It turns out puppies also prefer baby talk.
Researchers from City University of New York (USA), University of Lyon/Saint-Etienne (France) and University of Sussex (UK) researched the effects of ‘baby talk’ on puppies and older dogs. 30 female volunteers were recorded speaking normally to other humans, to pictures of puppies, to pictures of adult dogs, and to pictures of senior dogs. The female participants used phrases like “Hi! Hello cutie!”, “Who’s a good boy?” and “Come here!”.
The puppies were very responsive to higher pitched dog-directed speech; they becoming happy and playful while hearing the recordings. The puppies were much less enthused when listening to recordings of women speaking normally to other adults.
Only puppies are highly responsive to dog-directed speech, as opposed to adult dogs, and vocal pitch plays a significant role in this language. Trying to train your puppy or get him or her to focus? Use a higher-pitched, sing-song voice to get and hold his or her attention.
Humans commonly and ineffectively use dog-directed speech when addressing adult and senior dogs. Truth is, it has very little effect on getting their attention and maintaining focus.
We all know what baby talk is… It’s that high-pitched, slow and exaggerated way we talk to infants and babies. Scientists call this universal way of speaking ‘infant-directed speech’ and discovered a long time ago that it helps babies focus and learn language faster.