There are a lot of things that make your pet happy. Back scratches. Long walks in the park. Treats. Frisbee.

You probably already suspected this, but another thing that really lights up your dog’s life is simply the sound of your voice. A 2014 study by Hungarian researchers has proven that the canine brain has a very similar response to sounds as a human brain. Just like you, dogs use the left half of the brain to process words. The right side of the brain processes intonation – your tone of voice.

Say It Like You Mean It. The results of the study showed that when dogs heard happy sounds, their brain processed it differently from sounds like whining or crying. It also showed that the dog can match the tone of voice to words, so your dog isn’t fooled if you use an excited tone of voice to say, “It’s time for your bath!”. Likewise, if there is no enthusiasm in your voice when you say, “Attaboy!” your dog isn’t nearly so impressed.

Tell Me Something Good. The coolest takeaway was seen in the ‘reward center’ of the brain, which is stimulated by things that make your pet extra happy, like those back scratches and treats and Frisbee that we mentioned earlier. The positive words spoken positively makes this area light up just like treats did!

It’s February, the month that we think about love, and the time when (be honest) many of you buy your dogs a little something special. Turns out that like the saying goes, the best things in life are free. So this Valentine’s Day, smile really big and enthusiastically say “I love you!!!” to your favorite fur baby. And while you’re at it, tell him that his friends at Town N Country love him, too!

Science Mag
The Telegraph