Many dog owners probably wish their pooches could clearly communicate their wants and needs with words rather than incessant barking. Getting on the same page with your canine can get frustrating, but researchers from North Carolina State University might have a solution to the problem.
The Triangle Business Journal reported that David Roberts, Ph.D., assistant professor of computer science at NCSU, and his research team have developed devices that aim to enhance communication between dogs and humans by monitoring pooches’ vital signs and behaviors. The data is transmitted from a specialized harness and could be integral to prolonging the life of dogs.
Roberts and his colleagues designed the sensor to be about the size of a deck of cards. It’s mounted to the harness and sends data wirelessly to a device. Besides verbal cues like barking and whining, dogs communicate through body language. By incorporating speakers and vibrating motors into the harness, the NCSU team could conduct “dialogues” with canines that improved communication as a whole. The software that comes with the devices collects the data then translates human requests back to the harness.
This equipment had been tested already during disaster response research for canines who work on rescue operations. The researchers want to make the devices smaller so they can be used in shelters and hospitals, too.
How to speak dog
Getting your pooch to understand you takes considerable patience and time as you train him to respond to commands. The Wall Street Journal explained that when teaching your dog anything, you have to start small and take baby steps with each new direction. The sourced advised taking a playful approach to lessons, as this method can keep your pup energetic and excited no matter his age.
You should also use treats during the beginning to help condition your canine, but be careful not to depend on them too much. Over time, they can lose their effectiveness as a reward and work against your attempts to train Fido. Be firm when necessary to get your point across, but keep your interactions gentle so he doesn’t get scared.
The biggest key to improving communication is paying attention to your dog’s body language and personality. These can be great indicators of how to effectively approach your pooch.