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The Italian One
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I dont have any single story but Jordan surprises me daily at how smart she is.

Here are a few examples:
When she needs to go outside her demeanor changes (She paces and/or whines) so I have taken to asking if she needs to go potty? She will promptly sit down and look at me if she does if she doesnt she looks at me and then continues doing her thing... that usually means she has drank all her water again :p

When she gets anxious or rambunctious I ask if she wants to train. she lays down and wags her tail till I get up to grab the treats.

If she doesnt "Want" to train I ask if she wants to play... if she does she will grab a toy and give it to me :)

These are all words she has associated with their meanings with out me purposely teaching her. I think its awesome.

I dont know if she can understand everything I say but she picks up on my tones for sure... this makes me have to be much more aware of how I speak to her vs what I say most the time lol.
 

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No, I don't believe they can understand the entire human language in the way that some people believe. I think they pick up on body cues, and more words than people might realize. I hadn't read the above story but it surprised me that it just involved the dog understanding the word "treat." The dog didn't understand the entire sentence said by the child. The dog is well trained and socialized and let the kid lift its lips and look at its teeth (all of my dogs do this with no fussing) and it heard the word "treat." My dogs know the word treat and know where the treats are kept as well. My dogs know that after certain things they get a reward. They get their nails clipped and then run to the treat jar. They go to bed at night and know they get a treat before bed. The child may have made a move to get up and the dog knew it had done something good (teeth check) and had already heard the word treat and put two and two together. I do not believe the dog can understand, "OK, you check my teeth and I'll wait then go get a treat." Even if that's how it may appear.

Out of all my dogs, Akira knows the most words and can readily pick up many words used in everyday vocabulary. I don't believe she truely understands when I'm talking to her randomly, but she certainly understands many everyday words. She knows what her ball is, and she knows when she brings one (the cuz or kong ball) and we tell her to get the "other ball" she is to bring a different one that we use for indoor playtime vs the harder kong and the cuz which randomly bounces when it hits the ground.

Yes I think they are intelligent, but they read body language and learn words and cues.
 

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Heidi understands a LOT. She even knows our names. I will say, "Go see Dave" and she'll go running up to my husband. And if I'm hiding, and my husband says, "Go find Karin," she will run around the house, looking for me. Sometimes, we'll be in the den, watching TV, and then I'll go into the other room for a minute. She will follow me and if I say, "Go back into the den," she'll go back into the den and lay down on her mat.

Also, when I get ready to go out and am bustling around, drying my hair, doing my makeup, etc., she'll go into her crate because she knows I'm going out. She is sooooo smart! :wub:
 

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Zoe understands lots of words- dinner, walk, daycare, ball, car ride, and her favorite- POPS (my husband)...I'll see his truck pull up out front in the evening and say "Zoe, your pops is home!" and she goes nuts!
 

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Last year I went to a lecture on campus about types of animal intelligence. Part of the lecture covered how much our pets really understand, and the lecturer referenced studies about dog comprehension that observed GSDs, Goldens, and Standard Poodles (singled out as "highly intelligent, highly emotive" breeds) in their home and other environments.

The ultimate finding was that the dog's cognitive and social aptitude places his comprehension of human speech and interaction at about the same level as a three- to five-year-old human child. (The gap sounds a little broad to me too, but that was to account for the variation between individual dogs and children). The dog's emotional intelligence and intuitiveness reached a slightly higher "human" level, although this was more influenced by the strength of the human-dog relationship than the cognitive intelligence.

I've kind of held onto that little tidbit and thought I might share, but I doubt it surprises most of the people around here. :)
 

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Last year I went to a lecture on campus about types of animal intelligence. Part of the lecture covered how much our pets really understand, and the lecturer referenced studies about dog comprehension that observed GSDs, Goldens, and Standard Poodles (singled out as "highly intelligent, highly emotive" breeds) in their home and other environments.

The ultimate finding was that the dog's cognitive and social aptitude places his comprehension of human speech and interaction at about the same level as a three- to five-year-old human child. (The gap sounds a little broad to me too, but that was to account for the variation between individual dogs and children). The dog's emotional intelligence and intuitiveness reached a slightly higher "human" level, although this was more influenced by the strength of the human-dog relationship than the cognitive intelligence.

I've kind of held onto that little tidbit and thought I might share, but I doubt it surprises most of the people around here. :)

Thanks for sharing.....very interesting!
 

