How To Talk To A Dog Is that dog wearing glasses?! Guy Raz has a new four-legged friend, but he's having trouble bonding with him. Good thing Mindy knows the scientifically-proven very best way to talk to dogs! This week learn HOW in the world scientists figured out how to speak to dogs and WHAT in the world is the best way to say "Who's a good boy"? Join Mindy and Guy Raz to learn the Who, What, When Where, Why, How, and Wow in the World of canine communication!
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How To Talk To A Dog

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How To Talk To A Dog

How To Talk To A Dog

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Hey, Wowzers. Before we start the show, I have some big, exciting news to spread. For the last few months, we here at Tinkercast and WOW IN THE WORLD have been tinkering away on a super-secret project with Highlights Magazine. And today, we finally get to tear down the big, invisible curtain of mystery, hush-hush things to reveal this one-of-a-kind podcast creation. We call it - drumroll, please...


THOMAS: ...The Highlights Hangout.


THOMAS: For the first time ever, we're taking your favorite Highlights games, puzzles and characters off the page and putting them right into your ears. Plus, you'll get to hang out with our friends Tim Kubart and Juanita Anderson as they host the show. Here's a little taste of what you'll hear at the Hangout.


TIM KUBART: Whoa, looks like we got some hang mail.

JUANITA ANDERSON: Cast the anchor.

KUBART: Start the engine.

JUANITA ANDERSON: Countdown in three, two, one.

KUBART: It's loading. It's loading.

JUANITA ANDERSON: Oh, I got it. I got it.

This sounds like a good message for Arizona.


UNIDENTIFIED SINGER: (Singing) Ask Arizona.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD #1: Ask me - Arizona.

KUBART: Do you know Hidden Pictures in Highlights Magazine?

JUANITA ANDERSON: Oh, Hidden Pictures. I love that section.

KUBART: If you like that, I've got a surprise for you. We have our very own Hidden Sound game in the Highlights Hangout. And someone's at the door. Oh, let me go get that.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As Goofis) Surprise. Hey, guys.

KUBART: Or you could just come right in.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As Goofis) Hey now, nice set up you got here.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD #2: So, Goofis (ph), should we?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As Goofis) Should we what?

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD #2: Share that song we wrote.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As Goofis) Oh, yeah. (Scat singing).

ELIAS: What's up? My name's Elias (ph), and I have a wow-worthy question for the Highlights Hangout. Will the hole in the ozone layer repair itself?


(Singing) There's a hole in the ozone, dear Elias...

THOMAS: Guy Raz...

RAZ: ...(Singing) dear children. There's a...

THOMAS: Guy Raz, the hole in the ozone is nothing to sing about. This is serious business.

RAZ: I know, Mindy. That's why I thought we could sing our response. You know, there is scientific evidence to suggest that music actually helps to boost our memories.

THOMAS: Oh, well, in that case, don't mind if I do. (Singing) There's a hole in the ozone, dear Elias. What happens next?

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD #3: The fizzle and sizzle made Izzy (ph) giggle. The fizzle and sizzle made Izzy giggle. The fizzle and sizzle made Izzy giggle.

THOMAS: The Highlights Hangout is here. Find it the first Monday of every month, starting now on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.

UNIDENTIFIED PEOPLE: I like to hang out.


UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #1: Stay seated. Three, two, one, ignition.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #2: Get ready for an adventure of magnificent proportions.

THE POP UPS: (Singing) I don't know what you've been told, but we're in a golden age - so many discoveries that are jumping off the page. Wow in the world. Wow in the world. Wow in the world. Wow in the world. Wow in the world. Wow in the world. Wow in the world. Wow in the world. Wow in the world.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #3: With Guy and Mindy.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #1: We're on our way, Houston.

RAZ: Well, I have to say I was feeling a little apprehensive about having you stay here for a whole week, but, you know, any friend of Eleanor's is a friend of mine.


