Can Dogs Talk?
Many a dog-owner will swear up and down that the understanding they have with their pet dog carries into conversation.
Countless humorous videos can be found online in support of the theory that the mildly intelligible sounds dogs produce in response to their owners is talking.
To call this talking is to assume dogs have adopted human language, understand the intricacies of words and context to produce meaningful, intelligible phrases appropriate to the moment.
While dogs clearly have their own language, used to communicate with other dogs, this is not the case with the language of humans.
The sounds dogs make may sound like the words we use, but that is the extent of it – it merely sounds like it.
As is the case with other intelligent animals who have been taught to communicate with humans through sounds, the behavior is mimicry.
Dogs mimic the sounds they hear from humans. Their heightened sense of hearing allows them to identify the subtle nuances of tone and inflection to reproduce sound-phrases that can pass for human language.
This is not to invalidate any exchange you might have with your pet dog, through speech or otherwise. Emotional bonds formed between dog and human are profound, so much so that unique modes of communication between the two are not uncommon.