How many words do dogs understand?

Dog Vocabulary: Cheat Sheet

Stuff you need to know:

  • Average trained dogs know about 160 words.
  • One impressive Border Collie, named Rico, knows more than 200 words. For researchers, he was able to fetch specific items as well as use the process of elimination to fetch unfamiliar objects.
  • Rico also remembered words one month after he learned them, showing a vocabulary and memory as impressive as a human toddler's.
  • The kind of words dog can understand, however, is limited. As far as we know, dogs don't understand words that refer to abstract concepts.
  • Nevertheless, dogs arguably have an impressive ability to understand non-verbal human cues, like body language and tone of voice.

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