RAZ: Now, I know you must be homesick. And I want you to know that those feelings are valid, but I'm going to do everything I can to make you feel comfortable and content while you are here. If you'll follow me, you'll see that I've got your room all set up. I've got a brand-new hypoallergenic mattress on the bed, some tools for cognitive stimulation. Oh, and I left you some sparkling water in that bowl over there on the floor.


RAZ: Coming.


RAZ: Whoa.


RAZ: I'm coming. Ah, slow down. You're going to crash...


RAZ: ...Through the door.

THOMAS: Whoa. Hey, boy. Hey, where did you come from?

RAZ: Oh, my beautiful door.

THOMAS: Who's a good boy? Who's a good boy?

RAZ: Well, I see you've met Beardsley, Mindy.

THOMAS: Sorry, Guy Raz. I thought I heard a dog over here. But by the way you were talking to it, I figured you were probably just recording a new podcast or something. Isn't that right, Beardsley?


THOMAS: Isn't that right? Was Guy Raz talking to you like you were a guest on a podcast?


THOMAS: Yes, he was. Yes, he was. (Unintelligible).

RAZ: Well, Beardsley is actually my friend Eleanor's dog.


RAZ: She asked me to dog-sit while she went to Paris.

THOMAS: She asked you to dog-sit?

RAZ: Yeah. Well, why do you sound so surprised?

THOMAS: Well, for one, you send me back home every time I come to your house wearing a Chewbacca costume and covered in a flea circus.

RAZ: OK. OK. First of all, no human should ever be covered in fleas. And second of all, there is not a single flea to be found on Beardsley because we just got back from the groomer's, and...

THOMAS: Hold the phone, Guy Raz.

RAZ: What?

THOMAS: Let me see your glasses.

RAZ: Ah, Mindy, don't take my glasses off.

THOMAS: Are your eyes on my eyes deceiving me, or did you and Beardsley get matching hair cuts?

RAZ: So what if we did?

THOMAS: Man, are you getting Beardsley matching glasses and a matching tweed jacket, too?

RAZ: Well, actually, the glasses should be here in about five business days, and we're getting him fitted for a jacket this afternoon. I found a place that does reinforced elbow patches for dogs.

THOMAS: Guy Raz, why are you trying to turn a dog into a furry version of yourself?

RAZ: Do you really want to know the reason, Mindy?

THOMAS: Do I really want to know the reason, Guy Raz?

RAZ: Well, it's because I've been trying to bond with Beardsley all morning long, and nothing seems to work.

THOMAS: Oh. Hmm, well, what have you done?

RAZ: Oh, you know, the usual bonding techniques. I asked him about his family, shared some of my hopes and dreams. I played two truths and a lie. We did a few trust falls.

THOMAS: And so what happened?

RAZ: Well, he just walked away and fell asleep.

THOMAS: Well, I'm sorry to have to be the one to tell you this, Guy Raz, but you're kind of doing this whole bonding with the dog thing all wrong.

RAZ: Yeah. I guess you're right. We probably should have just skipped all the small talk and gone right to pedicures. By the way, do dogs have toenails?

THOMAS: Guy Raz, I'm not talking about pedicures. I'm talking about - about - well, here, let me just show you.

RAZ: Mindy, you have a pet pigeon. What do you know about...

THOMAS: Who's a spicy, little, furry meatball? You are. Yes, you are. Let me rub that chubby, bunny little belly of yours. You're so cute and delicious. I could just eat you up. Yes, I could. Yes, I could. I could just put you in a hot dog bun and eat you up.

RAZ: Mindy, stop. You cannot eat Beardsley.


RAZ: I'm dog-sitting for him, Mindy. He's on loan. I can't tell my friend Eleanor that my friend went off the rails and ate her dog on a bun.

THOMAS: I wasn't going to eat her dog, Guy Raz.

RAZ: But you just said that...

THOMAS: I say a lot of crazy things. It doesn't mean that I mean them.

RAZ: But...

