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What is your Dog telling you

What is your Dog telling you

What is your Dog telling you

What is your Dog telling you

What is your Dog telling you

The researchers, from the Technical University of Madrid and Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest, have developed a computer program which can determine the sex and age of a dog through its bark.

Scientists their have analyzed 800 barks recorded from eight different dogs in seven different situations from which they developed complex algorithms that were able to predict the gender, age and context of the barking dog.

The situations included an owner tying their dog to a tree and walking away, the owner holding a ball about 1.5m in front of the dog and the owner wrestling with their dog. Other contexts saw the owner holding a bowl of food 1.5m in front of their dog and a stranger appearing at the animal’s garden or front door.

While canine communication has been heavily studied over the past decade, most of the research has focused on studying how dogs understand human communication, such as hand gestures and voice recognition. They says that this is the first time that the sex and age of dogs have been predicted with the help of sound analysis.

The algorithms, from 29 acoustic measurements such as the volume of the bark and its length and pitch, were able to recognize the sex of the dog 85.13 per cent of the time and the age, young, adult or old, in 80.25 per cent of cases.

Dr Tamas Farago, of Eotvos Lorand University said, “I imagine vets could use these techniques to help identify what is wrong with a dog and we are already working on an application for social robotics.”

“We could develop emotional sounds for robots based on dog barks that can be recognized by humans, that would be a way to create believable social robots,” he added.

Other uses could include being able to diagnose behavioural issues, such as “separation anxiety” and recognizing aggressive dogs which could, for example, cause problems for dog shelters.

Professionals such as dog shelter staff do not consider dog barks when evaluating the behaviour of animals. However, the researchers said their report paved the way for software that could help them identify levels of aggression, fear or distress that could help them with their jobs. Their report was published in the journal Animal Cognition.

The barking experiments were done in Budapest with three male and five female Mudi breed Hungarian sheep dogs aged one to 10.




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