What Language Do Dogs Understand Best?

What Language Do Dogs Understand Best
2 minutes to read

Rumor has it that dogs can understand German better than other languages. Yet, all over the world, dogs are trained and raised to understand the dialects of various regions.

Your pup does not have a favorite language per se. But he has a penchant for learning short-lettered words through what is called word association. We’ll explain more.

 

Dogs can learn any language

dog with glasses reading a book

Your doggo can learn a word or two in French, German, English, Portuguese, or Tagalog. But dogs do not learn languages through reading or writing (though some dogs have tried). They associate those words with an action they are taught.

For example, a dog would associate the word sit with the action of sitting down. In German, a word like Sitz will invoke the same response. These actions are slowly engraved into the dog through conditioned learning.

 

Some dogs can learn complex words

A dog’s IQ determines how well they learn a language. While some dogs memorize at most 5 words, other dogs like the Border Collie Chihuahua mix can memorize up to 1000 words.

Also, some dogs can understand complex words more than others. In training, most dogs learn short words like sit, stay, come, or heel. A canine with a high IQ can understand complex phrases like ‘Let us go walkies’ or ‘Go get me a beer’. But there is a catch here as too.

The dog is not understanding all the words in the phrase. But he is associating the sound of that phrase with an action he learned.

 

 

Learn More:

Do Dogs Think in Barks

 

 

Reward-based training

Dogs will learn a word by associating it with an action. They also know that performing that action will earn them praise or a treat.

The next time you say ‘sit’, a dog will quickly scooch down in excitement. He knows obeying and doing the right thing will earn him a reward.

It is possible to use word-based training to your advantage. For dogs that need constant mental stimulation, training can advance to complex words that always jog the dog’s memory.

Alternatively, you can reward your dog after they obey a command for the third time. This helps them understand that it is not action but obedience that earns them a reward.

 

Can dogs be multilingual?

Yes, dogs can learn more words in more than one language. But remember, the pooch will always associate the sound of the word with an action. That is the language dogs understand best!

 

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