• Hong Kong
8 Oct 08
I don't really think so. The training of dogs is just a reflex-training process of Skinners behaviourism. Whenever the dogs hear the sound of the command (sit, hand), they do it and they get some reward. So it encourages them to follow what they have done as if they could understand the command. There is no difference between mice press the button after bells is rung and dogs follow the command after such particular word is heard. Unlike the first acquisition of human baby, they could not understand anything that is not taught by their trainer. The main idea of this is that the dogs or any other animal could not manipulate the language itself.
28 Sep 08
First,I suppose the "understand" here means animals what human say or ask them to do some particular things.Thus,I'd like to say quite a few animals can understand human language after training.Take for example,dog can do the orders from the human perfectly.Other evidences are there existed chimpanzees and parrots really could calculate numbers,identify stuffs and execute orders.Therefore,I think some animals can understand,of course,a very small fraction of human language.But it's just one-way.So far,scientists haven't found a two-way language or common language shared with human and animals to shape a communication.Anyway,through eye-contact or body language,to some extend,human and animals can establish an unique way of communication.
28 Sep 08
i don't think that they can understand the language per se, but rather the tone on how the statement was delivered. if you are shouting 'i luve you fuffy' then there is a high chance that the animal will stay away from you. i tried that a few times and my dog always end up cowering under my bed.
• United States
28 Sep 08
Yes, I believe on some level that they can understand us. When I ask my dog if she wants to go for a walk she goes to the door. When I tell her to go into her cage she goes. They my not understand everything we say but they do understand us on some level. Happy Mylotting!!!!