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Science & Technology

Researchers develop dog bark translator

By T.K. Randall
May 31, 2015 · Comment icon 20 comments

Could a computer enable you to better understand your dog ? Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 leisergu
New computer software is promising to make it possible to translate the meaning behind dog barks.
Scientists from the Technical University of Madrid and Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest have come up with a system that can allegedly determine the meaning behind a dog's barking by analyzing the volume, length and pitch of each individual bark.

The software uses a complex set of algorithms to determine not only what the dog is thinking but also its age and gender too based on nothing more than the sound coming out of its mouth.

To develop the program the team analyzed 800 barks from several dogs placed in a number of different scenarios ranging from encountering a stranger to being tied to a tree by its owner.
The researchers determined, among multiple acoustic cues, that a scared dog will bark more rapidly and at a higher pitch while a dog experiencing loneliness will bark more slowly.

When a dog encounters a stranger its bark will be distinctly deep, fast and harsh.

It is thought that the new software could prove to be particularly beneficial to vets and animal shelters as it can be used to help recognize behavioral problems in dogs such an separation anxiety.

Whether or not a consumer translation device based on this technology is likely to ever be made available to purchase in shops however remains to be seen.

Source: Telegraph | Comments (20)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #11 Posted by pallidin 9 years ago
I think that it's just a device that just keeps repeating, "I wan't steak!" I figured it would be bacon. Yeah, and for our dog apparently it's chicken... her fave I guess.
Comment icon #12 Posted by Athena1979 9 years ago
Mine would repeat, "hey, hey, there's someone outside! There they are. They're walking by now. They're walking away now. They're a long ways away now. Hey, hey, hey!"
Comment icon #13 Posted by godnodog 9 years ago
wasn´t his old news? I remember reading about this a couple of years ago
Comment icon #14 Posted by Razer 9 years ago
"It is thought that the new software could prove to be particularly beneficial to vets and animal shelters as it can be used to help recognize behavioral problems in dogs such an separation anxiety." I would think vets and people that work at animal shelters would have enough exposure working with dogs, that something like this would not really help. Anyone that has ever had a dog already knows that they are very good at telling you what they want or need and often it has nothing to do with their bark but more their body language. As far as helping to recognize separation anxiety, any dog that... [More]
Comment icon #15 Posted by paperdyer 9 years ago
I can see how this could help people understand a dog's bark when they don't know the dog (the example of the shelter they used in the article). However, like Lilly says, I am very fluent when it comes to my own two dogs barks. Cool stuff. Yes, but we'll need an app for I-Phones and Droids. My current dog is more or a tail wager to get her point across, at least with my wife and me. The faster the tail wag, the more urgent the request. If she starts to play-fight with you then head for the dog in a hurry!
Comment icon #16 Posted by third_eye 9 years ago
Well , better hope the dogs learns what it really means when daddy says 'Don't tell mommy'
Comment icon #17 Posted by travelnjones 9 years ago
This is not going to help me I need to translate Human to Bark, so i can tell my Anatolian to stop going to the bathroom in our living room.
Comment icon #18 Posted by spootyheads 9 years ago
Ditto travelnjones, my 15 year old black lab, doesn't speak much anymore, but makes messes in the house, but it might be nice to know what my puppy is saying, but I don't care. If anyone wants to continue this...
Comment icon #19 Posted by BeastieRunner 9 years ago
I thought most canine "language" was olfactory and visual anyway? Some auditory but not the predominant form of communication.
Comment icon #20 Posted by HollandSmith 9 years ago
My dog would probably say "I'm just barking at 3 am, why the hell do you care? Go back to sleep human."

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