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Tag: learning

A dog that can read? You be the judge

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Willow’s owner claims her dog can read — only three phrases, but still.

What do you think? Is the dog actually reading the words? Or is something else at play?

Dogs understand as well as 2-year-olds

Dogs possess a 2-year-old child’s capacity to understand human  gestures, including pointing, head-turning and gazing, according to two recent studies.

Pet owners often use baby talk, scientifically known as “motherese,” with both children and dogs, allowing canines and kids to receive similar social stimulation, according to a report on MSNBC.com.

The studies suggest dogs may understand humans better than even chimpanzees, our closest living animal relatives do.

In one study, Gabriella Lakatos, a researcher in the Department of Ethology at Eotvos University, used a combination of finger-, elbow-, leg- and knee-pointing gestures to help dogs locate hidden food. Then they put children through a similar drill – allowing them to search for their favorite toy.

Two-year-olds children  and dogs understood everything except knee-pointing, according to a paper published in the current issue of Animal Cognition.

Lakatos said that “in human children between the age of two and three years, important changes take place that go beyond the capacities of dogs.” Many of these changes have to do with development of language skills.

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