Does My Dog Understand What I’m Saying?

Does My Dog Understand What I’m Saying?
Remember that classic Gary Larson “Far Side” cartoon, “What we say to dogs/What they hear”? One reason it’s funny is because it seems so true. Humans are verbal animals, and talking is usually our first choice when it comes to interacting with our dogs. But how do our words register with them? Using increasingly sophisticated techniques, scientists are looking for the answer to that question. As this new study demonstrates, the way dogs’ brains interpret sounds can make it challenging for them to understand us.

Dogs who are able to identify hundreds—or even thousands—of toys by name are really rare. That’s why they make the news and books are written about them. Most dogs are not nearly as skilled at discriminating among so many different words, or learning what they mean.

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