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Dogs' Brains Have Human-like "Voice Area"

samzenpus posted about 8 months ago | from the listen-up-lassie dept.

Science 139

sciencehabit writes "When you hear a friend's voice, you immediately picture her, even if you can't see her. And from the tone of her speech, you quickly gauge if she's happy or sad. You can do all of this because your human brain has a 'voice area.' Now, scientists using brain scanners and a crew of eager dogs have discovered that dog brains, too, have dedicated voice areas. The finding helps explain how canines can be so attuned to their owners' feelings."

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from the tone of her bark (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46300771)

I quickly gauge that dog over there is a bitch.

First (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46300773)

Piss on Dice

Re:First (0)

Tablizer (95088) | about 8 months ago | (#46300833)

It's gone to the dogs

attuned to their owners' feelings (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46300791)

Of course this area of the brain is missing in CEO's and political pundits..

Re: attuned to their owners' feelings (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about 8 months ago | (#46301093)

Wait you think politics is about the constituents?

Re: attuned to their owners' feelings (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 8 months ago | (#46301341)

I was going to comment on the nature of the study, but your sig captures it better.

Re: attuned to their owners' feelings (0)

Chrisq (894406) | about 8 months ago | (#46302335)

Of course this area of the brain is missing in CEO's and political pundits..

And deactivated through brutalization in Muslims

Test of Dog's Hearing (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46300807)

Hey, Slashdot female, make me a sandwich.

Ruff Ruff!

Thank you, that was a good sandwich!

*pant pant pant pant*

And so you see, fellas, there's a reason why we call 'em "man's best friend!"

-- Ethanol "fuck beta" -Fueled

Re:Test of Dog's Hearing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46301175)

Slashdot female must be a werewolf since dogs don't have thumbs with which to make sandwiches.

Re:Test of Dog's Hearing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46302119)

The less he knows about how that sandwich got made, the happier he'll be.

Dogs are best (4, Interesting)

cfalcon (779563) | about 8 months ago | (#46300809)

I love all these studies that constantly come out showing that dogs are, well, loving, loyal, and built to hang around humans. Of COURSE they are. Dogs are domesticated, and like, are the best thing ever.

I would like to see more studies about how flexible these relatively large changes are, and how fast they can occur. We all know about the Russion project to make "dogs out of foxes" by domesticating foxes by choosing them based on friendliness:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D... [wikipedia.org]

Do these little foxes have a section where they are mirroring the dogs? In other words, is this morphological change something that happens when an animal is domesticated into a pet, or are dogs just special because awwwww doggie?

Re:Dogs are best (4, Informative)

pushing-robot (1037830) | about 8 months ago | (#46300985)

This study was the first to actually look for a "voice center" in a non-primate. It seems more likely a great many animals have one, much as it may disappoint exceptionalists.

And yet exceptionalist laws keep being passed (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46301179)

At the rate of one new law per year for the last 21 years, yet not one of the laws acknowledges the ability of dogs to act based on those feelings they gauge so well:

1993: Delaware criminalizes zoosexual acts
1999: Pennsylvania criminalizes zoosexual acts
2001: Iowa, Oregon and Maine criminalize zoosexual acts
2002: Missouri and Illinois criminalize zoosexual acts
2003: South Dakota criminalizes zoosexual acts
2005: Connecticut criminalizes zoosexual acts
2006: Arizona and Washington state criminalize zoosexual acts
2007: Colorado, Tennessee and Indiana criminalize zoosexual acts
2008: Norway criminalizes zoosexual acts
2010: Alaska and The Netherlands criminalize zoosexaul acts
2011: Florida and the Australian Capital Territory criminalize zoosexual acts
2013: Germany criminalizes zoosexual acts
2014: Sweden criminalizes zoosexual acts, Alabama is looking at criminalizing zoosexual acts and likely will.

Re:Dogs are best (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46301253)

Or as much as it may annoy humans who really hate any studies that prove we're not so different from other animals?

Re:Dogs are best (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 8 months ago | (#46303003)

It's nice that they have now found it, as we have known it must exist for a while. Cats in particular learn not only to interpret their servant's voices but also to mimic them to a degree. Not talking or anything like that, but it is known that cats learn to produce sounds similar to human babies to encourage a better level of service from their staff.