THOMAS: It's psychology, Guy Raz.

RAZ: Psychology - you mean the science of mind and behavior?

THOMAS: Yeah. And in this case, the mind and behavior of humans and dogs and what behaviors make them feel close - or bonding.

RAZ: So let me get this straight - telling a dog you're going to eat it will make it feel closer to you?

THOMAS: OK, let's just move on from the whole eating the dog thing, OK?

RAZ: Gladly.

THOMAS: And let's focus more on how I was talking to Beardsley.

RAZ: Like a clown mixed with a dolphin mixed with an ice cream truck?

THOMAS: Wow, that is oddly specific, but yeah.

RAZ: I'm not sure I'm following.

THOMAS: OK. So as you noticed, I was talking in a high-pitched, rhythmic baby voice, right?

RAZ: Yeah, I think even the neighbors noticed that, Mindy.

THOMAS: And I was saying things like, who's a good boy and...

RAZ: And I could just put you in a hot dog bun and eat you all up.

THOMAS: Guy Raz, again, let's move on from the hot dog eating stuff, OK?

RAZ: But you said...

THOMAS: I know what I said. But what I want to focus on is why I was talking to Beardsley that way.

RAZ: And that has to do with psychology, or the science of mind and behavior?

THOMAS: You're picking up what I'm putting down, Guy Raz.

RAZ: Whew.

THOMAS: OK, so I just read about this new study from researchers at the University of York psychology department. And what they wanted to find out was whether or not the way humans talk to their pets had anything to do with how they were able to bond with them.

RAZ: So kind of like how people tend to baby talk when they're trying to communicate with babies?

THOMAS: Exactly like that. And there's even a name for that baby talk that grown-ups use. It's called infant-directed speech.

RAZ: Oh, right. I think we've known for a while that talking to babies in that high-pitched, baby-talk voice actually helps babies to learn how to speak and how to bond with their grown-ups.

THOMAS: You got it. So knowing this, these researchers set out to discover whether the same was true for dogs and other pets.

RAZ: So they wanted to know if baby-talking to a dog helps to form a stronger bond between the dog and its owners.

THOMAS: Yeah, basically. Their mission was to find out whether or not how humans talk to their pets and if what they say matters when it comes to bonding with them.

RAZ: So this must have been an interesting experiment - a bunch of scientists in a laboratory baby-talking to dogs?

THOMAS: Anything for science, Guy Raz.

RAZ: So how did they do it? I mean, how did they conduct the experiment?

THOMAS: Well, I could tell you.

RAZ: Yeah?

THOMAS: But I'd rather show you. Come on. Let's go find a bunch of dogs.

RAZ: Mindy, I...

THOMAS: Ah, just trust me. Beardsley, you can come, too. Come here, boy. Come here, boy.

RAZ: Yeah, OK. You know, I was just about to - whoa.

THOMAS: Looks like Beardsley is walking you, Guy Raz. Hey, wait up, you two. Run, run, run, run, run, run, run. Beardsley, sit.

RAZ: Mindy, untie me from this leash.

THOMAS: How did you get yourself all tangled up in this leash?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #2: (As character) Oh, wow, those are cute dogs. Are they twins?

RAZ: (Growling).

THOMAS: Oh, oh, thank you. Well, this one is actually a...

RAZ: I'm a human.

THOMAS: He's a human-dog.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #2: (As character) Oh, gross. Never mind. Ew, probably has abstract thoughts.

RAZ: (Groaning) Mindy.

THOMAS: Get back up on your hind legs, Guy Raz. Beardsley, you get back down on your four legs. You're confusing people. Let me just untangle this leash here. I can't take you two anywhere. Guy Raz, you're the human. Beardsley, you're the dog. The human walks the dog, not the other way around. You got it? OK, so now that we've got that under control, we're just going to need, like, 20 more dogs.

RAZ: Mindy, that's a bad...

THOMAS: Free dog walking for sale. Come and get your dog walked. Free dog walking for one and for all. You got a dog? Are you a dog? Come and get walked.

