CANINE experts have revealed that you've been speaking to your dog all wrong – and that there's one voice you shouldn't use when talking to your pooch.
A new study also claimed that dogs give better responses to another, very different kind of tone.
Boffins from the Wolf Science Centre at the University of Vienna in Austria and the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerai in Brazil studied how nine mixed-breed dogs behaved in 135 training sessions.
They found that it's better to speak to your pet in a pleasant tone than to bark orders at them.
Friendly voices are thought to make dogs more relaxed, allowing them to pay attention to commands.
Writing in science journal Animals, Brazilian dog expert Melissa Bravo Fonseca said that strict voices may stress mutts.
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She said:"In view of our results, we believe that nice speeches have created a positive atmosphere, in which the animals might interact in a relaxed way, favouring the fulfilment of commands.
"The use of nice speeches has the potential to attract the listener's attention, increasing the social responsiveness of the receivers.
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"Stressed and tense animals will not respond adequately in the sessions.
"Therefore, a relaxing atmosphere may improve performance."
The Austrian-Brazilian team put the pooches through 15 five-minute sessions each, with basic commands like "sit" being given in "nice", "neutral", or "reprehensive" tones.
Most of the mutts responded best to "nice" commands and worst to "reprehensive" ones, with strict tones also making them wag their tails less.
The experts also revealed that barking at your dog makes them disinclined to be near you.
All the pooches were familiar with basic commands like "sit" and "roll", but the study concluded that nice tones also work best when training puppies.
Prof Angelica Vasconcellos said: "Our results suggest that a friendly voice during training supports performance and positive emotional responses in dogs."
It comes after a dog trainer revealed the reason why your puppy is so naughty – and how to make it behave.
Jamie Huggett, who runs the Southern Cross K9 puppy school in Australia, also said there is a crunch period when your puppy is most likely to cause havoc.
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