Do dogs understand what we say?
When you sit down to have a heart to heart with your dog, do
you think your dog understands and communicates with you?
If so you are not alone, most people believe their dogs
communicate with them and studies
show that you are correct.
The language comprehension of some dogs is well beyond that
of the talking parrots and even of apes, and usually even
more than an average human toddler. (Which probably goes a
long way in explaining why your dog may obey better than
your three year old.)
There are some basic commands that most family dogs learn,
such as fetch, sit, stay and come, but you can teach your
dog the meaning of hundreds of words and even what actions
to perform when each word is spoken.
Teaching your dog more words is a process. It takes time but
the reality is that your dog can adapt and learn new words
pretty easily if you take the time to teach him. Dogs learn
words the same way children do, by association. So if you
constantly say a specific word in regards to a specific item
your dog will start to recognize the word without seeing the
Although dogs learn the same way as children they just do
not take the next step of actually speaking the words they
learn. Dogs aren't believed to be able to learn abstract
concepts so there needs to be an object that a dog can
associate with the word.
Most dogs can learn new words quickly and there is no limit
to the amount of words you can teach a dog. Using specific
words to make your dog do specific behaviors is a big part
of training a dog. So the better communication you have with
your dog the happier you will both be because there is no
confusion about what you want from your dog.
As to your dog's communicating with you, well, let's just
say that you two will work that out together as you train
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