RAZ: What in the...

THOMAS: Thank you. Thank you very much. Thanks. I'll have him back in 10 minutes. Thank you. Oh, she's a real live wire, this one. Thanks. Have a great time. We'll meet you back here in a few. Oh, and we're also going to stop by our laboratory to conduct a quick and totally safe experiment. OK, bye.

RAZ: Mindy...

THOMAS: Well, ready to head back to the lab, Guy Raz?

RAZ: No.

THOMAS: OK, let's just see how many dogs we have here. One, two - did I already count that one? - three, four - 24. OK. All right. Now you take a dozen, and I'll take a dozen, plus Beardsley.

RAZ: Are you sure this is a good idea, Mindy?

THOMAS: Yes, of course I'm not sure this is a good idea, Guy Raz. Come on. We've only got 10 minutes until I have to return all these dogs.


THOMAS: Here we...

RAZ: Wait. Wait up, Mindy. Wait for me.

THOMAS: ...Go - whoa, whoa, whoa.


THOMAS: OK, here we are. Now, you hold onto these leashes, Guy Raz, and I'll hold the lab door open. Single-file line, you little, four-legged furballs (ph). After you, after you, after you - hi - after you, after you, after you, after you, after you, after you, after you. There. I think we got them all inside. Wait, where's Beardsley?


THOMAS: Wow, I hardly even recognized you in those glasses. You really are starting to look like Guy Raz's furry, four-legged twin.

RAZ: Beardsley, give me back my glasses. I can't see anything.

THOMAS: Beardsley, give him back his glasses. Thank you. Good dog. Good dog. Good little furry, little, spicy, little meatball, you.

RAZ: So now what, Mindy? I can hardly hear myself think. Are you sure that this is what the researchers did when they conducted this experiment?

THOMAS: Yes, I am not sure that this is what the researchers did when they conducted this experiment.

RAZ: So what's the first step?

THOMAS: Well, we've already accomplished the first step, and that is to get into a room with a bunch of dogs.

RAZ: Are you sure they used this many dogs?

THOMAS: No, I think you might have overdone it.

RAZ: Me?

THOMAS: OK. Everyone, I'm going to need everyone to stop their yapping.

RAZ: And stop breaking all my lab equipment. This stuff is expensive.

THOMAS: (Yelling) Sit. Stay.

RAZ: Wow, I can't believe that really worked, Mindy.

THOMAS: I know. Me neither.

RAZ: OK, so now what?

THOMAS: So the first thing I'm going to do is observe - or watch and learn - from the way the dogs react to the way you talk to them, OK?

RAZ: Why do I have to do the talking?

THOMAS: OK. So first thing I'm going to need you to do is say a bunch of dog-related things, like who's a good boy? And, were you digging in the trash again?

RAZ: OK, I think I got this. Excuse me, dogs, I have a few questions I'd like to pose to you.

THOMAS: Guy Raz, just get to the questions. I'm ready to observe.

RAZ: Right, right. Who's a good boy? Were you digging in the trash again?

THOMAS: No, not like that.

RAZ: What?

THOMAS: You need to say it in that high-pitched, baby voice - you know, your dog-directed voice. Try again.

RAZ: You know, on second thought, let's just get these dogs back to their owners.

THOMAS: Come on, Guy Raz, you can do it. Come on now, little buddy.

RAZ: (In high-pitched voice) Who's a good boy? Who's been digging in the trash? Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Whoa.

THOMAS: Oh, Guy Raz, they all seem to really love you.

RAZ: Yeah, they really do, don't they? You know what they say about a dog being a guy's best friend.

THOMAS: OK. Now, everyone, heel. Sit. Stay.

RAZ: Thanks for that.

THOMAS: Sing. Make me a sandwich.

RAZ: OK, so what's next?

THOMAS: So now it's your turn to observe me while I speak to these dogs in an adult-directed voice and using adult-directed words, OK?


