Dog Lovers: Have You Taught Your Dog How to Talk?

By @snksounak on

Matthew Gardea uploaded a video on YouTube in February 2008. It had his pet dog Mishka, a Siberian Husky, telling him: "I love you". Soon, it became an internet phenomenon as the video got over 300 million hits. Mishka's Facebook page has over 365k likes and her Twitter account has over 16,500 followers. Now, the question is: can you really teach your dog how to talk?

In a Science paper dated back in 1912, Harry Johnson says an emphatic 'no' on that topic. He wrote that the owner of the dog had the illusion of hearing words from certain vocal sounds of the dog. His theoretical argument did not meet much opposition for a century. There was hardly any scientific research on the communication of dogs among themselves.

On the other hand, it was argued that dogs change their vocal tone as a mode of communication. Gary Lucas believes that it is more imitating than talking. The visiting scholar (psychology) from Indiana University Bloomington does not prefer assuming that dogs can really talk. They would rather imitate the voice tone of their owner. According to Lucas, the voice imitation skills of a dog are pretty limited.

When a dog 'says' something, it does not have any idea what it is saying. If they really knew how to talk, they would have expressed their own thoughts. We are yet to find a dog that is original in saying words. We have seen dogs imitating what the owner says. Even though it may sound really cute, it can't really be termed as 'talking'.

The reason why dogs, among other animals, are not able to talk is that they do not use the lips and tongues well to make it happen. Humans, on the other hand, are much more proficient at the same, making it quite difficult for other animals to imitate what they say.

Thousands of dog owners know that their dogs do not have to talk to communicate with them. After all, why should dogs talk human language? They have a language of their own. They have been communicating with their owner for centuries now. They follow what the owner points at, how his body posture is and where he is looking at. A dog definitely knows how to listen. No wonder a dog is termed as man's best friend.

Watch Mishka 'talk' in this YouTube video uploaded by Matthew Gardea:

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