Psst… It’s now official… Chatting with your dog is a sign of intelligence, not craziness
Do you often talk to your dog? I do, a lot!
My conversation with Bowie (my Lab) can range from talking about our day to asking his opinion about everything – food, outfit, where we should go for a walk or what he thinks of certain people. He’s very much included in any human conversation (when he’s not snoozing).
All dog owners know very well what it feels like to talk to their dog. In moments of happiness, we share the joy with them, and in moments of loneliness and sadness, we often find comfort in addressing them, as if they were people. Humans are social beings, and so are dogs. We value communication and connection. Even though our dogs don’t reply back in words, but I do believe, they know much more than what ‘we say’.
For many people, especially those who don’t have pets, talking to your dog seems like a crazy behaviour – hence the term ‘crazy cat (or dog) lady’. BUT… scientific studies have now confirmed that talking to your dog is a sign of intelligence, not craziness.
Humans love to anthropomorphise, which is assigning human qualities to non-human things. For centuries, this act has been seen as a kind of stupidity, a childlike tendency that educated and clear-thinking adults have outgrown.
“Historically, anthropomorphising has been treated as a sign of childishness or stupidity, but it’s actually a natural by-product of the tendency that makes humans uniquely smart on this planet,” Nicholas Epley, a Professor of Behavioural Science at the University of Chicago, told Quartz.
No other species has this tendency, Epley said.
“Recognising the mind of another human being involves the same psychological processes as recognising a mind in other animals, a god, or even a gadget. It is a reflection of our brain’s greatest ability rather than a sign of our stupidity,” Epley concluded.
In summary – Congrats! You’re not crazy!
Talking to your dog is a sign of sensitivity, EQ, and all around human intelligence. Sensitive, perceptive people, in other words, talk to their pets, not deranged ones.
Ok Bowie… should we get lunch?