Dog has learned to "speak" with a soundboard: "Outside. Come now."

Came here for that. Wasn’t disappointed.

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I think the question I want to confirm is: does the dog understand the words being said to her? And does she understand that the sound the button makes is the same sound her master says to her?

i.e., does “Button ‘outside’” = “Master ‘outside’”?

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In Explorers (1985), the geeky kid’s mouse has a similar setup in its cage. It taps out “I desire cheese” and (off-screen, shortly afterward) “Go to hell”.

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Without conducting a brain scan, it is going to be difficult to determine whether “outside” =“outside” It is, after all, unlikely that dogs process words in the same way that we do. As a species, we have had language long enough to have evolved specialized ways of distinguishing words. But I tend to suspect that the similarity does make it easier for them to associate a particular button with a particular meaning.

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What breed is she then, a tiny Dobie or a huge Manchester or both?

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I am somewhat incorrect that she is not one of the smarter breeds; she is apparently a Catahoula hound/blue heeler (Aussie cattle dog) mix. The blue heeler part would make her one of the herding breeds, and they all tend to be quite clever (I have a cattle dog cross myself, and she is the smartest dog I’ve ever had). Initially I thought she was a cross of two hounds. Check your sources, OWYAC!

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If Stella we’re a border collie, they could just give her buttons for letters and punctuation and let her figure out how to spell

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I’m sold, Dogs should rule the Earth.

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I, for one, welcome our new canine overlords! The world would be a much better place in their paws.

Also obligatory:

ezgif-4-304c4ae9861b

Can confirm, as every dog I’ve ever had has learned to recognize what the word “pizza” means… even when it’s spelled out. I’m not kidding. The smarter ones even learned to go to the phone, and then wait at the door after we called it in.

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Are you sure it wasn’t a ninja turtle?

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But is that really necessary to be able to differentiate between now and not now? I don’t see that it’s necessary for dogs to have the same understanding of the world as we do in order to communicate that they want something other than what we’re offering.
What we really have to be careful here is of confusing their ability to communicate a need in language we can understand as them having a shared thought process, which I think is what you’re getting at.

Edit:

Bonus panel at:
http://www.mapentertainments.com/comics/comic?comicId=888&seriesId=4

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This is tricky. We perhaps ‘know’ that the great apes have enough in their heads to understand language, though this stops a bit short of proof. We also know that most mammals other than seals and some birds do not have the breath control to deal with spoken language as we understand it. It is therefore reasonable to try and speak with non-vocal animals using some aids that overcome the inability to vocalise, such as the sign language of Koko and suchlike.

The other thing we could do is to try and talk to seals like Hoover. But what do we talk about? How do we know we are talking about the same thing unless one of our points to an object and says its name. And if we know words for land objects, and their life is marine, how do we meet in the middle?

Seals are wet dogs. Seals can speak. If we cannot talk with seals, then maybe we ought to give up for a bit, and wait for our understanding to progress a bit.

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Dave want sniff many butt, bad Dave not good boy. Rover better. No need Dave.

my doggo, 100% knows pizza, waits by the door whenever it is ordered and only then with a specific whine. knows every humans name in my family and many friends and other dogs names. knows which ones it likes and which ones it doesn’t. also knows a bunch of singular words, like walk, ride. he knows “i have to go to work”. they are quite good at recognizing the combination of the words with the way we say them and our reactions to them, if you spend the time communicating with them, but i think they do more of a full body language read than just listening.

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Which it would stare at, walk away from, and not press.

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In animal-language studies, combining words in significant ways may indicate some level of understand. I vaguely recall one study (20+ years ago) involving an exceptionally chatty African Grey Parrot. The parrot spontaneously identified a picture of a duck as “water-bird”, although the parrot had not been trained to make that specific association and as something applicable to a duck (an animal it had seen before). I’m no linguist, but I found that to be very interesting.

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Dog is getting too close to revealing the truth, as captured in Vonnegut’s “Thomas Edison’s Shaggy Dog.”

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That’s Alex, the African Grey from MIT.

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I’m fond of the white-panted martin’s call.

My cat has decided that I’m her soundboard. If I stop scratching her face, she pokes me with her paw. That’s my cue to continue. :pouting_cat:

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Thx! :parrot::duck: :slightly_smiling_face:

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