A barking dog shares more than just noise, study suggests

In honor of "Take Your Dog to Work Day" tomorrow, don't get upset if you hear a barking dog in the workplace. That dog may be trying to tell you something, a new study suggests.

Researchers from the School of Computing at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM), in collaboration with a veterinary student from Universidad Alfonso X El Sabio and the Department of Ethology from Eötvös Lorand University have developed special algorithms that can accurately determine the age, gender, context, and identity of a dog by listening to his/her bark.

The study, published in the September 2014 issue of Animal Cognition, not only reveals the wealth of information in a dog’s bark. It also suggests future software programs that could identify fear, anxiety, and levels of aggression in a dog.

The study involved eight dogs from the Mudi breed, 800 barks, 29 acoustic measurements, and 7 different situations, reported UPM.

Using diverse computational models from the collected data, information and percent of accuracy included gender (85.13%), age (80.25%), situation (55.5%), and breed (67.63%).  

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