It’s official! Dogs prefer petting over praise! This was revealed in a new dog research study. Our four-legged babies prefer a good ear scratching over a “good boy” praise any day.
A dog research study, partially titled Shut up and pet me was published in the Behavioral Processes journal. The study analyzed dogs’ reactions to petting compared to vocal praise. They also found that verbal affirmation had almost no effect on our pups.
“We focused here on dogs’ preference for petting and vocal praise, and the influence that familiarity (owner vs. stranger) has on that preference,” the research authors wrote.
The dogs’ preferences were analyzed by the amount of time they would stay put and interactwith a person. The reaction of shelter dogs, owned dogs interacting with strangers, and owned dogs interacting with their masters were measured.
According to the authors, “Across all experimental groups, dogs preferred petting to vocalpraise.”
The reaction of the dog to vocal praise was similar to the reaction if the person didn’t interactwith them at all.
Dogs seemed to never tire of begin petted in the whole duration of the sessions either.
“Overall, petting seems to be an important interaction between dogs and humans that might maintain inter-specific social behavior but vocal praise likely has to be specifically conditioned,” the authors said.
An earlier dog research study by the same authors found that dogs prefer food over petting.
Image: Lachlan Hardy/Flickr