Do Dogs Understand Language?

Ask any dog owner, and he’ll tell you: it’s not what you say to a dog, it’s how you say it, with your tone of voice the key to the dog’s understanding. But a team of German scientists and a border collie named Rico say different, and their evidence that dogs can understand language is compelling. Rico can fetch up to 200 objects by name, and can even figure out which object his master wants when confronted with a word he’s never heard. “Rico’s abilities seem to follow a process called ‘fast mapping,’ seen when young children start to learn to speak and understand language.”