Can My Pet Learn a Second Language?
Oui! Si! Ja! Yes!
Just as humans are capable of memorizing new words, so too can your dog, cat, parakeet, or other domestic pet.
Here’s the breakdown: Most dogs, on average, know about 165 independent words. Now, pair that with us only giving them about 20 commands with the most popular being: Sit, stay, down, leave-it, drop-it, take-it, come, no, go to bed, shake, roll over, high-five, ball, toy, outside, food. There’s potential for more information.
Now, the item’s proper name doesn’t matter. Allow me to explain. Whatever you decide to call that new thing, that’s what your dog forever imprints on their brains.
Meaning: You can call a ball a rag and your dog will always think ball-like objects are known as rags. Wait… what? What’s my dog going to think a rag is called then?
Finding yourself confused? Then pay attention, there’s more.
Your dog is always learning from his or her environment. This type of learning is called: Observational learning. The majority of animals learn most information by using this method of learning. What they see, hear, smell, and generally observe, becomes their classroom.