People tend to talk to their dogs in high-pitched, childlike voices with no real reason other than to perhaps offer the dog context clues about a message. 

A recent study from York University suggested that such sounds are helpful. Originally published in March, it counted as a victory for the pro-dog-voice crowd, indicating that dogs actually do respond more positively to goofy, high-pitched tones.

The study had humans interact with adult dogs by speaking to them with what it called “infant-directed speech” and regular, conversational voices. They combined both infant-directed speech and regular with phrases meant to entice dogs, as well as non-dog-related sentences.

Overall, the study found that the dogs, unsurprisingly, liked it best when presented with dog-related phrases spoken in baby voices. Within the parameters of this study, that was found to be the best way to keep their attention, which any dog owner knows is a monumental task.

“We’ve shown that dogs are sensitive to this type of speech and it might be useful to use when you meet a dog for the first time, or if you are interacting with a friends’ dog, for example,” study author Alex Benjamin told Huffington Post.

To prove her credentials as a dog researcher, Benjamin promoted her dog Cooper’s adorable Instagram page.

While one study into canine behavior is by no means definitive, it did counter a separate study released earlier this year,  which suggested that adult dogs were ambivalent to the baby talk. That study still found that puppies were fans of it, though.

Infant-directed speech is a natural fit for human babies as a way to teach language to them. However, dogs are not likely to begin speaking human languages anytime soon, so the explanation for why people talk to dogs that way is a little less clear.

However, the American Kennel Club offered a simple explanation: People do it because they like it.