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Before and after photos show what happens when you call dogs good boys or girls

white dog smiling dog-happy
© Divfem - Twitter

A pet owner who posted a "before and after" picture of his pooch getting a good boy has started a new social media trend. And it shows just how much our dogs love praise!

By Ashley Murphy

Published on the 20/09/2020, 12:00

It's amazing what a few kind words can do. They can turn a frown into a smile or transform a bad day into a great one. In fact, it's fair to say we all love a bit of praise.

But no animal on earth responds better to a 'good boy' or 'good girl' than our pooches. Their ears prick up, the tail starts to wag, and that special puppy smile makes them look 100x cuter.

Who's a good boy?

And that's why one Reddit user posted a before and after picture of his dog getting some positive reinforcement. The pic went viral, and now the internet is filling up with pictures of pooches showing their appreciation for praise!

They've also led to renewed speculation about whether dogs can understand what we say.   It looks like the fluffball in this post knows what his dog mum is saying, and he clearly loves it!

However, some animal specialists think dogs respond to the tone of voice, rather than actual words. But what does the latest science say?

Dogs love (and understand) praise

A recent study published in Science journal found that dogs respond better to positive language, even when it's spoken in a neutral tone. What's more, MRI scans showed how the reward centres in the canine brain light up when they hear positive words.

Learn how to 'speak dog' with this guide to canine communication.

The latest research sheds new light on the relationship between dogs and humans, suggesting our bond goes much deeper than previously thought. But as dog people, we already knew that!

Watch also: Watch: Dog can’t hide his delight as his family celebrates his birthday