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VillageDuckpond

Animals and Languages

I have often been fascinated how animals are able to understand their owner's spoken language and just yesterday I read a story that proved my point or at least I think it did!

The RSPCA in my area had a dog in their care that just didn't seem to respond to any English commands. It then occurred to them that perhaps the dog had been in a foreign family and eventually it was found to be from a Polish family and was adopted by a Polish/English family in  Essex .......aaaahhhh  Very Happy.

Has anyone come across something like this?
Ann

There was a programme recently about dog/human communication on Television. I can't remember its name though I watched it and enjoyed it and it mentioned that dogs seemed to use slightly diffferent barks in different areas of the country. I think the programme might have been discussed here but I may be confusing it with the POV board on the Beeb.
Melony

I've heard of German shepherds trained in German commands.  But I assume they would respond to other things in their owner's language, like "good boy" - would that make dogs bilingual?
VillageDuckpond

Melony

The German Shepherds could well be bilingual Smile . I wonder if you can de-train a dog from unpleasant commands?

Also, what about when a dog moves to another country with its owner? Do they, too, need to learn another language?

I am reminded of a programme on British tv about our major international airport in London and the mostly pet animals they handle in transit. How do they cope? The handlers I mean!

Sasha
Apple

Yes that happened when we went to our local dog shelter when we got our dog there was a dog in there which they had discovered did not understand English.  Also I read in the paper the police force imported some GSD's from Germany due to the shortage of police dogs, and they only understood German commands, until they were retrained.
MikeAlx

Interesting the way they're called "German Shepherd Dogs" again these days. When I was a kid everyone called them "Alsatians". Apparently this name was adopted during WWI, when anything German-sounding was a no-no. Can't blame them - even the Royal family changed their name!
Evie

According to QI, they officially reverted to being called German Shepherds in 1977, but I am sure the name Alsatian was used long after that!
MikeAlx

What can I say, I'm a pre-1977 kind of guy!  Laughing
Melony

How interesting!  We had a German SS dog (from that lineage), which we got in 1975, but we always called him a German Shepherd.
TheRejectAmidHair

Melony wrote:
How interesting!  We had a German SS dog (from that lineage...


I'm confused! The dog was a member of the Schutzstaffel? Surely not! Confused
Chibiabos83

It's not so far-fetched. A friend of mine has a chihuahua who was in the Shining Path.
VillageDuckpond

Slightly off topic but I have just heard an advert on a commercial radio which was not 'see you later' which I cannot stand BUT 'see you laters' Evil or Very Mad Have you heard this?
Evie

What's even worse is that often people just say 'laters' - ghastly!!
Melony

LOL!  Secret Service - it's what we call them over here! Smile
Apple

Yes its quite common round here, with the pronunciation more see yerz laterz and another common one is laters taters I got that as a text the other day and my daughter had to translate it for me as it read l8rs t8rs!

(wouldn't this be more at home on the diction thread Evie started)
MikeAlx

It's just "laters" around here. I do say it, but only ironically, usually followed by "dude".
Evie

I think you are just too hip and trendy for us, Mike!

Apple's right, we seem to have switched threads somehow - unless we can find evidence of a German stormtrooper dog who responds to 'Laters', that might get us back on track!
Marita

Back to animals and language. Our dog responded to Dutch and English commands. Its favourite command was ‘Walkies’. Even just going ‘Wwww’ would make it prick its ears.
Our English cats never seemed to have any language problems when we brought them to Belgium. No surprise really as cats tend to do exactly as they please, whatever you say to them.

Marita
MikeAlx

Too true, Marita. I remember Eddie Izzard used to do a routine about what would have happened if Pavlov had used cats instead of dogs:-

DAY 1
Rang bell - cats answered the door.
DAY 2
Rang bell - cats said they had eaten earlier.
DAY 3
Cats stole the battery.
DAY 4
Cat rang the bell, I ate the food.

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