To answer this question, scientists scanned the brain of dogs while they were listening to audio records first in a language of their master and then in a “foreign” language.
They found that one of the brain regions — the secondary auditory cortex — showed different neurological responses to the language that dogs were used to, and to the one that they hadn’t heard before.
The older the dog in the experiment was, the better they could distinguish between the two languages.
The research also revealed that dogs react differently to normal speech and to non-speech, that is human speech sounds that made no sense.
Scientists are now trying to establish whether this ability is dogs’ specialty, or it is a common occurrence among non-human species.