I’ve heard that dogs can learn up to 100 words. Is that true, and if so, why 100? How can I teach new words to my dog?
From the Editors of The Dog Daily
The estimate of 100 was based on findings that dogs have language comprehension skills comparable to those of adult apes, adult parrots and 3-year-old humans. Other species probably could be included on that list, but more studies have been conducted on the aforementioned animals.
Psychologist Stanley Coren, who has studied dog intelligence, thinks dogs can learn 160 words and possibly more. The number of limitations have to do with how much knowledge your dog's brain can store concerning auditory representations of people, places and things.
Vocabulary-building lessons for your pet are fun, and your dog should enjoy the extra attention and mental stimulation. Similar to teaching basic commands, you need to get your dog to associate the spoken word to the behavior, object or individual. Speak clearly, have patience and remember that dogs learn through repetition. They also understand visual signals, so try to create a unique hand signal or gesture for each word. That way, your dog will have both the verbal and visual cue.