Cool research out of Hungary shows that our dogs actually understand us much better than we know.

I'm going to make somewhat of a confession here and admit that I do talk to my dog, Hank, and I have to admit there are times that I almost expect him to answer me. That wasn't the case when I first adopted him, but over the past several months, I'd say that we've gotten to know each other pretty darn well.

Of course, there are times when I feel a bit foolish, but, according to the latest study in Hungary, Hank understands more than I ever gave him credit for. The story says that the key to that understanding is mostly tone of voice, but the words you use can be pretty important as well.

The study went on to say that, for the most part, your dog can tell whether you're praising them, disciplining them, or are being neutral. Of course, your tone of voice is very important, but dogs can also pick up on signals like body language and they even know certain key words.

Chances are, you dog knows the words "bad" and "good" and those words can also trigger a response. Some of the dogs reacted to the word "bad" even when it was used in a neutral tone of voice. Even if you say "bad dog" they know it's not praise.

If you're a dog owner, I'd be willing to bet you kind of already knew this, especially if you've had your dog for a number of years. Kind of cool to know I'm not just talking to myself when I talk to Hank. So, talk away to your dog. They like it.