THOMAS: Hello, dogs. I enjoy competitive cornhole. I'm thinking about refinancing my home mortgage. I was once mistaken for a land otter. OK, what are you observing, Guy Raz?

RAZ: Well, the same thing you are, Mindy. The dogs look pretty confused.

THOMAS: OK, so what did we learn from this experiment?

RAZ: That there's such a thing as competitive cornhole?

THOMAS: No, with the dogs. What did we learn from observing the dogs' reactions to our different ways of talking to them?

RAZ: Oh - oh, right. Well, it was pretty obvious to me that most of those dogs seemed to bond a lot more with me after I talked to them in that high-pitched baby voice.

THOMAS: Right. And that was exactly what these researchers observed when they conducted their own experiment like this. OK, you ready for the next one?

RAZ: There's more?

THOMAS: Yeah. I told the owners that we'd have their dogs back in, like, 10 minutes.

RAZ: OK, what's next?

THOMAS: Now we're going to shake things up.

RAZ: Oh, no. Mindy, Beardsley's hardly even able to sit and stay. I don't know if he's ready to learn to shake yet.

THOMAS: So the next question the researchers had was, do dogs react to what we say or how we say it?

RAZ: So in that case, we should probably do some swapping. I'll use my high-pitched, dog-directed voice. Only this time, I'll say nondog-related things.

THOMAS: You got it, little buddy - grown-up things but in a baby voice. Go for it.

RAZ: OK, here goes. (In high-pitched voice) Who wants some kale salad with freshly grated parmesan? Who's a good congressional candidate?

THOMAS: Good job, Guy Raz. Now, I'm going to use my adult-directed voice and say dog-related things, OK?

RAZ: OK, I'm ready to observe.

THOMAS: Let me smell your puppy breath. Do you have to poop? Do you have to poop? Get off that mail carrier.

RAZ: Huh, that was odd, Mindy. These dogs still look confused.

THOMAS: OK, so now let's observe who the dogs want to sniff more now.

RAZ: Huh, they're not moving, Mindy. It seems like they're not interested in either one of us now. I guess it's safe to say that dogs respond most to high-pitched baby talk, especially when the person is also saying words that make sense to dogs.

THOMAS: Yeah. And that's what these researchers discovered in their own experiments, as well.

RAZ: That when it comes to dogs, it not only matters what you say but also how you say it. And, Mindy, I'm assuming that this research could really come in handy for people like veterinarians and animal rescue workers.

THOMAS: Exact-oritos (ph), Guys Raz. But they found that speaking to dogs in dog-directed speech or baby talk while saying dog-directed things, or things that dogs can kind of understand, was especially important when it came to adult dogs.

RAZ: And what about puppies?

THOMAS: Well, they found that puppies also responded to baby talk the most, but it didn't seem to matter what these researchers were actually saying to them.

RAZ: So they could say something like (in high-pitched voice) always remember to floss your teeth and brush for two minutes. Ah, Mindy, get these puppies off of me.

THOMAS: Wait, stay still. I'm trying to snap a pic to post on my Face Face (ph). Guy Raz, stop wiggling. Ah, there, got it. A little fuzzy, but I guess that'll do. Who wants a puppy treat?

RAZ: I do. I do. I want a puppy treat.

THOMAS: No, not you, Guy Raz. I'm trying to save you from the puppies.

RAZ: Wait. Wait. Is that my organic, free-range, grass-fed...

THOMAS: Where's the beef? Where's the beef? Oh, yeah. Where's the beef? Where's the beef?

RAZ: My beautiful steak.

THOMAS: OK, Guy Raz, we've got to get these dogs back to their owners. Hop on this sled.

RAZ: Sled? Oh, no, Mindy.

THOMAS: It's an urban dog sled. I invented it. Now, hold on tight because here we - whoa.

RAZ: Whoa.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD #4: WOW IN THE WORLD will be right back. Grown-ups, this message is for you.


