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Do dogs decode language?

Thread starter #1
There was this dog who I loved very much and he was a constant companion when I was at home. I usually went to the kitchen in the morning to the fireplace to prepare breakfast and always switched the radio on. The dog seemed to be listening attentively to news to the extent that he got engrossed as to become oblivious of his sorroundings. When I switched off the radio, he noted and appeared to be interrupted from his rendezvous.
 
I don't think that dogs can decode our language completely, but I'm sure they are aware of what certain words mean. They associate the things we say with what we do and how we react. It's easy for a dog to learn it's name because we are constantly saying it in their direction. They associate their name with "this means they want me to pay attention." I really don't think a dog can watch the news and understand what's going on. If that were the case, they would be able to decode the normal things we say and have full on communication with us.
 
I have trained my dog with tones of my voice and hand movements. I dont know if they understand the words but just like a baby they get tones and hand movement and touches. It takes patience and understanding for both the dog and the owner. I know when we started introducing Theo to our daughter she didnt understand why he wouldn't sit till for her so I had to teach her to use a mommy voice to make him understand she doesn't want to play she wants love.Now he knows with her he has to be gentle that she wants loving not to play because he is too big for her.
 

Arvis

New Member
They obviously know the tones and few words. They tend to ignore the words they don't find useful. For example when I say "carrot", both of my dogs suddenly get up and start running around me expecting the carrot. Sometimes this trick works well, when they run around the field and you need them to get back, the magic word "carrot" in a correct tone does the trick.
 

Rolo

New Member
Yep, it's all to do with certain sounds and tones. Speech is made up of a serious of pops, clicks and tones anyway which is why you might sometimes think that you heard someone say something when they didn't. It's all in the perception. So, once a dog hears a certain series of clicks/pops/tones which they have learned is always followed by a treat, for example, then they will remember what that series of sounds means.
 
They can definitely make out some words, which is simillar to recognising their own name. Some studies say that they can discern up to 150 words.
My dog picks up the words for "walk", "food", "bad" and "who's there?" out of context while in a long conversation, and reacts to them accordingly.
 
Dogs do learn a certain amount of words. O don't know if they will understand phrases but they will at least learn certain words. A good way of seeing this is just to call your dogs name, they will instantly react to it, even if it's in a phrase.
 
I don't think that dogs can fully understand our language, but I think that they can understand actions and they connect rose actions with feelings, it's called conditioning, it has to do a lot with associations and we all make this, but there's a theory that says that dog's brain works only like that because is not as developed as our human brain. So... I think that maybe your dog just enjoyed the sound of the radio? And that happens quite often, my smallest dog loves to hear the TV.
 
Dogs do not decode or understand our language, but they learn to memorise certain words and associate them to commands, such as no or sit, just like they would recognise other gestures like a clap or a scent. They don't understand the meaning of the words, but memorise it blindly.
 
I think dog understand us by our physical gestures. Some research are proofing about it but actually I is logical because Dog can know our moods! By Physical gestures :)
 
I don't think that dogs can fully understand our language, but I think that they can understand actions and they connect rose actions with feelings, it's called conditioning, it has to do a lot with associations and we all make this, but there's a theory that says that dog's brain works only like that because is not as developed as our human brain. So... I think that maybe your dog just enjoyed the sound of the radio? And that happens quite often, my smallest dog loves to hear the TV.
I agree with you Lanea, in addition to that I believe that they could detect our emotions and gestures better than our language. To site as an example, there is this woman in the US who failed to drink her medicine, and she was suffering while she was sleeping, her dog woke her up by barking at her. If it wasn't to her dog she could have suffered to some complications or even death. The owner was very thankful to her dog, and because of that incident she became more mindful about her medicines. The dog was her only companion in their house, the dog was able to pick-up distress signals emitted by her body that is why the dog was able to wake her up.