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When I was a kid the family farm dog, Rex, could be told to "go get ..." and he would go to the fields and single out me, my brother, or both of us and push/herd to get us home. Of coures understanding a command is specific and my be a programmed response rather than comprehension.

Rex loved to shake hands and once when he was asked "do you know any other tricks?" he looked around and lifted his other paw. The ability to understand a question and respond with a joke is something that I would say shows a pretty high level of comprehension.
 

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When I was a kid the family farm dog, Rex, could be told to "go get ..." and he would go to the fields and single out me, my brother, or both of us and push/herd to get us home. Of coures understanding a command is specific and my be a programmed response rather than comprehension.

Rex loved to shake hands and once when he was asked "do you know any other tricks?" he looked around and lifted his other paw. The ability to understand a question and respond with a joke is something that I would say shows a pretty high level of comprehension.
Was Rex an English Shepherd, an Aussie, or some other type of farm dog, or?
 

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Rex was mostly bernese mountain dog. He might have been full blooded but he was a pound dog with no known history.

He sired 2 litters of puppies (this was before shelters required neutering).
His pups were with a shepherd and a shepherd/collie mix. I know at least one member of his line was still working in the early '90s. All the dogs from his line were good work dogs.

My parents borrow the neighbor's dogs sometimes now. Last summer we had the poodles up there and we lost track of the smaller one. One of the Neighbor kids said "Elmira will find him". They told Elmira to find the other poodle. Elmira smelled my bigger poodle and the kid said to find the other one. Elmira followed the scent of the only dog she didn't know and found my missing dog.

I don't know how many words the dogs know and how much is body language and tone of voice but anyone who has been around work dogs on a daily basis knows they have a high level of understanding of some part of human communication.
 

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Every night when I tell Jon I'm heading up to bed Frag runs to his crate and lays down like he knows what I said and it's bedtime. If I just say bed at him he does nothing, so I know he's not reading between the lines... :D
 

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I think it depends on the dog. Some dogs are so into their own heads they aren't interested in what you have to say - like my golden. Some dogs are so into their owners they learn your body cues, your voice variations etc. Hondo is such a dog. If I can figure out how to teach him something, he'll learn it eagerly. I can then vary it to fit what I have to say. Example; Hondo went through our pasture fence - a big no-no. I caught him just as he passed through, and called him back. We were sitting on the porch with some friends. Hondo came back to me and I told him, "I suggest you come right to me (scolding voice)" Hondo came, sat directly in front of me and sat, looking right at me. I then said, "If you go through the fence again, I will put you in your kennel. Is that a deal?" (I reached out my hand) and with that Hondo gave me his paw as if to make the deal. Our friends were beside themselves.

When I want to go outside to smoke, I can look at Hondo and tip my head towards the door. He'll jump up and run to the door. This is because I'll say to him, "Wanna go outside to smoke?" while saying it I tip my head towards the door. He just learned the short version.

I think it really depends on how much time you spend communicating with your animal, and how much they want to communicate with you.
 

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Wilhoit, my GSD, certainly learned words, but it was his comprehension of nonverbal cues and situations that was close to uncanny. Since his whole attention was focused on me--how I was doing, was I O.K., did I need help--I had to learn to become a better person. If I worried, he worried, and since I wanted him to be as happy as possible, I had to learn not to worry. When I was heavier, I would occasionally had sleep apnea, and had it once during Wilhoit's seven years with me. I was aware of waking up peacefully and gradually, then realized Wilhoit was breathing gently in my ear and also realized I had just stopped having sleep apnea. As soon as I was fully awake, Wilhoit just quietly went back to his dog bed beside mine and went back to sleep. If he had awakened me by actually touching me I would have been really startled. It amazed me how he seemed to know just what to do. He was almost always a very astute judge of people as well.
 

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yes I believe Kali understands us..she will come and put her paw on us if she needs to go outside and do her business, or if she is hungry she will do the same..she knows her 'squeeky' toys, mama, daddy, car ride, trails, walk, i could go on.. lol! she also knows the difference if i am putting my hiking shoes on(means we are going for a walk) or my dress shoes for work (means mama's going to work)...if we say 'who's there?' she will bark, if we ask her 'what time is it?' she knows its her time for playing at the park....she knows what 'nails trimmed', 'teeth cleaned' and 'tub time' is too!! :)
 

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kiwilrdg,
That Rex sounds like a really great dog. I'm glad his line continued, too, at least for a bit. Just how any good working breed starts, because a good dog is a good dog ... is a good dog, IMO! And, treasures sure can be found in pounds.
 
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