I adopted a dog from the animal shelter a year ago and up until today, I was convinced she could talk to me. When I look at her and say, “Do you want a bone?” She seems to answer, “Yes.” She doesn’t just bark, but she sounds like she is actually pronouncing the word.
Is there any way possible, even if dangling on the edge of reality, that she is talking to me? After much research, I am sad to report that all scientists agree that it is not possible for dogs to talk to humans.
If Daffy is not talking to me then what is she doing? An article published in Scientific American in June states, “Owner hears the dog making a sound that resembles a phrase, says the phrase back to the dog, who then repeats the sound and is rewarded with a treat. Eventually the dog learns a modified version of her original sound.” (to read the entire article, click here)
In other words, dogs are simply imitating us. On the bright side, dogs communicate with us in dozens of different ways. The article goes on to state that “If dogs could talk, they would tell you, I’m just in it for the cookies.” Yep, that’s it. It is all about the reinforcement of good behavior and the dog treats (rewards).
I’m still going to hold on to hope. After all, if everyone thought the world was flat thousands of years ago and they were wrong, what’s to say that scientists aren’t wrong about this?
In the meantime, I thought I’d share these remarkable and funny videos of dogs “talking.”