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Do Dogs Like It When You Talk to Them? Vet-Reviewed Facts & Communication Tips

Written by: Adam Mann

Last Updated on April 12, 2024 by Dogster Team

a guy squatting and talking to his dog outdoor

Do Dogs Like It When You Talk to Them? Vet-Reviewed Facts & Communication Tips


Dr. Luqman Javed Photo


Dr. Luqman Javed

Veterinarian, DVM

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

If you find yourself talking to your pooch, you’re far from alone. Whether you’re in a room full of people or all by yourself, talking to your dog is perfectly normal behavior. But while it’s normal for you, do our dogs even like it?

The good news is that studies have shown that dogs like it when we talk to them and that there are numerous advantages to doing so. But the way we talk to them makes a difference, and the last thing you want to do is get it wrong.

Keep reading and we’ll help you avoid some of the potential pitfalls and ensure your pup is enjoying your chats as much as you are.

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Why Dogs Like When You Talk to Them

Your dog absolutely loves it when you talk to them, even if they don’t always know exactly what you’re saying. Of course, they’re always on the lookout for words they understand, like “walk” or “car ride”, but even when you’re not talking about those things, they like the attention you’re giving them.

Talking to your dog not only makes them happy, but it strengthens the bond the two of you have with each other, making it a worthwhile activity no matter how you look at it!

man playing with his adorable pet spending time with golden retriever indoors
Image Credit: Prostock-studio, Shutterstock

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How to Talk to Dogs

While any kind of communication with your dog is a good thing, the way you talk to them absolutely makes a difference. By talking to them in a way they prefer, you should be able to supercharge the benefits, ensuring you have a great bond!

Stick to Baby Talk

It might not be your favorite way to talk to your pooch, but studies have shown that dogs enjoy baby talk and high-pitched talking tones more than the even-toned language we use with adults.1 At the very least, use a tone that you would use when talking to a young child so that it comes out less harsh and your pup knows everything is alright.

Just keep in mind that if this isn’t usually how you talk to your dog, they might give you a strange look for a little while, but eventually, they’ll catch on and might even prefer it this way.

Smiling mid aged african woman playing with her dog in the kitchen
Image Credit: Dean Drobot, Shutterstock

Match the Tone to the Message

If you’re trying to talk to your dog to tell them not to do something, don’t build it up by using the wrong tone. The tone you’re using matters more than the words, and your dog can easily get mixed up if the tone doesn’t match the intent.

Use Non-Verbal Cues

No matter what language you speak, it’s not just the language your dog understands. That’s why it’s important to use non-verbal cues when talking to them. Non-verbal cues make up a huge part of your day-to-day interactions, and it’s certainly no different when you’re dealing with your pup. For example, when you ask them if they want to go potty, you would point to the door.

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How You Can Tell Your Dog Is Listening to You

You might wonder that just because you’re talking to your dog, do they actually understand what you’re saying? You talk all the time throughout the day, and often, it’s not directed at them. Because of this, you might need assurance they know when you’re talking to them, and sometimes you might even need to do a little bit more to get their attention!

Trust Your Dog

Understanding that intrinsically, dogs do pay attention when you speak to them and respond much like a child does when spoken to is a good starting point to assure yourself that your words aren’t in vain. Dogs can understand human speech and tone, and some dogs can even learn what specific words mean.

They’re Looking at You

If your dog is looking at you and you’re looking at them while you’re talking, there’s a good chance they’re listening. While they likely won’t look right into your eyes, even looking at your hands and the rest of your body language means you have their attention.

brown dog standing on hind legs and leaning to his owner
Image Credit: Zivica Kerkez, Shutterstock

Their Body Language Changes

The message you’re giving off will affect their body language quite a bit, but if it’s changing while you’re talking to them, it means they’re listening. They could be moving around more because they’re excited, relaxing more because you have a soothing tone, or something else entirely.

They Come to You

If you’re talking to your dog and they come trotting over to you, it’s because they know they have your attention! They’re listening to what you’re saying, and as long as they’re still paying attention to you while you’re talking, you know they’re listening.

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Final Thoughts

Whenever you have a down moment, take the time to talk to your pet. You could just tell them about your day, explain what’s happening on the television, or something else entirely. It doesn’t matter what you say, all that matters is that you’re taking the time to talk to them in a happy or soothing tone and give some of the attention they so desperately desire!

Featured Image Credit: SG SHOT, Shutterstock

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