UNIDENTIFIED CHILD #4: That's it. Back to the show.


THE POP UPS: (Singing) Wow in the world.


THOMAS: Hi. Thanks for calling WOW IN THE WORLD. After the beep, get ready to record.


EDEN: Mindy and Guy Raz, my name is Eden (ph), and I'm 6 years old. And I live in Graywood (ph), Australia. And my wow is that platypuses are venomous, and I want to be a biologist when I grow up. Bye, Mindy and Guy Raz. Love your show.


ROSE: Hi, my name is Rose (ph). I'm from Chattanooga, Tenn. And my wow in my world is that everything is made out of atoms.


LEAH: Hi, Mindy and Guy Raz. My name is Leah (ph). I'm 9 years old, and I live in San Francisco, Calif. My wow in the world is that dolphins sleep with one eye open. Bye. I love your show.


GABBY: Hi, my name is Gabby (ph). I'm 7 years old. I live in Boulder, Colo. And my wow is that my grandpa, Neil Armstrong, was the first one who stepped on the moon. I love your show. Bye.


ELISE: Hello. My name's Elise (ph), and I live in Virginia. I am 8 years old, and my wow in the world is that a lion's mane jellyfish is as long as a blue whale. Bye.


LUCAS: Hi, Mindy and Guy Raz. My name's Lucas (ph). I'm 5 years old. And my wow in the world is that I ziplined 2.4 miles, and then I - it got me underwater but not on my head. Bye. I love your show, dudes.


LARA: Hi, Mindy and Guy Raz. My name is Lara (ph), and I'm 5 years old, and I come from New York City. And my wow in the world is there are more bacteria in the human mouth than there are people in the world. Bye, Mindy and Guy Raz.


ROSIE AND LUCIA: Hi, Mindy and Guy Raz.

ROSIE: My name is Rosie (ph).

LUCIA: And my name is Lucia (ph).

ROSIE: My age is 8.

LUCIA: And mine is 10.

ROSIE: We live at East Coventry, PA.

LUCIA: And our wow in the world is that whales have the biggest brain we know.

ROSIE AND LUCIA: Bye, Mindy and Guy Raz. We love your show.

ROSIE: And P.S., Reggie's awesome.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD #5: Hey, Google, hang up.


UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #4: End of messages.

THOMAS: Hey, everyone, thank you so much for joining us this week on WOW IN THE WORLD.

RAZ: And if you want to keep the conversation going, check out some of the questions we've posted on this episode at our website

THOMAS: And, grown-ups, there, you can find more details on how your kids can become part of the World Organization of Wowzers. Lots of cool perks - exclusive T-shirts, autographed pictures of us and a bunch of other cool stuff -

RAZ: Our show is produced by Jed Anderson...

THOMAS: Say hello, Jed.

JED ANDERSON: Yello (ph).

RAZ: ...With help from Thomas van Kalken, Chelsea Ursin and Jessica Boddy. Meredith Halpern-Ranzer is the big boss.

THOMAS: Our theme song was composed and performed by The Pop Ups. You can find more of their awesome, all-ages music at

RAZ: And, parents and teachers, if you want to send us an email, our address is

THOMAS: Grown-ups, you can also find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @wowintheworld.

RAZ: And if you want to be featured at the end of the show, call us up and tell us your wow in the world.

THOMAS: Our phone number is 1-888-7-WOW-WOW. That's 1-888-7-WOW-WOW.

RAZ: And, parents, if you want to upload any photos or videos or messages to us, please visit and find a link where you can do just that.

THOMAS: And if you haven't already done so, please subscribe on Apple Podcasts or however you get your podcasts. Leave us a few stars and a review. And be sure to tell a friend about the show. Until next time, keep on wowing.


THE POP UPS: (Singing) Wow in the world. Wow in the world. Wow in the world. Wow in the world. Wow in the world.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD #6: WOW IN THE WORLD was made by Tinkercast and sent to you by NPR.

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