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Teaching My Dog Another Language

Before the pandemic started, in 2020, I took a trip to a country in which language I didn’t speak. It was an incredible trip and I am so glad I went while I could. One thing I had really wished for was that I had given myself time to learn the language more before going. So, like many, I made a goal to try to learn more (in the hopes I can return for another trip there). I was really struggling with time to invest in this goal, so I decided to incorporate it into my daily life.

I talk to my dog daily, and I have taught her many commands and words. All of these words were in English though. So I looked up “sit” on google translate in the language I wanted to learn (Italian). I repeated the command to my dog in Italian “sedersi” and thus began my journey of teaching both my dog and I a new language. I kept a notebook with me and my phone handy when I need to translate/remember something. Within a few months, we were practicing these new words daily and memorizing them. The best part of it, was that my dog really seems to enjoy this because it was something new, challenging (to remember), and well there were treats involved!

This was such a simple way for us to learn something new and expand our vocabulary whenever we want. Now we are becoming bilingual and furthering both our educations together.

Want to know another cool benefit to teaching yourself or another animal another language? There are studies that say learning new languages helps improve the brain. “…foreign language causes considerable enhancement in two components of executive functions, namely cognitive flexibility and working memory.” [1]



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