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iconoclastic cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-10-04 09:06 AM
Original message
Research Shows Dogs Understand Language
Research Shows Dogs Understand Language

By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID
Associated Press Writer
Published June 10, 2004, 6:45 AM CDT

WASHINGTON -- As many a dog owner will attest, our furry friends are listening. Now, for the doubters, there is scientific proof they understand much of what they hear.
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/sns-ap-d...
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demnan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-10-04 09:08 AM
Response to Original message
1. To a lesser extent so do cats
You say the other cat's name and the cat is sure to come running out of the jealous fear the other cat will get something he won't.
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GoddessOfGuinness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-10-04 09:34 AM
Response to Reply #1
5. Cats understand,
they just generally don't give a rat's ass.
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TrogL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-10-04 11:44 AM
Response to Reply #1
17. Cats understand just fine
I merely need to mention "there's a cat on the table" for it to jump off and "there's a cat in the hall" brings it back in. One understands "if you insist upon being a lap kitty you need to sit down".
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johnnie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-10-04 09:11 AM
Response to Original message
2. Blah blah blah Fido
Blah blah blah outside blah blah blah blah food blah blah blah....
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ProfessorGAC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-10-04 09:29 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Read The Article
Your surmise is apparently untrue.
The Professor
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johnnie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-10-04 11:01 AM
Response to Reply #3
7. You're right.
I didn't read the article the first time. My post was more based on an old joke I remember from a Far side cartoon.

But I did find the article here:
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=585&e=1...

And if that is the same article, then I read it to say exactly what I was saying.

"Fast-mapping allows a child to form quick and rough hypotheses about the meaning of a new word the first time they hear or see it."

"(Rico) lives as a pet with his owners and was reported by them to know the labels of more than 200 items, mostly children's toys and balls, which he correctly retrieved upon request," Julia Fischer of the Max-Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig and colleagues wrote."


Labels such as "outside", "food" and "Fido".
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GoddessOfGuinness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-10-04 09:33 AM
Response to Original message
4. I want to read the article, but I don't want to register...
Can you excerpt the important stuff?
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arwalden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-10-04 11:09 AM
Response to Reply #4
10. Fuckin' Chicago Tribune... They Want WAY Too Much Personal Information
I'll see if I can google it and find the story elsewhere.

-- Allen
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arwalden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-10-04 11:12 AM
Response to Reply #4
11. Here It Is FOR FREE And UNREGISTERED At "The Times Union" (Albany NY)
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GoddessOfGuinness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-10-04 01:55 PM
Response to Reply #11
19. Thanks!
:yourock:
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kodi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-10-04 09:44 AM
Response to Original message
6. anyone who raises dogs knows this thru experience.
my favorite experience was with my 2 original kuvasz when at a friend's party and i brought my dogs.

everyone at the party knew Aja and Kodi for years and they all knew how smart they were. well, as a bunch of us were standing around and my Aja came up to me and she looked thirsty, so i just looked down at her and said "the water's in the back of the truck." she immediately trotted to the back of my truck, jumped up in it and drank water out of a cooler i had filled with ice just for the dogs.

my friends freaked out and nodded..."damn! that dog understood you?"

"of course she does!" i beamed.
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Richardo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-10-04 11:02 AM
Response to Original message
8. I used to spell "walk" and "out" in front of our dogs...
Edited on Thu Jun-10-04 11:05 AM by Richardo
...otherwise they'd go into a barking hyperfrenzy until I could get the leashes on.

Then they learned the sounds of O-U-T and knew that was just a three-syllable word for 'out'. So then I had to intentionally MISspell it "O-W-T". ("Honey have the dogs been O-W-T?") :eyes:

Who is training whom? :D



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RebelOne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-10-04 11:40 AM
Response to Reply #8
16. The last Rottie I had learned to spell.
She would get all excited when she heard the word "ride." So I started to spell it if I was speaking to someone, but eventually she figured it out.
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ProfessorGAC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-10-04 02:12 PM
Response to Reply #16
23. Same Here
Same thing with our doggie. But, that really isn't language ability. That is auditory association. There is no evidence that a dog has sufficient verbal skills to associate the spelling with a word. It's just a secondary association to the event of taking a ride.

That's why dogs will answer to more than one nickname. Like my dog. His name is Barney, but my wife called him Beanie, now and then. I shortened it at times to Bean. He answers to all, but doesn't hear Bean, think Beanie, then Barney. He's just associating Bean to himself.

But, this article i do believe. They do start to understand concepts to words and can identify similar words to similar concepts. I've seen with every dog i've had.
The Professor
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No2W2004 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-10-04 11:06 AM
Response to Original message
9. I knew that!

