I lost count. That is my answer to, “How many sounds does your dog know?”
Dogs in general, it is believed, have the ability to discern dozens and dozens of words. Dog lovers of the highest order know this is true, right? Try saying (or hand signaling if your dog is deaf), “treat, “or “ball”, or maybe “wanna go for walk?”
“They may not be Einsteins, but are sure closer to humans than we thought,” said Stanley Coren, a professor emeritus at the University of British Columbia and leading researcher on dog behavior, told CNN in an interview. Coren says the average dog can understand about 165 words that include signals, gestures, and signs. They can also count to about five. Try taking 2 treats out of the bag and only giving your dog one. Been there, done that. I get the hairy eyeball as a result.
But exactly how many sounds do dogs know? If I go to get a bottle of water out of the refrigerator, my dog, Dexter, will stay put comfortably napping in the living room. If, however, I open a slice of packaged cheese, boom: Instant Cocker at my feet. He “hears” that cheese wrapper and is there with eyes pleading. When the mailman is a block away, he knows the sound of his truck. Vehicle after vehicle can pass by, but when he “hears” the sound of the mail truck, he is excited and waggy and lets out the “hey mom, mailman is here!” bark.
I wonder how many sounds my dog knows, and how many sounds in general, do dogs know? Of course, thunder elicits a whole different type of reaction, but he knows the crack boom of the sound long before I even “hear” it.
Interestingly, when my neighbor’s dog barks, my dog will bark back. If any other dog comes to visits or a “strange” dog lets out a woof woof, my pooch gives nary a reaction. He knows sounds. I think in my “gotta know” dog mom personality, I’ll start paying more attention to how many sounds he knows.
How many sounds do you think your dog(s) knows? Bark at me below in the comments.