Your dog really does not understand what you are talking about, although many people think otherwise.
Sometimes it seems that your dog understands every word he is told, but new research has shown that this is an illusion. A team of authors from the Etvés Laurand University in Budapest found that despite their almost “human” hearing ability to interpret speech sounds, dogs do not hear subtle differences between words in the way people can.
The researchers measured the brain activity of domestic dogs using electroencephalography. They played the dogs recorded instructions that they knew (e.g., “sit”), similar but meaningless words, and then different meaningless words.
The experts found that dogs that were not specifically trained for the experiment could quickly and clearly distinguish known instructions from completely different meaningless words. “Brain activity differs when they listen to instructions that they know and very different meaningless words, which means that dogs recognize these words,” said Lilla Magyari, lead author of the study.
However, animals did not pay attention to small differences between other words that are not commands and similar meaningless words.