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Part I - How to Train Your Dog to Understand Words

Kids learn words one at a time. Parents hold up an object—“to-ma-to”— assign words to routines like "bedtime" and "let's go for a ride," and teach their children the meaning of various instructions like ‘come to dinner,’ ‘say please,’ and ‘time for bed.’ When repeated over and over, words start to sink in and routines become habits.

While dogs lack the ability to understand deep meaning, they can identify the meanings of more than 200 words. Dramatic new research shows that dogs not only understand the tone of voice used, they also recognize actual words. And dogs are one of the few animals that care what we're saying.

Hundreds of words, you might be thinking? I have trouble getting my dog to focus on his name!

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