Learning is one of life’s guarantees: you breathe, you eat, you poop…and you figure stuff out. The human brain starts working in the womb—newborns respond to their parents’ voices moments after taking their first breath. Studies show that the more a parent speaks and interacts with their child, the bigger their vocabulary will be later in life.
It turns out that your pet is a lot like a baby. Science confirms that the level of stress hormones circulating while they’re in the womb affects our animals too, and that a dog or cat’s personality is the direct result of nature—the environment in which they are born and raised, and nurtured, the way they are conditioned and socialized during their early puppyhood and beyond.
Like us, animals learn most when they’re young. And while it’s harder to teach an old dog new tricks—it’s not impossible. The studies on the brain and learning have branched into the world of animal research and show that we all can grow to learn new tricks and behaviors, if the motivation is right!