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Professor Quippy: What's that Lassie? You're freaking out?

Professor QuippyIt turns out that the long-distance “Twilight Bark” scene from 101 Dalmatians isn’t so fictional. (You know, the scene when the parents of the puppy-napped pooches, Pongo and Perdita, let all the other dogs in England know their young have been kidnapped by the chain-smoking, highly motivated and mildly deranged Cruella de Vil.)

Research from Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest (Hungary) shows that dogs can distinguish between other pooches’ barks. According to the New Scientist, the researchers: “measured the heart-rate fluctuations of pet dogs while playing them recordings of dogs barking at strangers and dogs barking to get attention.”

They discovered that dogs can distinguish between the different kinds of barking, and “it might be that they also understand,” says Péter Pongrácz, the lead researcher.

No word yet on if dogs are able to communicate via urine, but I suspect the answer is yes, and they call it pee-mail.

This dog was banned from the study, mostly because he was channeling Bud Abbot:

New Scientist story about this research, and an invention to interpret dog barks. Humor-blogs.com is highly adept at pee-mail.


  1. Anyone else think researching that was completely pointless… dogs bark to communicate…. geez, really I thought they were doing it just to be annoying.

    I love it how people seem to think that humans are the only creatures that have mastered communication.

  2. I agree — anybody who’s spent any time around a dog knows they are very sophisticated communicators.

    My dog, for example, is a dedicated ham radio enthusiast.

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