What words does your animal understand?
Dexter, our 12-year-old basset, knows "donut," "sit," "stay," "do you want a bath?" (guaranteed to make ears and tail go down as he tries to hide somewhere), "hot air balloon" (same reaction after he anxiously looks out a window), "walk," "ride in the car," and probably a few more that I can't think of right now. Of course, he understands "good boy" and his own name. "NO" is optional, as is "come here." Ladybug is still learning. She DEFINITELY knows the work "walk."
My Boston terrier & Boxer [Rocky & Butch] understand and respond to the word "CHEESE" better than any other. They'll drop any thing stop any activity at the sound of this word.
My cockatiel knows the words "food" and "water". When I say "Aunt Pat" she gets excited because she just adores my friend Pat. "Ritz Cracker" and "Treat" both mean the same thing, she loves Ritz crackers. When I leave her cage door open and she comes out for a visit, she understands "get back in your cage" and obediently walks back to the cage and goes inside....sometimes.
That bird knows the sound of my car too. I live on a very busy street but she can pick out the sound of my car before I turn in the driveway. (ok, so a Camaro with headers and glasspacks ain't exactly hard to miss). Some friends of mine stayed here for a few days last week and told me about that. She heard my car before I pulled in the driveway and started chirping and pacing around the cage.
What words do my cats understand? All of them, I think! I talk to them constantly, in whole sentences.
Sometimes they talk back. Wimmy, especially, is famous for this. At night I'll turn off the lights and go to bed...pretty soon I'll hear..
"Mow-wow?" (I think that mean's "Mama?")
"Mow-wow....WOw??" (which I have interpreted to mean, "Mama, lost?"...in other words he's woken up in the dark and doesn't know where I am)...trust me...he's 5 1/2 years old and he's done this his whole life...they are very distinct syllables.
"No, Wim...mama's in beddy...come beddy with Mama?" (OK, so I speak 'Elmer Fudd' to my pets...it's not like they're going to have to go to a speech pathologist when they go to grade school) ...then you hear ...thump, thump, thump (you can actually hear a 16 pound Maine Coon walking across a wood floor very clearly) and then the bed shakes when he jumps up. He also has to tell me all about it when he's using the litter box...again starting the conversation off - "Mow-wow?"
Wimmy's actually the intelligence-challenged one. His sister Saint Pauli Girl Dark is much smarter. But Powdie has the largest vocabulary (she's 9)
"Cat check!" - this was one we used in the semi, to make sure she hadn't snuck out before we drove off...this means 'poke your head out and make sure the human knows where you are...very helpful to ensure somebody's not stuck in a closet before we leave for the day
"Daddy home" (she'll run and look out the window)
"No" "Naughty" "Stop that" and all variations on the theme...however, she pretty much ignores it when she feels like it (she may not have a middle finger but trust me, she can flip you off)
"Lay down" - stop stomping about on the body of the human and get comforable and settled in...also meant 'lay flat' on the dashboard of the semi so the driver could see over you.
She's also very good at conveying her wishes without resorting to spoken language.
***Stare*** ***Poke*** - "you ARE going to give me some of that chickie (or burrito, or any other spicy, tomato-based food she particularly loves), AREN'T you??"
**Knock things off the headboard onto the sleeping human's head and stare at them beligerantly when they get mad** - "It's time to get up and feed the cats"
She also has a really pissy meow that means, "Stop that!"...when you're brushing her or trying to move her somewhere she doesn't want to go (usually followed by a nip). She also uses it right before she smacks one of the other cats who come to close to her when she's sitting on Daddy's lap.
They're a bit spoiled...they're our kids.
Not only can they understand different words, we also can distinguish different sounds they make, and know more or less what they want.
Go Outside and Walk were her favorite words. Use all three in a sentence, and you would have a goofy, drooling 100 lb mutt grinning in your face.
F--king Cat!!! Get out from under my feet when I have your food dish! Maverick
My little baby is deaf - as most white cats are !
Simon actually understands most things that I say to him
I don't think animals understand any of the words we say. They just pick up on the tone and gestures. Easy to prove - just say each word exactly the same with a monotone voice and see if they understand ... they won't.
just say each word exactly the same with a monotone voice and see if they understand
Well, duh, dude...communication is a lot more than just monotone words. Try communicating with a non-English-speaking human (or even a non-English speaker who speaks some English) by saying each word exactly the same with a monotone voice, and see if they understand.
Animals do understand the concept of spoken communication and can understand some words, because they respond to known words spoken by someone they don't know.
Animals are a lot smarter than you apparently give them credit for...have you heard of Dr. Irene Pepperberg's research with Alex the African grey? http://www.alexfoundation.org/ "Dr. Pepperberg currently works with 4 African Grey Parrots. Alex, the oldest, can count, identify objects, shapes, colors and materials, knows the concepts of same and different, and bosses around lab assistants in order to modify his environment!"
I've seen video of him...he's really amazing!