The No. 1 phrase that gets dog owners in a tizzy
Groundbreaking new research has discovered that "walkies" is the word dogs love the most. If the researchers had measured it at the height of the COVID lockdown when we were only allowed out once a day for exercise they may have found the word had a similar result in humans.
However, the crack team of analysts hired by a UK online website stuck to the task in hand and focused solely on our furry friends.
Next week it is understood they will be working on a high level project to discern if the Pope really is a Catholic and to confirm that bears really do go to the toilet in the woods.
In their defence, the Rover research was actually backed up with some science that measured our doggos' heart rates as certain words were uttered.
Saying "walkies" increased a resting pooch's heart rate by a whopping 36 per cent from 115 beats per minute to 156bpm.
Unsurprisingly, saying "dinner" anywhere remotely within earshot of a hound zapped their tickers up to 152bpm, closely followed by the word "treat".
Other words that got their myocardium moving included "fetch" and "biscuit" and the phrase "shall we go home".
These were all naturally accompanied by the steady rhythm of a thumping tail.
The dog breed that got most excited was the French bulldog with each command sending their heart rate jumping by almost a third. This, however, needs to be judged against the fact that the snuffly mutts look like they are going to burst an artery just puffing over to the water bowl.
Second most excitable breed was the beagle, which will come as no surprise to anyone who owns one of the scent-driven little tykes.
It just so happens that Bingo Benns is a beagle and has spent 2020 in lockdown empathetically tapping into the words that have caused his owner's heart rate to rise through the roof.
"Your alcohol delivery here," is rated as the No.1 phrase guaranteed to get his owner's heart pumping, according to Bingo Benns.
Closely followed by the words "would you like a martini / red wine / beer?"
This is a phenomenon experienced by dogs right across NSW with alcohol delivery companies reporting a 25 per cent increase in demand in the first month of lockdown alone. Order sizes were up by 50 per cent as well.
Local dogs have also noticed that words which spark joy in their owners include "Netflix" and "Binge" and "zero cases".
The year ended with one of the words that sent everyone's heart beats per minute soaring: "2021". There is serious hope that number delivers on its early promise.
Other words that put a calypso band into the chest of every person in NSW are "AstraZeneca" and "Pfizer" and "vaccine".
Early in the year heart rates also jumped at the words "Zoom party" but this quickly became replaced by a sense of foreboding and gloom as Zoom became the painful norm in work and social lives around the nation.
Dogs across NSW have also reported an increasing familiarity with voices other than their owners - notably those of Premier Gladys Berejiklain and NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant.
Bingo reports that words uttered by them have brought on increased heart activity, palpitations in fact, but no resultant uplift in mood. This, he deduces, means his owner is suffering from anxiety.
This was not an area explored by the cutting edge researchers in the UK dog lab. But it is expected to have a similar result in humans as saying "put that down" and "bad boy" to a dog.
For Bingo it would have a similar anxiety inducing effect to the words forcefully uttered to him at Christmas which included "get off the table" and "leave that turkey alone".
Recent anxiety inducing words heard at 11am each day during the Premier's coronavirus update include "northern beaches" and "Berala cluster" and in recent days "Hotel Grand Chancellor".
This is a trend Bingo has noticed that has been gathering pace when his owner switches on the television or reads the newspaper. Keywords that spark heart palpitations include "Donald" and "Trump" and phrases including "Make America Great Again" and "Black Lives Matter Movement".
Domestically Bingo has also picked up specific phrases guaranteed to lead to an anxious heart bump in his owner including "what, you're having another martini / red wine / beer?" and "nine months in lockdown and still the garden looks a mess".
Happily for Bingo hearing this last phrase often translates into his favourite word being uttered almost immediately: "Walkies".
Originally published as The No. 1 phrase that gets dog owners in a tizzy