Research shows that dogs have the ability to process words with 14 month old children.
According to research from Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, dogs’ brains cannot distinguish between two homophones, in the same way that a 14-month-old baby processes language. Therefore, dogs only understand a few words in their lifetime.
The researchers used a non-invasive electroencephalogram (EEG) method to study brain activity in dogs. They choose untrained dogs and tape electrodes to their heads.
The team then played a phonogram of the words the dogs knew, homonymous nonsense, and completely non-negative nonsense, and recorded their reactions to those words.
The results showed that dogs can distinguish between words they know and nonsensical words in about 200 milliseconds, which is the response of the human brain.
Research has also shown that although dogs are able to process sounds, they cannot distinguish homophones (eg, “sit” and “sut”), even though these are words they know.
However, researchers believe it has nothing to do with the intelligence of dogs, but because dogs often don’t notice all the sounds of a word.
Dr Attila Andics, member of the research team, explains: “As is the case with infants, we assume that the dog’s brain activity against words he knows and nonsense does not reflect limits. . it is a question of perception, attention and processing of sound ”.
“Dogs may not be interested in all the sounds of the words they hear,” Dr. Attila said.
In humans, children aged 14 to 20 months will begin to learn to notice the difference between words that sound the same, and their vocabulary will expand rapidly as a result. However, dogs do not have this skill and therefore the average dog learns only 165 words in their lifetime.