I find it very interesting that animals can process human voices this way. Clearly humans can learn to interpret animal sounds, but it seems that mammals with much smaller brains can too.

Re:Dogs are best (2)

AK Marc (707885) | about 8 months ago | (#46301143)

Then why are domesitcated cats so dissimilar to domesticated dogs? It doesn't seem to be consistent across all domestications.

Re:Dogs are best (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46301213)

Because until very recently domesticated cats didn't interact directly with humans. Their job was pest control. Dogs on the other hand have had intimate relationships with humans for millennia, whether as working animals or pets, and have evolved to communicate and bond with us directly. That makes dogs exceptionally unique.

OTOH, just because they're so unique doesn't necessarily mean that any particular characteristic is unique among all other species. But all their traits in the aggregate make them uniquely symbiotic with humans.

Re:Dogs are best (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46301579)

The reason is another, the dogs are descendants of the wolves with are social animals that live in a pack with complex relations, the cats are solitary animals that in nature only socialize in rare occasions. Basically the dog is a domesticated social animal while the cat is a domesticated solitary animal that we are teaching to socialize. Actually almost all canids are social animals while near all felines are solitary, the only social feline that I know are the lions.

Re:Dogs are best (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46301787)

Dogs on the other hand have had intimate relationships with humans for millennia, whether as working animals or pets, and have evolved to communicate and bond with us directly. That makes dogs exceptionally unique.

What about sheep?

Re:Dogs are best (2, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 8 months ago | (#46302009)

What about sheep?

This is a family oriented web site. Take your perversions over to /b/.

Re:Dogs are best (4, Interesting)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 8 months ago | (#46302255)

Precisely, cats were not so much "domesticated" as attracted to rodents that were attracted to human garbage. Dogs and humans often make inter-species "friendships" for mutual benefit, the Coyote and the Badger is just one such example. It's more a less a given that highly intelligent pack hunters such as humans and dogs would combine their natural hunting skills.

Mushroom mushroom (1)

tepples (727027) | about 8 months ago | (#46303575)

Dogs and humans often make inter-species "friendships" for mutual benefit, the Coyote and the Badger is just one such example.

Why? Is it because the coyote says* "ARGH! Snake! A snake!" and then gets impressed by the honey badger who doesn't give a fsck?

* In a metaphorical sense.

Re:Dogs are best (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 8 months ago | (#46303027)

Cat's offer a very different experience for humans, which is also why they do so well. Cats are more independent and have their own little lives and affairs, which human beings find interesting and enjoyable to observe. By chance evolution has given them personalities and behavioural traits that humans find it easy to anthropomorphize. Their voices are also capable of making sounds similar to human babies and other things that cause human beings to naturally fawn over them and attend to their needs.

Cats have had a unique relationship with humans for millennia, e.g. in ancient Egyptian culture or Japanese mythology. Domestication for pleasure took longer because most humans didn't have spare resources to give over to them, and unlike dogs they are self sufficient.

Re:Dogs are best (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46301361)

'cause cats couldn't care less what your mood is :-)

Re:Dogs are best (1)

pushing-robot (1037830) | about 8 months ago | (#46301571)

The simplest explanation is that the ancestors of domestic cats were a solitary species and so a region of the brain that aids in social interaction would be an ill use of resources.

Cats are at an evolutionary disadvantage compared to other domesticated animals, which are almost all social and equipped with the biological tools for living in a pack or herd.

Perhaps if prehistoric man had been been more daring and domesticated lions instead of F. silvestris...

Re:Dogs are best (2)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about 8 months ago | (#46302019)

Cats are at an evolutionary disadvantage...

I see you highlighting a difference while offering no convincing evidence that this is a disadvantage.

(Hey, somebody's got to stick up for the little furry dole-bludgers.)

Re:Dogs are best (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46301687)

The simplist answer?
Cats are fucking stupid.

Re:Dogs are best (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 8 months ago | (#46302523)

Because cats domesticted us.

Re:Dogs are best (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46301317)

[...] or are dogs just special because awwwww doggie?

No, dogs are special because they were among the first species to be domesticated and (due to their role) had the closest ties with humans.

Re:Dogs are best (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46302645)

... Dogs are domesticated, and like, are the best thing ever.

Shaggy? Is that you?

