After popping off the top of my lemon Snapple I decided to get my daily dose of education and read the fun fact on the inside of the lid.
Today’s message……The average dog can understand at least 35 words ….
What a perfect fun fact for a professional dog walker to come across! So this of course totally resonated with me, not only because of my occupation but because I always felt that this was sooo true.
I’ve run into other dog care professionals on my daily walks who’ve shared their opinions on this topic. One that stood out to me was a dog walker who advised that dogs don’t understand the words we’re saying. He thought that we sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher to them..”wonk, wonk, wonk.”
I didn’t share my opinion, but rather just thought about his and I came to the conclusion that I didn’t totally agree with it. I agree that yes, it may be a little extreme to pour a glass of pinot grigio and strike up a conversation with your dog, but to say a few words or short sentences to them; absolutely.
As a walker my pups are now hip to my lingo. They know “bye-bye.” That means if you keep stalling because you don’t want to wear your harness then I’m going to leave. Of course I don’t leave but this works like a charm on my pups because I always say bye bye after the walk is over. So if I say this before our walk they get it..like okay let me get it together because we didn’t go have fun yet…and off we go!
There are other little words I use for my pups where they totally get it, including “bathroom”. My one pup will literally focus and start looking to go to the bathroom and go. She knows that and that she usually gets a treat afterwards.
Some dogs that I’ve met for a only a short time are super intelligent and can grasp a large vocabulary of words right away. Harley for Instance, a 14yr old wolf hound/black lab. He’s an extremely vocal dog. I asked his owner if he liked his treats I bought him and the Harley looked at me and then answered with his resounding bark..”Woof” or in other words “Yes!” We clicked right away!
I think Harley understood the entire conversation between me and his owner; He’s that advanced but it all made me think of how we have to be mindful of not only what we say to each other as human beings, but also what we say to our pups.
They already pick up on our energy and they certainly understand tone. They know if we are happy or sad in general, or even if we are happy or disappointed with them.
So keep challenging your pups, and teaching them new words, and of course be mindful of what you say because, they understand!
To dig a little deeper on this topic, check out this Huffing ton Post article on this topic by clicking here.
And for your viewing pleasure check out this video of talking dogs. Enjoy!