Dogs Decoded: Expert explains why Dogs are a Man’s Best Friend

Dogs have been man’s best friends for 30,000 years – and now scientist think they know why.

Canines respond to emotions in the voice in the same way that humans do, research shows.

The first study to compare the brains of humans with any nonprimate animal shows that dogs have dedicated voice areas in their brains, just as people do.

Crucially, dog brains respond to acoustic cues of emotion in the same way as people.

Attila Andics, leader of the Hungarian research group which carried out the study, said: ‘Dogs and humans share a similar social environment.

‘Our findings suggest that they also use similar brain mechanisms to process social information.

‘This may support the successfulness of vocal communication between the two species.’

The research, published in the journal Current Biology, suggests that voice areas evolved 100 million years ago, the age of the last common ancestor of humans and dogs.

Canines were first domesticated by humans in Ice Age Europe up to 32,000 years ago, scientists think.

Genetic evidence discovered last year suggests the wolf ancestors of today’s dogs were most likely tamed by hunter-gatherers.

This latest findings show that dog and human brains include voice areas in similar locations in the brain.

Dogs still responded more strongly to other dogs, while humans responded more strongly to other humans, but there were striking similarities in the ways the dog and human brains reacted to those of the other species.

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