Re:Dogs are best (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46302747)

That would be interesting to see if the canine species in general has it, or if it was due to our domesticization of dogs that specifically led to it. Dogs have been with us a very long time.

Another I would like to also see tested, if true, would be horses since they have equally been with us a VERY long time, all the way back to the ice age days we have been with them

Cats as well, mostly to see if they have an anti voice-center that tells them to ignore everything humans say, as well as trying to find out how they managed to contain anti-matter in their small skulls seemingly without any external source of power. (since we all know they can always land on their feet, even more credence to their anti-matter sources!)

Re:Dogs are best (1)

Talderas (1212466) | about 8 months ago | (#46303065)

It would be interesting to know what breeds they tested. The article pictures shows golden retrievers and border collies. Basically the two of the dog breeds which are among the best and most domesticated and socialized to humans. I would like to see this research done with some of the more independent breeds, like siberian huskies, and if they also have the same responses.

Proof dogs talk: (5, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | about 8 months ago | (#46300823)

Here is an example conversation:

Me: "What's on top of the house?"

Dog: "Roof!"

Me: "Who's the most famous baseball player?"

Dog: "Ruth!"

Me: "How does sand-paper feel?"

Dog: "Rough!"

3 out 3!

Re:Proof dogs talk: (2)

Freshly Exhumed (105597) | about 8 months ago | (#46300969)

At long last, after years of cutting-edge experimentation, enormous expense, and groundbreaking surgical techniques, a team of scientists conducts a press conference featuring their most successful patient, Shaggy, who has been given the linguistic equivalence of a 10 year-old child. To each and every question posed by the eager reporters, Shaggy replies in delight:

"I'm a good boy!"

Re:Proof dogs talk: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46301751)

My favorite serious of jokes along this line comes from Dexter's Laboratory:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... [youtube.com]
Continuing from there, the dog yells at the top of his lungs in the middle of the night: "Hey, I'm a dog! I can hear you other dogs barking! Can you hear me? I'm a dog! Moooooooooooooon! Moooooooooooooooon!"

Re:Proof dogs talk: (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 8 months ago | (#46302531)

The Far Side [bleedingcool.com] .

Re:Proof dogs talk: (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 8 months ago | (#46302527)

Squirrel!

Re:Proof dogs talk: (4, Funny)

Frohboy (78614) | about 8 months ago | (#46301149)

I personally prefer the version where a guy is showing his friend his new talking dog.

New dog owner: Hey Sparky, what's on top of the house?
Sparky: Roof!

New dog owner: Hey Sparky, how does sandpaper feel?
Sparky: Rough!

New dog owner: Hey Sparky, who was the best baseball player of all time?
Sparky: Ruth!

Friend: Come on, you expect me to believe this bullshit?

Sparky: What? You think I should have gone with DiMaggio?

Re:Proof dogs talk: (1)

dargaud (518470) | about 8 months ago | (#46302757)

Reminds me of this french and untranslatable joke:
Un fermier montre son cochon 'qui sait compter' à un ami. Il lui demande "7 plus 2 ?"
Le cochon: "neuf! neuf! neuf!"
Le fermier: "3 fois 3 ?"
Le cochon: "neuf! neuf! neuf!"
Le fermier: "36 divisé par4 ?"
Le cochon: "neuf! neuf! neuf!"
L'ami: "N'miporte quoi, il dit toujour 'neuf' ton cochon. Tiens, 4 fois 2 ?"
Le cochon: "neuf! neuf! neuf!"
Sur ce le fermier lui met un grand coup de pied dans les parties et le cochon fait "Huiiiiiit! Huiiiiiiiiit!"

Re: Proof dogs talk: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46302825)

I don't get it

Re:Proof dogs talk: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46301349)

Yip, yip and yip!

Cat got your brain? (3, Interesting)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 8 months ago | (#46300853)

There is an equally interesting hypothesis that dogs are well-suited to human companionship

because they learn to mimic our facial expressions with fair accuracy.

Cats have been reported to be developing smaller brains since their domestication. Whatever it takes, I guess.

Re:Cat got your brain? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46301133)

There is an equally interesting hypothesis that dogs are well-suited to human companionship

because they learn to mimic our facial expressions with fair accuracy.

Cats have been reported to be developing smaller brains since their domestication. Whatever it takes, I guess.

Once they've learnt to burn incense, try to tell people they are a real life witch they will perfect. They are already unhygenic, promiscuous and finicky, and can make any apartment look like a bomb hit it in record time...mirroring many of their owners ;-)

Re:Cat got your brain? (1)

TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) | about 8 months ago | (#46302219)

Quit getting your news from a female talk show program.

Dogs and humans have been living with each other for tens of thousands of years -- so there are several thousand generations of dogs co-evolving with humans.

There is not a recent mystery here, there is not a coincidence here.

This relationship predates the written word -- although probably not cave art.

Re:Cat got your brain? (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 8 months ago | (#46303073)

Quit getting your news from a female talk show program.

I'm Ricki Lake, you insensitive clod.

Re:Cat got your brain? (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 8 months ago | (#46302535)

because they learn to mimic our facial expressions with fair accuracy.

Mimic? Do they even have enough facial muscles to do that?

I did hear, however, that they can interpret our facial expressions better than most chimps.

Re:Cat got your brain? (1)

volmtech (769154) | about 8 months ago | (#46302807)

My daughter's miniature dachshund has learned how to smile. She lowers the front of her bottom lip. Looks pretty creepy actually. She also "talks". Her best words are yep, uh huh, and I love you. She knows dozens of spoken words. Saying kisses will get you a mouth full of dog tongue, the word "treats" will get her and rest of the pack into the kitchen and standing on their backs legs begging. And I used to hate dogs.

Re:Cat got your brain? (1)

Zebedeu (739988) | about 8 months ago | (#46303435)

Cats have been reported to be developing smaller brains since their domestication. Whatever it takes, I guess.

Dogs also tend have smaller brains than wolves the same size.

Re:Cat got your brain? (1)

AlabamaCajun (2710177) | about 8 months ago | (#46303437)

That would be a shocker since cats already have a more complex cortex than dogs. Is one smarter than the other? depends on how you look at it.
Back on subject, cats are also vocalizers as we have several that mimic their names. I can only assume they here us using phonetic sounds that they perceive as chrips and cries. So yes I have witnessed is in dogs, cats and birds. When my fish start then I'm out of here.

Questions (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46300855)

Ever notice how when you ask a dog a question, it almost always tilts its head and gives you a puzzled look? Cracks me up every time.

Re:Questions (2)

Xest (935314) | about 8 months ago | (#46302499)

It's amusing because it does make them look a bit special, but it is in itself a sign of their intelligence. It's believed that dogs tilt their heads because the muzzle obscures part of their vision and by doing so it allows them to better see your facial expressions when looking at you - in particular your mouth.

The fact you're asking a question and they do this shows that they're aware that you're asking something of them and they're trying to interpret what you're asking of them, this is one of the reasons dogs are deemed to be particularly intelligent because they can read meaning in your voice and do look for other cues as to what you're asking of them.

wow (3, Funny)

MrEricSir (398214) | about 8 months ago | (#46300885)

so human
much voice like
wow
many feelings
very dedicated

Re:wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46301607)

Hey genius, once internet memes reach the general public(e.g. you), they're no longer funny.

Re:wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46301747)

Yes, but once they get popular enough that the become too mainstream for the mainstream they become funny again because it annoys people (e.g. you).

Re:wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46302779)

This. I love these stupid "anti-popular" meme-kiddies, they are so funny.
You want to know what was really funny though? Borderlands 2. (aka memelands 2)
Seeing them all get pissed off with that made my week.

Seeing it happen on 4chan of all places is funnier. This whole anti-reddit thing is even funnier than that!
4chan, one of the places that made so many of these memes popular, are now killing off their memetic history and trying to make it look like other sites did it because they don't want to be related to anything. It is priceless when you hear the efforts some people go to doing it, like adding banners, or "redditifying" images. (shopping them really badly like those terrible rage-comics they stole and bastardized)
One that always makes me laugh and doesn't seem to have any relation to anything is comics with faces stretched to odd ratios in every frame. It, ironically, became a meme itself. Like Millhouse.

Re:wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46303555)

You should get yourself to the nearest hospital as soon as possible, and have them give you a colonoscopy. I think they will discover that you have a large insect lodged in your colon. Once that's removed, you will probably feel better about such posts, and indeed life in general.

Re:wow (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about 8 months ago | (#46302027)

Is that supposed to be a haiku? Otherwise, I will indeed have to mod you -1, I don't get it.

