WASHINGTON (AP) – As many a dog owner will attest, our furry friends are listening. Now, for the doubters, there is scientific proof they understand much of what they hear.
German researchers have found a border collie named Rico who understands more than 200 words and can learn new ones as quickly as many children.
The researchers found that Rico knows the names of dozens of play toys and can find the one called for by his owner. That is a vocabulary size about the same as apes, dolphins and parrots trained to understand words, the researchers say.
Our little dog, Murphy, is pretty sharp, and Gretel, the German Shepherd/Yellow Lab mix, is very intelligent, too. For example, say, “Excuse me,” and they immediately move out of the way.
Now, Belle, the Black Lab/Springer Spaniel mix, has discovered the advantages of playing dumb. That gives her freedom to do what she wants while she pretends not to understand.