Dogs are very smart animals that are capable of learning many words from ours, humans, vocabulary. But have you ever wondered how many words dogs actually understand? According to a new study made by Applied Animal Behaviour Science, on average dogs understand 89 words and phrases.
89 words is very specific number, so how was this number achieved? Scientists made this research on 165 dog owners, who were given a list of 172 words and phrases dog could understand. Then they would say, if the dog understand the words or not and they could also add some other words into the list.
When i saw that dogs understand 89 words on average, i was pretty surprised as the number seems quite high, but it is nothing in comparsion to the most talented dog from this research, who understands 200 words! That is impressive! And that is still nothing in comparsion to some of the most talented dogs in the world, who could understand approximately 1000 words! But those are dog geniuses, lets get back to the research and to ordinary normal dogs.
Because the research was made on a small sample, it was impossible to say which specific breeds are the most talented, but the researchers divided the dogs into six types, which you can see on the photo.
I think it is not shocking, that herding dogs understand a lot of words, as they belong into smartest dogs in the world. Toy companion dogs are probably bigger surprise, but again, i think there is easy explanation for it.
Toy dogs are very often all day with its owners and many owners talk to their dogs a lot, which is why they have larger vocabulary than some other working dogs, who probably understand certain commands much better, but they do not understand other words.
So the dog type does affect to some extent dogs ability to understand words. What does not affect this ability is age, sex or the social background of the owner.
The statistics also shown that service dogs and other dogs that are profesionally trained had much larger vocabulary than ordinary dogs. It is only logical that for example service dog for blind people must understand more words than ordinary pet, since it is necessary for its utilization.
Most dogs understand to different commands, names, food, toys and games and to certain phrases, such as good boy or lets go out. TOP 10 words, almost all dogs understand are according to the study these words: sit, come, good girl and good boy, down, stay, wait, no, ok and leave it. I am curious if your dog understand all these words as well! And also tell me in comments what is your dogs favourite word! Does your dog understand some words most of other dogs dont understand? I am curious, tell me in comments.
Of course, the research was made on a small sample of owners, so the number 89 is only indicative. Owners could also overestimate the abilities of their dogs, that would also be natural. But it does show us how much are dogs capable of understanding us, which is probably one of the reasons why they are the most popular animal companions in the world! And not only that they understand us verbally, they also got our non verbal comunnication and they understand our emotions as well. They are just amazing.