Children Understand Dogs from Early Age

  • September 10, 2009
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So do dogs and very small kids really have a special affinity? If you ask my wife, she would say they do. I myself wasn't so sure - as dog lovers, maybe it's just us seeing what we want to see. I wanted scientific proof. It looks like now we have it!

dog-and-baby2.jpgNew research from Brigham Young University in Utah, USA shows that children as young as 6 months old do understand dogs. The research shows that 6 month olds can match the sounds of an angry snarl and a friendly yap to photos of dogs displaying threatening and welcoming body language, even if they have little or no previous exposure to dogs!

The study, by Ross Flom and BYU students, Dan Hyde and Heather Whipple Stephenson was recently reported in the Journal of Developmental Psychology.

The experiment comprised first showing the babies two different pictures of the same dog, one in an aggressive posture and the other in a friendly stance. Then the researchers played sound clips of a friendly and an aggressive dog bark.

The research showed that while the recordings played, the 6-month-old children spent most of their time staring at the picture with the matching body language. Children older than 6 months, usually made the connection instantly.

I guess as the the Mythbusters would say, this one is well and truely proven!

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