Can Dogs Use Language?

Aug. 31, 2023
Boston terrier with red megaphone in mouth

Neuroscience studies suggest our canine pals have coevolved to attend to and understand our communication cues. A study of eight-week-old puppies in a service dog program found that even at this early age, puppies attend to human faces, voices and gestures. In the study, published in Current Biology in 2021, the pups picked up on the meaning of pointing from the very first try. That’s a stark contrast to animals closely related to humans, such as chimpanzees, which can learn to care about pointing after being trained but don’t follow human gestures spontaneously, says Emily Bray, now an assistant professor at the University of Arizona’s College of Veterinary Medicine and affiliate assistant professor for Psychology, who co-authored the 2021 study.

Read more findings in the full article from Scientific American

Updated: 08/31/23