This Article is About
dogs
word work
canine friends
inflections
canines
amount of time
interaction
brain
job
Do Our Dogs Understand Us?
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Do Our Dogs Understand Us?

Do you believe that dogs can understand the words we say? Or do you think that they just associate the words with the actions that follow them?

Many people would say that dogs don’t understand what we say. Then there are others that believe our dogs know exactly what we mean, every time we speak. I don’t agree completely with either of these theories.

I believe that our canine friends can understand some of the things we say. Of course, they don’t understand our every word. When I say the word “work” to my dogs, they do not respond as a human might. My wife, son, daughter and others would probably say something like “work what” or ask me what I was talking about. They might ask me if I had to go to work or when I was going to work. At the least, we would have some interaction to clear up what I was saying. Humans have a larger brain and have more experience putting words together. We learn from an early age to use words to communicate with other humans.

That is not to say that we can’t or don’t communicate or interact with the canines in our lives. I live in a house that is full of dogs and interact with them daily. I believe that though they may not know everything I say they do understand when I am speaking to them. Probably that is not because of anything they do, but because I have learned how to communicate with them. By that I mean that I don’t speak random words to them. When I speak to them, I am careful to use certain words. I also use certain inflections in my voice to help convey my meaning.

Let’s use the word “work” as an example, again. If I say to my wife, “I’m going to work.” She knows that I mean that I have a job and that I am going to it. She also knows that after a certain amount of time, I will return. When I say those same words to my dogs they just know that I am leaving. Do they know that I will return? Do they know how long I will be gone? I truly don’t know. I know that they are extremely happy when I do come home.

Having said all this, I firmly believe that dogs are capable of understanding us so long as we are willing to learn how to communicate with them. If you have dogs, you know what I mean. If you don’t have a dog, but have room in your heart and home, you should consider adopting one. You will have a friend for all his life; a friend that you can talk to and confide in with no fear of his being a blabbermouth.


Street Talk

The word walk wasn't used in out house but "lets go" and they know it. I only have to go and get my coat and their up wagging their tails. Tess has started to get their water bowl when its empty and bringing it to us to fill, smart cookie!

Reply
  about 5 years ago

I agree with you, Milos. We have learned to be very careful when talking about such things. We even find ourselves spelling words like eat or feed or treat or go. It is as though we are speaking in front of children. If I ask my wife "Did you feed the dogs?", they go bananas. They are so funny.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Very interesting topic and great article Jerry. I can agree with most things you said. I had plenty of chances to conclude that my dog ​​understands a words that I said. Words such as park, belt, go, eat and many other. If I just mentioned the word belt or park in conversation with someone, although I doesn't speak to her, she starts to whine and wags with her tail, because she knows that this word has to do with go out for a walk. Thank you

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Thanks for your comments. I truly do like dogs more than I like some people.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Enjoyed the article. I do believe that my dogs understand much of what we are saying to them. Other times I think that they must surely be able to read our minds. They are wonderful creatures.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Great article, Dogs are very smart in my book and I do believe that they understand many things that we try to say to them. Thank you

Reply
  about 6 years ago
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