29th April 2005

 

CAN YOUR DOG UNDERSTAND YOU?

 

If you’ve ever thought that your dog can communicate with you in an uncannily precise way, you’re not alone.

 

Now there’s a unique opportunity to discover if you’re right and find out who owns the dog with the biggest vocabulary in Lincolnshire!

 

The dog’s ability to communicate with people has recently evoked scientific interest, and new research has shown that dogs are able to exchange information with people using the most subtle of signals. 

 

Now researchers at the University of Lincoln are embarking on a year-long study into the ability of dogs to understand multiple commands or short sentences, and they’re looking for volunteers to take part.

 

“In some tasks dogs appear to outperform our closest relatives, the chimpanzee,” says Dr Daniela Ramos, a researcher at the university based at Riseholme Park.

 

“There are amazing examples of dogs which respond to so many words that they appear to understand even some of the more complex features of our language, including sentence construction.

 

“Their uncanny ability to understand speech might have something to do with our common recent evolution in the face of shared problems. Who knows? We may even be able to identify the dog with the most extensive vocabulary in Lincolnshire!”

 

Dr Ramos and her team are hoping to recruit around 24 dogs to take part in the study which will involve training exercises at home and at the university.

 

Enthusiastic, committed and dedicated owners preferably with a background in dog training are required, and professional dog trainers are also welcome.

 

Participants must be available to carry out training sessions with their dogs at home on a daily basis as well as at the university from May.

 

If you think your dog is a potential candidate and you would like to take part in the study call Dr Daniela Ramos on Lincoln 895473 or email dramos@lincoln.ac.uk

 

For more information contact:

Jez Ashberry, Press and Media Relations Manager

01522 886042                         jashberry@lincoln.ac.uk