Dogs can differentiate between familiar and unfamiliar human languages

Two of the dogs from the experiment next to the MRI machine. (Image credit: Eniko Kubinyi)

If you were to move to a new country with a different language and bring along the family dog, your pet would likely have a hard time understanding commands from the locals, according to a new study looking at how dogs’ brains react to different languages. 

MRI scans revealed that dogs‘ brains can distinguish between familiar and unfamiliar languages, making them the first-known, and so far only, non-human animals to be able to tell the difference between human languages. 

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