Re: wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46302831)

You can't. You posted.

It goes both way (4, Informative)

tomhath (637240) | about 8 months ago | (#46300967)

If you've been around dogs much you can get a pretty good idea of their emotional state by their vocalizations. Not just the obvious growl or excited yipping, even straight barks have an inflection that tells you a lot.

It shouldn't surprise anyone that an animal which can vocalize emotion has a brain that can pick it up as well

et tu human (2)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 8 months ago | (#46301031)

My dogs bark all the time, and frequently at things I don't need to be notified about.

But when they do bark at real trouble, there's a different sound in it.

The inflection angle goes both ways.

Re: et tu human (1)

TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) | about 8 months ago | (#46302231)

"My dogs bark all the time, and frequently at things I don't need to be notified about.
But when they do bark at real trouble, there's a different sound in it. "

If you just now realized this, I hope you have the very uncommon relationship where your dog is the owner and you are the pet.

Re: et tu human (1)

ketomax (2859503) | about 8 months ago | (#46302451)

Dogs' Brains Have Human-like "Voice Area"

So, human brains do have a doggy like "Bark Area"!

Re: et tu human (1)

Zebedeu (739988) | about 8 months ago | (#46303455)

That actually makes sense, and wouldn't surprise me at all.
Considering that dogs and humans have evolved together for the last thousands of years, if dogs' brains have adapted, why wouldn't ours' have as well?

Re:It goes both way (2)

TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) | about 8 months ago | (#46302227)

"It shouldn't surprise anyone that an animal which can vocalize emotion has a brain that can pick it up as well"

Find me a mammal that doesn't vocalize. Hell, find me a bird. Aw shit --- find me an amphibian that doesn't vocalize.

Aw for fucks sake, crickets make noises and locusts make noises to communicate with each other.

Maybe -- just maybe --- life has communicated with noises for a long, long, long time.

Re:It goes both way (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 8 months ago | (#46302545)

Hell, find me a bird.

An avian that vocalises, or are you just a lonely cockney?

Re:It goes both way (1)

dargaud (518470) | about 8 months ago | (#46302761)

It shouldn't surprise anyone that an animal which can vocalize emotion has a brain that can pick it up as well

Well, you obviously don't have a cat...

Dogs have good hearing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46301079)

Dogs have good hearing and they are good at processing the sound that they hear. In fact, dogs hear better than humans. In other news, grass is green.

also (4, Funny)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 8 months ago | (#46301167)

My dogs "fart area" of the brain is very similar to a humans.

Re:also (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46301221)

They say a dog's sense of smell is thousands of times better than a human's. Yet when my dog would rip one, she'd twist around and take a close whiff of it. Sheesh, it would drive me out of the room.

Re:also (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46301587)

they say that everyone enjoys their own flavor

Re:also (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46301771)

Their noses are discriminatory, like our eyes. We can make sense of a lot more light than dogs can. We can see fine details and ignore images that we aren't trying to see (reflections on a TV screen for example). Similarly, dogs can smell the undigested food they just released from their bowels while ignoring the scents of poisonous waste products. Sometimes too well, and then they eat their own poop.

Re:also (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46303679)

They say a dog's sense of smell is thousands of times better than a human's. Yet when my dog would rip one, she'd twist around and take a close whiff of it. Sheesh, it would drive me out of the room.

My dog startles himself when he farts. He rips one, spins around and then looks at me like, "What the hell was that?" It is quite hilarious.

picture? (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about 8 months ago | (#46301261)

no, I do not picture my coworker and friend's butt-ugly mug when I hear their voice

I talk to my dog (1)

Badblackdog (1211452) | about 8 months ago | (#46301281)

My yellow lab understands words and picks up on the tone of my voice. Listens better than my kids.

I wonder... (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 8 months ago | (#46301351)

What scans of Alex the African-Gray parrot [wikipedia.org] would have shown. Or any talking bird for that matter. Actually, I would guess that many birds have a similar "voice region". Dolphins and whales too for that matter.

Dog smarts (4, Insightful)

Strange Ranger (454494) | about 8 months ago | (#46301433)

We've had carefully selected Golden Retrievers in our extended family for 30 years. For a point of reference this is a breed that's ranked #5 in intelligence compared to all breeds. Our family dog is amazingly human-like, even after carefully trying not to anthropomorphize him and our feelings about him.
 
