How dog learns the words

Have you ever wondered how dog learns the words?

We talk to them every day as if we are talking to the same spices and, we subconsciously expect them to understand us.

Dog listen to you and understands us and follow the command or get whatever you asked for if the dog knows the word, but how do they do that?

How do they learn the words?

Our son is 2.5 years old now and learning words a little by little and it made me wonder how it works for dog.

Let me introduce you to the two Border Collie known for their words learning skill.

Meet the Britain’s smartest dog “Gable”; the border collie..

There is one smart Border Collie in Britain and his name is Gable.

His IQ score is 142 and knows more than 150 words. You ask him to go get specific item out of bunch of items and he can go get it for you as long as he knows the word.

It is impressive, isn’t it?

How dog distinguish one item from another..

According to the article written by Jasmine for k9 magazine, young children generalise names to new objects on the basis of shape, and continue to do so as adults – a tendency known as ‘shape bias’.

This is crucial to language development because it enables children to assign new objects to pre-established classes – for example, to recognize that a tennis ball and a football both belong to the category ‘ball’.

The Lincoln researchers found that when dogs are introduced to new words to refer to new objects, they first generalize based on object size, then on object texture. Unlike humans, they do not appear to naturally be shape bias.
The researchers devised four different challenges for Gable, the border collie to determine the extent and nature of his word comprehension.
On a number of occasions a selection of ten different objects known to Gable were placed in an enclosure out of sight of Gable and the researchers, and he was then given a verbal instruction to fetch a particular object from the ten.
Initial tests confirmed that Gable could easily distinguish between toys he knew well.
It was when the researchers introduced new words and novel objects of varying shape, size and texture that Gable began to reveal the absence of shape bias in his choices.
He appeared to make distinctions based first on object size, then, when he had longer to become familiar with the new objects, on the basis of texture. Object shape appeared to have no influence.
The researchers concluded that the mental lexicon – the long-term mental store containing sound-to-meaning mappings – appears to be fundamentally different in dogs and humans, both in terms of how it is built (word knowledge development) and in how it operates (word reference quality).
The researcher stated: “This would suggest that an important factor in the natural structuring of the mental lexicon may be the way in which sensory information is organized in a particular species.”
The researchers think Gabe’s visual system and sensory cues linked to his mouth region are focused not on shape, but on size and texture.
This was more supported idea after they have performed the DAX experiment on him.

According to Scientificamerican website article,written by Jason Goldman, the researchers set about replicating the original DAX experiment, with a few modifications. The DAX that they used was bigger than the original 1988 version, so that it wouldn’t provide a choking hazard. Also, rather than using sponge as one of the alternative textures, as this too would have been a choking hazard, they used a variety of cloth textures.

They used; (1) The original DAX. (2) and (3) are size changes. (4) and (5) are texture changes. (6) and (7) are shape changes.

After being taught the relationship between the word “dax” and the object DAX, Gable was familiarized with each of the six alternative objects.

He was presented with ten pairs from within the set of seven objects, and simply asked to retrieve the “dax.”

Unlike the human children and adults, who generalized “dax” to objects of similar shape as the original DAX, Gable generalized “dax” to objects of similar size in each of the ten trials he was given.

That is, he ignored shape and texture, relying instead on size to determine which objects could be considered DAXes. Rather than displaying a shape bias, Gable displayed a “size bias”.

 To read the full article at k9 magazine website,please click here.
Now we know how Gabe learned the word one by one. Clearly, the dog’s word learning works very differently than it does in humans.
To read the full article at scientificamerica website written by Jason Goldman, please click here.
To read the article at university of Lincoln website written by Ian Richards, please click here.
How Gable’s mom noticed his uniqueness?

According to Daily mail website article written by Natalie Corner, Gabe’s mom Sally Smith realized her border collie was unique when, after telling him to go and retrieve a specific toy, he came back within mere seconds with the correct one.

 ‘I’d asked him to go get “chicken” a toy that was at the top of the stairs, I thought he would be gone for some time…I’d never actually told him the name of his toy. He applied that learning himself without being taught by me,’ Sally explains of her dog’s memory skills.

Veterinary behaviorist “Dr Helen Zulch” says “Gable’s knowledge of words means he knows the same amount as language as a three-year-old child. “

A psychology professor at the University of Southampton adds “Gable has actually learned 300 different pieces of information, he’s learned that word and to discriminate that object.’

To read the full article at daily mail website, please click here.
Meet the Chaser, the Border collie..
Another dog named “Chaser”, the border collie knows more than 1,000 words and she is the smartest dog in the world.
Here is the smartest dog “Chaser” segment from 60 minutes.

Isn’t it amazing? She could categorize objects into higher-order categories, such as “toys.”

How many words does your dog know?

For fun game, you could start teaching your dog words for many things.They may surprise you:-)



Jan 25, 2017 | Comments are off | Miscellaneous (dogs)

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