Humans can read a dog’s mood from its barks

London: Humans can understand a dog’s mood simply by listening to its barks, applying the same rules for understanding canines as they do to work out the mood of other people, a new study has claimed.

People can read a dog’s mood according to whether the pooch’s barks are prolonged or short or low or high pitched, said researchers from Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest.

In the study, researchers played about 200 “non verbal vocalisations” of both dogs and humans to 39 Hungarian volunteers. The human sounds included laughing or crying.

“Humans are extremely good at recognising other’s emotions based on their behaviour or even voice. We found the most important features of both dog and human sounds were the length of the sound and its pitch,” said Dr Tamas Farago, of Eotvos Lorand University.

Dog calls that were long and high-pitched were seen by humans to reveal fear while long low-pitched calls were viewed as aggressive.

In contrast short, pulsing sounds whether high or low pitched were seen to be friendly.

The research is the first to directly compare how people perceive human and dog sounds, the ‘Daily Express’ reported.

Farago said the results provide the first evidence of the use of the same basic acoustical rules in humans for the assessment of the ability to read the emotions of dogs and other people.

“We show humans use similar acoustical parameters to attribute emotional valence and intensity to both human and dog vocalisations,” Farago said.

The study is published in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters.