talk to your dog in a high-pitched voice or in baby voice feel free to do it as long as you want. Make sure that use words that are relevant to him and to show true joy. Moreover, if you want to attract your dog’s attention using a baby voice would be a good idea.

Also, if you are trying to teach your dog something use a baby voice. If you are wondering how high your baby voice should be, you should increase your tone five decibels higher than your normal one. This is natural and will improve your bond in the long run.