Most people make their voices higher pitched when talking to their pets. But does this Pet-Directed Speech have any influence on animals?

SeekerPublished: July 10, 2018Updated: July 11, 201866 views
Published: July 10, 2018Updated: July 11, 2018

People tend to do this weird thing when they meet a dog - we call them strange names like sweetie-face and ask them if they know that they're so cute - in that odd, slow tempo, high-pitched speech pattern we also use with babies.It's actually a real thing called Pet-Directed Speech or PDS, and a lot of us do it. 

A study looked at how owners talk to their dogs, specifically female owners. In this study, 34 adult women were recorded interacting with their dogs in four instances: before being separated, reuniting after said separation, playing, and giving commands. They found the intricacies of PDS changed - the women used a lower pitch before separation, a high pitch upon reuniting, a questioning tone during play, and imperatives in giving commands coupled with attention-getting measures.

Female owners, the study found, adapt their verbal cues to the situation, giving their pet hints about their intentions and emotions. But does this really mean that pets care about your tone of voice?

This video, "Most people make their voices higher pitched when talking to their pets. But does this Pet-Directed Speech have any influence on animals?", first appeared on seeker.com.

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