Scientists in Budapest determine that particular types of dog barks are more annoying than others because they indicate distress, which humans want to respond to. Sharon Reich reports.
They're cute and cuddly until … they sound like this. UPSOUND: SQUEALING DOG And as it turns out - there's a scientific reason humans find that type of dog bark so irritating. After studying 27 different types of barks, a research team in Budapest led by ethologist Peter Pongracz say that the sound of a distressed dog is particularly annoying because it demands an emotional response, like a crying baby. (SOUNDBITE) (English) HEAD OF DOG ACOUSTIC COMMUNICATION RESEARCH, ETHOLOGIST PETER PONGRACZ, SAYING: "In an urban lifestyle where usually you hear your neighbor's or second neighbor's dog you cannot intervene so this causes a frustration because biologically you are tuned to help or check out what's the problem but you cannot." After looking at 160 people's responses to the sounds, Pongracz has two tips for dog owners. (SOUNDBITE) (English) HEAD OF DOG ACOUSTIC COMMUNICATION RESEARCH, ETHOLOGIST PETER PONGRACZ, SAYING: "Many dogs suffer from the separation anxiety and one typical symptom of it is the excessive barking. So we should limit the time while our dogs are barking left alone. The other is that the high-pitched barks are annoying for people, so especially those people who have tiny dogs, they naturally have high-pitched voice, they should be more careful than the bigger dogs with the barking." Especially … if they want to stay on good terms with their neighbors.