My dog knows what "go for a ride" means. He'll pretty much look at me like I'm a dumbass when I talk to him in "baby talk" though. Not that I blame him. :)
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RebelOne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-10-04 11:37 AM
Response to Reply #9
15. When I baby-talk to my Rottie, she just gives me a big yawn.
Smart-ass dog.
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Philostopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-10-04 11:17 AM
Response to Original message
12. I can believe it.
Even Max, who's not a rocket scientist as far as dogs go, can grok the words 'go for a ride' totally out of context. Which is to say when we're both sitting with our backs to him, we're in the house and he's not harnessed to go out -- if one of us says, "Max, want to go for a ride?" he totally explodes.

Max also understands 'cookie' out of context.

We used to drive my mother's long-dead Yorkie crazy by inserting the phrase, 'take Robin outside' into otherwise irrelevant conversations. We had him so sensitized to the word that once in a while he'd even bark at the TV if somebody said 'want to go outside?' to a dog on a TV show.

I only have one cat that might be people-bonded enough to react this way. She was very young when we got her, and is much more socialized to people than to other cats, so I think she's quite possibly able to discriminate human language above the level of the rest of the herd. Not that, as someone pointed out, she cares, most of the time, but I think she's capable of it.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-10-04 11:18 AM
Response to Original message
13. Any dog owner knows this from experience
My younger brother had a yellow Lab who was absolutely devoted to playing Frisbee. If someone said the word "Frisbee," she would go into a routine that obviously meant, "Yeah, yeah, Frisbee, oh. please, yes, yes, let's play Frisbee."

We had to begin using circumlocations, such as "plastic disk" or "round flying object."

But the dog obviously knew the word by sound, not by context.

One Christmas, I brought an Australian gentleman friend to a family gathering, and my father, who had never met him, asked him what part of Australia he was from.

My friend said, "Brisbane."

Immediately, the dog who had been lying quietly on the floor nearby, jumped up and went into her "yeah, yeah Frisbee" routine.

Another time, the dog was staying with my parents while my youngest brother was out of town. My mother said casually, "When John (my youngest brother) comes back..."

The dog perked up her ears and ran to the window that looked out on the driveway. She was unusually good at understanding language.

The dog we had when I was growing up knew several phrases, including "tie up the dog." He tended to get into mischief when left alone, which was rare, since my mother was usually at home, but we learned that we needed to tie him to a post in the basement if we didn't want to find nasty surprises, such as bedspreads on the floor or garbage pails turned over, when we got home.

One of my parents would say, "Who's going to tie up the dog" and the dog would try to go hide.

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baldguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-10-04 11:25 AM
Response to Original message
14. My dog understands me.
I say "ball" and she gets her ball. I say "squeeky toy" she gets her squeeky toy. I say "bone" and she gets her bone.

Getting her to let go and actually GIVE them to me - that's another story.
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DemExpat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-10-04 11:52 AM
Response to Original message
18. Absolutely! I have my second Jack Russell Terrier now
and know now that my first one was not a fluke - they are so damned smart!

My first, Mikey, understood a very long list of words and phrases, while my newly adopted young Bonnie is learning fast.

PLUS - my dogs are raised bi-lingually like my children were - and none of them have problems with this! :D :D :D

But it is not just the understanding of language that amazes me - it is the sensing of mood and feelings too that dogs are hyper-sensitive to.

They also seem to have ESP like I do.

For instance, often I am away from the house for a few hours, at irregular hours, and as I bicycle, walk, or drive up to my house (on a city street, not a drive-way), my Jack Russells "just happen" to jump up into the window seat and sight me....like they are expecting me then.

Dogs are super!

:kick:

DemEx

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GoddessOfGuinness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-10-04 02:03 PM
Response to Original message
20. When I talk to my dog,
he cocks his head in the cutest way, as if he's really trying to understand all of what I say.
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Lars39 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-10-04 02:07 PM
Response to Original message
21. I have a dog that can understand commands up to 3 words.
She knows all family members by more than one name,eg. Dad=Jack. In her younger days she would play soccer with the kids. :)
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geniph Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-10-04 02:10 PM
Response to Original message
22. One of my three cats
actually understands quite a bit of spoken English - not just the tone, the actual words. If you chastise her or make fun of her - even if your tone is perfectly even - she'll answer you back with her "sassing" bitchy little meows. It's the girl cat; they tend to be a bit smarter than boy cats (they have to be). One of the two boy cats understands quite a few words - bug, treat, in, down, sit up, stuff like that. Things he has motivation to understand. The third cat - well, he's sweet, but he's dumber than a bag of hammers.

Animals vary in intelligence from individual to individual just as humans do. I've seen dogs that could probably solve differential equations if they could use pencils, and other dogs that were one step above a lawn chair, barely qualifying as an animate object.
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