Science Says Dogs Obey Women More Than Men Because They're Furry Feminists
You and your dog are pretty good at communicating, right? If your dog's clawing at the door? "I need to spend a penny." Staring at your food? "I'd like some lasagne, please hooman." Drops a slimy tennis ball at your feet? "Let's play!" And, while most of the time they ignore you, they've pretty much got 'sit', 'stay' and 'fetch' sewn up.
But, a study has confirmed that: women are more likely to understand what dogs are trying to say through their barking communication.
In a highly scientific and totally adorably study published in the journal, Royal Society of Open Science, researchers recorded 18 dogs growling in response to different situations including: guarding food from other dogs, playing tug-of-war with humans, and being threatened by the approach of a stranger.
The 40 human participants where first asked to rate the growl on a number of factors to identify what the dog's trying to say: fear, playfulness, aggression, despair and happiness. Then to try to identify the purpose of the growl.
The humans were able to correctly identify the context of the growls 63 per cent of the time (versus a chance level of 33 per cent).
The study is one of the first to show humans can differentiate between canine growls (previous studies have shown that humans can understand barks).
Lead study author, Tamás Faragó, told Broadly: "Our recent fMRI studies suggest that dogs and humans use similar brain areas and probably similar processes to assess others' emotions from vocalisations.
"It seems that there are biologically rooted rules to how mammalian vocalisations encode emotions and these shared processes help humans to assess the emotional load of not just dogs but other mammal species' vocal emotion expressions."
The study also found that dog owners performed better at the tasks than participants who didn't have dogs. And women performed significantly better than the male participants.
"This is a common pattern in emotion recognition studies," Faragó explained. "Women are likely more empathic and sensitive to others' emotions and this helps them to better associate the contexts with the emotional content of the growls."
We knew it.
Featured Image Credit: Unsplash/Tamara Bellis