He has a vocabulary of about 50 words. He understands short sentences, or at least enough words in them to understand what we mean. "Go upstairs and find your ball", "Hey I put food in your bowl", "Go see your mom" (since he's an adopted pet we're his adoptive parents, dogs are not things to own). He responds like a human. He can practically tell you a whole story with his facial expressions. He can roll his eyes sort of by looking at the ceiling and making a face when he thinks we're being ridiculous, and it's different than a similar face when he thinks we're being obtuse. He even has a favorite movie, Snow Dogs. He pays close attention to the dogs and has done the eyeroll to the ceiling thing when the humans start making out. He cracks us up daily.
 
We've all seen a dog lift an eyebrow and tilt their head to say "what the heck are you talking about?" Tip of the iceberg. When you have a really smart one for a decade it's like having a furry kid in the family. A very well behaved one, but there you go.
 
I sort of feel sorry for people who never get to be "dog people", call a dog "it" and think the rest of us are crazy and just anthropomorphizing our pet. Most of us "dog people" don't need these studies to tell us anything. But I'm still glad they're studying.

Re:Dog smarts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46301501)

My Border Collie is a smart-ass, or maybe a mind reader. Appears to know more than a dog should. Maybe I'll teach the dog programming next year, can't hurt.

Re:Dog smarts (1)

Oligonicella (659917) | about 8 months ago | (#46301517)

Right up until he hacks your router to disguise his addiction to online dog porn.

Re:Dog smarts (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 8 months ago | (#46302349)

Right up until he hacks your router to disguise his addiction to online dog porn.

So that's your excuse ;-)

Re:Dog smarts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46301791)

carefully trying not to anthropomorphize him and our feelings about him. ... "Go see your mom" (since he's an adopted pet we're his adoptive parents

Say what now?

Re:Dog smarts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46303497)

Spoken like a clueless person who calls animals "it". Dogs have family. They have packs, and parents. Ever watch a special on wolves? You don't need to be a bipedal primate to become attached to parent figures. If a baby duckling started following you around everywhere I hope you'd feed it and do your best to be it's mom. Does that mean you're assigning it unwarranted human qualities?

Re:Dog smarts (3, Informative)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 8 months ago | (#46302283)

I once had a litter of pups running around my back yard. Getting out of the back door was difficult because they would all rush inside when I opened it. One day I opened the door to go outside and sure enough a small herd of 6wk old pups came running up the stairs yapping excitedly. However on this occasion they stopped half way up the stairs and ran back down and around the side of the house. They went back and forth from me to the side of the house several times making a real racket and tripping over each other. When I finally put my head around the corner I found a pup with its head stuck in a plastic watering can. It was abundantly clear to me that the pups knew their sibling was in trouble, knew I could help, and knew how to communicate this to me.

Re:Dog smarts (1)

wcrowe (94389) | about 8 months ago | (#46303609)

Great story. Those of us who have lived with dogs can usually tell similar stories. What is notable about yours is the age of the pups. Dogs learn to communicate with us very quickly, it would seem.

Re:Dog smarts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46302619)

Calling a dog 'it' is more of an artifact of the English language. In my language (Dutch) it's he or she, and 'it' is reserved for non living things.

Re:Dog smarts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46303527)

The same is true in English, unless you're talking about a bug or a tree. Or unless you're one of those people who are just sort of broken when it comes to animals.

Re:Dog smarts (1)

Guest316 (3014867) | about 8 months ago | (#46302763)

Everyone "knows" animals, whether what they "know" is that animals are dumb, instinct-driven automatons or intelligent, emotional beings. Rigorous, unbiased research is good for providing a baseline of information with better reliability than "just knowing." After all, assuming that animals share no emotional or cognitive parallels with humans can be just as error-prone as assuming that they're "just like us."

When you have a really smart one for a decade it's like having a furry kid in the family.

And then shortly after a decade they go and die on you. Really inconsiderate of them.

Where's your ball? (2)

swb (14022) | about 8 months ago | (#46303001)

My dog responds to this and I don't quite understand how. If I say that to him and the ball is around, he will go after it and immediately want to play. Even if the ball is put away or not visible (we cycle toy free availability to maintain interest), he will search for it.

