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New Study Reveals the Words Dogs Love to Hear the Most

Southern Living logo Southern Living 1/14/2021 Meghan Overdeep
a close up of a dog: Monika Chodak © Provided by Southern Living Monika Chodak

Oh, the things dog parents do to elicit a tail wag!   

We know how great it feels to make a pup happy. Now, no disrespect to tennis balls, belly scratches, and Starbucks Puppuccinos, but, according to new research, it's super easy to fill your furry friend with joy. In fact, all it takes is the utterance of a few common phrases.

In a three-month study, the experts at surveyed 4,389 pet owners to uncover the words and phrases that dogs love to hear the most.  Researchers then analyzed the heart rates of 60 dogs of varying breeds, sizes and ages when their favorite phrases were mentioned.

According to researchers, the phrases that caused each dog's heart rate to increase the most are the ones that make dogs the happiest.  

And the winners are…

Video: The Best Nicknames for Your Southern Dog (Southern Living)

  1. Walkies
  2. Dinner/food/eat        
  3. Treat  
  4. Get it  
  5. Fetch

Taking into account that a dog's resting heart rate is 115 beats per minute (BPM), "walkies" bounded into the top spot with average heart rate of 156 BPM—an increase of a whopping 36%.

In second place are the words "dinner," "food," and "eat," which elevated our pooches heart rates to an average of 152 BPM (32% increase). The beloved "treat" came in third with an average 151 BPM (31% increase).

WATCH: Keep Talking! Study Shows Dogs Process Speech in the Same Way Humans Do

The study also revealed that dogs' least loved words and phrases include "shall we go home?" "roll over," "speak," "come on then," and "paw." They also just so happen to be commands as opposed to words that promise a reward of some kind.

As for the differences amongst breeds, those to get the most excited by "happy" phrases were French Bulldogs, Beagles, Rottweilers, Labrador Retrievers, and Dachshunds.

Now, if you'll excuse us, we have some "walkies" to do.


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