The two dogs you see here are not friends, as yet, nor are they enemies. They are multilingual dogs. And are “talking” to each other to figure things out. Things i.e. who’s in charge, leads the pack and is overall leader. In our experience, all species, discuss their problems, human beings do not understand their language. That does not mean it does not exist.
Now to understand a language you do not need an extensive vocabulary , you may be able to get by. Often that is enough to get tourists and visitors to foreign lands from one place to the next. Travellers are rarely multilingual. However, most of them are able to speak, read and understand the basics of a language.
Sit, stay come, play dead. There isn’t a dog owner in any corner of the globe that has not uttered these words. In German, French, Japanese, Spanish… the list of course is too long to go into. The point is we all talk to our dogs, and we all know they understand us. Science often tells us its the tone of your voice the dog responds to, but we know better!
My dog understood words, he was a Jack Russell Terrier, and of course the smartest dog in the world! He became so adept at understanding words, that we were forced to spell them out. Yes, he was a multilingual dog. I am convinced he was wise to the tactic. But as our dogs often do, he let the naive humans believe they’d won the battle.
If dogs understand tone and not words, how do we explain The Great Indian Street Dog? To be schooled by these canines, is a privilege. Uniquely intelligent canines who learn survival tactics and the ability to co exist peacefully with human beings.
Oliver’s morning crew of 5 dogs, understand 4 languages. How does this happen? It is not a dog crazy person’s imagination. A minimum of 10 individuals in multiple languages (and dialects) converse with them all day. They obey (as all dogs when they choose to) each command. Now, if they do not understand the command, how do they obey it?
What do you think?
Forget science, and studies,
are your dogs multilingual?
“Dogs can recognize when we are upset from our voices, but researchers were curious whether they could recognize more subtle visual cues of facial expressions.”The Genius of Dogs, Brain Hare & Vanessa Woods
This is true, Oliver’s morning crew, are a rambunctious lot, tearing around, unruly a lot of the time, but know when you need a paw to cry on. They have pulled us through the loss of 4 dogs in the last 6 years, and as always, they do with heart.
Follow us for more on Can Dogs be Multilingual? and other questions over the next couple of weeks. We want your opinions and experiences, to learn from each other and teach a new generation.