But I haven't done often enough or with enough treats to make it a reinforced behavior like "sit", "down" or "wait". I can only guess I've used the word "ball" a lot when playing with him and the ball and he's come to associate that word (or the phonetic sound) with the ball.

dog stew (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46301473)

shit, so now people are going to tell me to stop eating dog meat

Re:dog stew (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46301873)

shit, so now people are going to tell me to stop eating dog meat

Go home, Obama, you're drunk.

Re:dog stew (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46302087)

shit, so now people are going to tell me to stop eating dog meat

Go home, King Jong-Un, you're drunk.

TFTFY.

(Not only do they eat dogs in Korea, but the preferred method of preparation is to bury them alive in the barbeque pit, then dig them out when they're done. Don't believe me? Go read up on it.)

oh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46301547)

i had a dog who knew all the streetnames and parks by name, he'd refuse to go anywhere until I said the location he wanted to go to. When he got old he became grumpy and preferred to keep by himself. I think he knew he was a dog and he didn't like it, he always seemed to contemplate something. Another dog had a sense of humor and loved to play silly games like hide and seek, he'd giggle like a child when I were about to find him. He was a clown. Then I've had other dogs who were just normal dogs.

Bad Assumption (3, Interesting)

Baby Duck (176251) | about 8 months ago | (#46301731)

"When you hear a friend's voice, you immediately picture her ..."

Nope. I do not. I might visualize an abstract, inky blob, but I most certainly do not picture the person.

Re:Bad Assumption (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46301799)

This.
Maybe I'm just bad at faces, but If I try to think of someone I just have the general idea of the person "mom" or "dad" in my head.
The image that goes along with it is pretty much undefined. If I had to describe someone I know extremely well to a police sketch person I wouldn't be able to do it beyond a simple skin color / hair color / hair length.
All that other stuff just blends together for me.

Re:Bad Assumption (1)

Vyse of Arcadia (1220278) | about 8 months ago | (#46303401)

I think it was just bad wording. Maybe "identify" would be better than "picture."

Cats suck (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46301757)

I just had to say it.
Dogs are superior as pets to cats in every way.
Cats don't like people. Cats scratch people. Cats don't like being touched.
Cats have sharp teeth. Cats are boring as fuck. Cats are picky eaters.
Just try playing with a cat without getting scratched to ribbons.
Why do people keep cats as pets?

Re: Cats suck (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46301869)

Some cats like to play almost as much as dogs, and can be gentle. But I think it's a crap shoot. I'm definitely not a cat person and wouldn't bother rolling the dice. And in any event a well trained dog would beat even the friendliest cat in the companion department.

Proof : Dogs do have more brains than asspies and (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46302383)

autistitards.

Face it, asspies and autistitards have no emotion other than hate fueled anger and can't tell the emotion of anyone, especially with the tone of someone's voice. When they piss someone off and they are told why they are they just sit back showing no emotion, unable to grasp the anger in someone else's voice, and internally go through the various ways of killing the person telling them off. They don't give a fuck about anyone other than their own stupid, emotionless selves. How can they? They lack the part of the brain that functional humans have and now that even dogs have. Asspies and autistitards are mostly harmless until their obsession of killing lots of people like the they do in their favorite call of duty game and get access to a fucking firearm. Once that happens then they become dangerous. If they get into a position of power they will turn into a fascist dictator. Just look at Adolph Hitler, Adam Lanza, Charles Manson, George Zimmerman, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. All white and all autistitards. Once a prenatal test for autism is developed all expecting mothers should, by law be forced to abort their pregnancy if the fetus shows all of the signs of autism. Autistitards have too much potential to become mass murderers.

Re:Proof : Dogs do have more brains than asspies a (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46302637)

How the hell does one mod something like this?

Its everything on the menu!

Hey Science, glad you have reached the ability to (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46302991)

Seriously, these revelations about animals having language capabilities are interesting, but what's more interesting is that humans ever got so arrogant and out of touch as to not just intuitively recognize that vocalizations are language and that animals are not just randomly bleating nonsensical sounds at each other.

Dog to English translator.... (1)

Kernel Kurtz (182424) | about 8 months ago | (#46303355)

Perhaps this finding will help these people with the Indiegogo fundraising for their project;

http://www.nomorewoof.com/ [nomorewoof.com]

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