They’re masters of communication
“Your dog may be able to figure out the best ways to communicate what she wants,” says Amanda Landis-Hanna, DVM, senior manager of Veterinary Outreach for PetSmart Charities. “Many dogs have different whines or barks that mean different things. She may learn that you respond to a high-pitched whine with a treat and a lower pitched whine with a belly rub.” Check out the scientific reason dogs tilt their heads.
They have an extensive vocabulary
They may not be able to respond in kind, but according to psychologist and leading canine researcher Stanley Coren, PhD, of the University of British Columbia, dogs can understand much of what you say. The average dog can learn 165 words, while those in the top 20 percent of dog intelligence can understand up to 250 words. “The upper limit of dogs’ ability to learn language is partly based on a study of a border collie named Rico who showed knowledge of 200 spoken words and demonstrated ‘fast-track learning,’ which scientists believed to be found only in humans and language learning apes,” Coren says. Find out 13 unbelievable facts you never knew about your pooch.