Although dogs have a positive relationship with human language, dogs have no concept of the “English” language.
However, According to Hungarian scientists who published a groundbreaking study, dogs understand the meaning of words and the intonation with which they are spoken.
Let’s say that even if you tell your dog excitedly that he needs to go to the vet, he will probably see right through you and not want to go.
It doesn’t matter what the sound is called. You could teach it the Spanish word for “sit,” the English term for “turn around,” and the Chinese word for “wait.”
It doesn’t learn multiple languages or know that these words come from different languages.
The dog knows that when the human makes that sound, it should respond with its own sound; when it makes a particular sound, its owners praise it with treats and love.
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Dogs’ Understanding Of The Human Language
In the twenties, an elephant in a circus was thought not to know any tricks, but it turned out that he knew all the schemes but responded only to Polish commands. So they had to retrain him in English. This story was made into the book/movie Water for Elephants.
Most Dogs Understand Human Language
The rhythm, patterns, tone of voice, and body language extensively communicate our intent to the dog. They can learn commands if someone takes the time to teach them consistently.
Once a dog understands this word, many can recognize it when it is spoken in a sentence. This ability gives the impression that the dog understands everything that is said in the context of the terms they know.
They try to understand exactly what we want them to understand, and many make educated guesses.
Few Exceptional Dogs Can Build An Extensive Vocabulary
These dogs are brilliant and are considered geniuses. One dog, a Border Collie named Chaser, speaks well over a thousand words.
This is comparable to the language of a three-year-old child. Such dogs are not necessarily the exception but the result of time and energy spent teaching them nouns and verbs.
While humans learn words from context, dogs must understand each word from scratch. Consequently, dogs take longer to learn words, but they remember them.
Dogs Can Also Classify Objects As Fuzzy, Hard, Smooth
Dogs can also identify an unknown object from a group of known things when asked to look for it. This ability has previously only been attributed to humans and is known as “rapid matching.”
Dogs distinguish between nouns and verbs; thus, “retrieve the sock” is not the word that is responded to, but “retrieves the sock” is a distinction they can make.
Dogs can understand the human “fetch” language because they can apply that command to another noun, such as “fetch the ball.” The dog knows what “fetch” means and what a sock or ball is. So with some training, a dog can understand our words regardless of their language.
Dogs And Human Language – How Can You Improve Communication?
What Does This Mean For A Regular Dog Owner Or Dog Lover, Then?
Now that we know that every dog listens when we talk, there’s every reason to continue paying close attention to our pups, both linguistically and otherwise.
And when you train, use clear command words so your pup understands them as quickly as possible. After all, this is where they do most of their work: humans haven’t learned words on Doggish yet.
And If You, As A Human, Suspect You Know A Dog With A Gift For Language?
Dr Claudia Fugazza and her team are still on the lookout for clever canines who can assist us in better understanding dogs’ linguistic talents.
If your dog remembers the names of more than ten objects or toys, you can enrol him in research on talented dogs, bringing humanity one step closer to our best friends.
Things Trainers Say You Should Stop Doing To Your Dog
Yelling (In General)
Problematic: The Animal Behavior College notes that dogs don’t have the same reasoning and logical thinking skills as humans.
If you yell or scream at your dog, he may become fearful of you, his environment, and certain people, leading to reactive behaviour.
Again, crying and scolding in an angry tone is too vague. Yelling at your dog will not stop it from chewing the shoe next time.
It will be where you can’t see it. Studies have shown that dogs can become pessimistic when treated this way.
Dogs And Human Language
Problematic: Conversely, humans not communicating with dogs could be problematic and easily be just as harmful as yelling. At home, in a controlled environment, it may work.
However, Dr Jennifer L. Summerville, DVM, says that ignoring no longer proves effective once your dog receives a reward for the behaviour. Also, in the real world, others will likely be unable to ignore behaviours such as jumping, chewing, or whining.
By teaching your specific dog commands (sit, stay, leave it, down), you can redirect problem behaviours and help your dog understand what you want him to do.