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Do Dogs Understand Human Words? Science Reveals The Incredible “Dog Vocabulary”

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The dog’s domestication was an amazing achievement for mankind. Millennia of training led from the wild wolf to one of the most versatile and intelligent creatures. But faithful dog companion has not stopped impressing us with his abilities. Science has found that dogs could understand human language.

Not only do dogs, almost instantaneously, understand human words and phrases, such as… walks and sits, but, with experience, they can predict what we are going to say and respond accordingly, even coming to distinguish and

A recent study by researchers from the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at Dalhousie University found that on average dogs have a vocabulary of about 89 words. Those who own a dog can certainly confirm the phenomenon, having spoken some of these words.

Some dogs in the study, the first of the class This skill is quite incredible if we think it is the vocabulary of a child of about two years.

The response of dogs to these words allows to find a remarkable level of understanding of language. We were not new to the extraordinary intellectual qualities of the best friend of man, as the super-intelligent genius dogs show.

Regarding the variation in individual capacity between subjects, the authors of the study declare • Based on the relationships of the owners, dogs seem to vary considerably not only in the number but also in the type of words to which they presumably respond.”

To offer canine owners the opportunity to test their pet’s skills, the authors of the study have structured an online survey in which they were asked to report their dog’s response to 172 sentences.

The online test was based on the assessment of dog responses to the words administered, on a scale of 0 to 5, where zero indicated a lack of response, while value five denoted a specific and consistent response. The ability to understand canine has been analyzed in a past study that was able to explain the attitude of dogs to bend their heads when we speak.

Analyzing the data of the experiment, about ten words emerged that 90% of dogs recognize. Among these daily words and phrases are: “sitting”, “come”, “good girl/boy,” “down,” “rest,” “wait”, “no,” “ok” and “leave it.”

More complex words of the type “clean your feet,” “sigh”, “strong” and “horn” have been transposed only by a limited number of specimens, which have also shown to recognize the names of the dog sitter, of the kindergarten nest

The study also distinguished professionally trained dogs, such as police dogs, research and rescue dogs, from domestic dogs. The former possessed a 150% more developed vocabulary.

Although the conclusions are exciting, the researchers are keen to point out that due to various criticalities of the method of investigation and the subjective interpretational assessments, it is not necessary to be premature about the evidence obtained. It is possible that the dogs surveyed may have exploited gestural and ancillary information to receive phrases and words, in addition to the possibility that dogs without the least training could have a vocabulary less than 89 words.

“With further research, our tool could become an efficient, effective and cost-effective research tool to map some of their skills and perhaps help predict the potential of individual dogs for various professions in advance,” researchers conclude.

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