Skip

Lingua Canis Domestica
October 13, 2011 10:25 AM   Subscribe

NOVA hosts a test to see how well you speak dog. Originally in association with Dogs Decoded, which is available to watch for the next week via NOVA's website.
posted by cmoj (44 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
I didn't get all of the answers correct which is sad considering I have been near dogs all my life. Pretty fun stuff though.
posted by Memo at 10:32 AM on October 13, 2011


It's important to for a dog to know a person's commands and vice versa.
posted by Cerulean at 10:32 AM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]




I did very badly on this, and I have two dogs who bark quite a bit. So either I don't understand dog, or my dogs have trained me to understand them specifically.
posted by fremen at 10:38 AM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


I also did badly on this. I hope I speak cat better than dog.
posted by wittgenstein at 10:40 AM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


I speak cat waaaay better than this. I suppose it is easy for an animal whose only cry is 'I want', however...
posted by ZaneJ. at 10:42 AM on October 13, 2011


My father once came across an interview with a scientist who explained that he had identified over one hundred different feline vocalizations. All of them meant "hey."
posted by thomas j wise at 10:46 AM on October 13, 2011 [8 favorites]


My dog has one bark: "stranger danger". The rest of the time he looks like a giant pile of hair on the barbershop floor. Newfies are awesome.
posted by munchingzombie at 10:49 AM on October 13, 2011 [5 favorites]


I did pretty well, but the "stranger!" one was the only one that was totally obvious from the start to me. Which is interesting, because it's the only one that's kind of a long-distance alert that wouldn't have other body language to make things so much more obvious.
posted by cmoj at 10:57 AM on October 13, 2011


All I know is that my dog prefers to be called "Stormageddon, Dark Lord of All."
posted by lumensimus at 10:59 AM on October 13, 2011 [6 favorites]


I thought 'let's go for a walk' was 'don't leave me alone', but i got the rest right. And I don't even have a dog.
posted by empath at 11:03 AM on October 13, 2011


I have a dog, and I like to think that I can tell you what he's saying most of the time. I did fairly poorly on this test, though.

Still, fun test.
posted by Pecinpah at 11:09 AM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is only a meaningful test for people who must communicate with dogs via intercom or telephone.

or are blind, but then they're probably not clicking on the items in that Flash-based test
posted by zippy at 11:12 AM on October 13, 2011 [5 favorites]


Wow, I suck. Yet I'm convinced I can distinguish between half-a-dozen or more vocalizations from my dog (few of which are actually barks, to be fair - he doesn't like making loud noises).

Confirmation bias? Or I simply only know one dialect?
posted by IAmBroom at 11:15 AM on October 13, 2011


zippy: "This is only a meaningful test for people who must communicate with dogs via intercom or telephone."

Hello? Yes, this is dog.
posted by workerant at 11:18 AM on October 13, 2011 [7 favorites]


Miaow?
posted by fallingbadgers at 11:25 AM on October 13, 2011


Shit, I figured I would nail this until I came in here and read everybody saying how poorly they performed. Let's see.

[...]

5/6. The key isn't tone, really, it's the little sub-vocalizations that get made in between the barks. For me, anyway. But I found it a little galling how every time I got one right the webpage felt like it needed to let me know how easy the question was.
posted by penduluum at 11:26 AM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


This test sucked. They all sounded pretty much the same.. but then, my pup is a Husky whose ability to communicate puts most dogs to shame...
posted by HuronBob at 11:26 AM on October 13, 2011


HEY! HEY! HEY! HEY! HEY!
posted by entropicamericana at 11:37 AM on October 13, 2011


I did pretty well, only really struggling on the "Let's go for a walk" bark, but I freely admit that I'm surprised by this.

The vast majority of my communications with my dogs is nonverbal (or nonbark...al, I guess). I know how they are feeling by the angle of their ears, and the swish of their tail, and the look of terror when one of the cats gets near enough to put them in their place.

Although, it's entirely possible that my cattle dog is smarter than I am, so she may have just trained me to react to what she wants without needing to actually tell me.
posted by quin at 11:54 AM on October 13, 2011


blah blah blah GINGER blah blah GINGER blah blah blah blah blah blah GINGER...
posted by not_on_display at 11:59 AM on October 13, 2011 [5 favorites]


I did very poorly, but my screen name indicates why.
posted by jocelmeow at 12:14 PM on October 13, 2011


What is the Dog for, "Gus, put down the pool!"?
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:51 PM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


ZaneJ.: "I speak cat waaaay better than this. I suppose it is easy for an animal whose only cry is 'I want', however..."

The verbs are easy - it's the objects that are hard -- want what? Food, you to move, to play, you not to move, to not play, you to pet me, you to not pet me, you to not pet me there, you to not stop petting me yet, you to move to pet me somewhere else and then stop I as soon as you've walked across the room and done it twice. It's a very rich language that way.

(The subject, of course, is always "I.")
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:17 PM on October 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


People who didn't get them all, don't feel that bad - they didn't use the same dog for all of the recordings.

If you're listening for pitch to key you in to what the dog is feeling (my dear thea always got really shrill when she was unhappy, you may be misled because some of the dogs' voices are higher pitched than others.

That is what I'm going with, anyway.
posted by winna at 1:20 PM on October 13, 2011


I'm going to reassure myself that the reason I sucked so badly at this is that our dog doesn't bark to go out or to be played with. She just sits by the door and looks at you until you break. When she wants to play she just puts the toy in your face.

Then again, she hangs out with a cat all day, so she may have picked up kitty manners.
posted by teleri025 at 1:50 PM on October 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


> Hello? Yes, this is dog.

Damn. I came in here to post that. It's probably my wife's favourite thing on the internet.
posted by The Card Cheat at 3:02 PM on October 13, 2011


6 out of 6 for me. Given my user name, it'd be embarrassing if I'd gotten anything other than a perfect score.
posted by lord_wolf at 3:21 PM on October 13, 2011


I did very badly on this, and I have two dogs who bark quite a bit. S

You kind of need to see body language to tell what the dog is saying.
posted by KokuRyu at 3:40 PM on October 13, 2011


A man takes his dog to a talent agency and swears the dog can talk. He asks the dog a series of questions:

Man: What's on top of your house?
Dog: ROOF

Man: What's the outer layer of a tree?
Dog: BARK

Man: Who was the greatest baseball Player?
Dog: RUTH

The agent exclaims: "This is ridiculous" and throws them out.

When they get outside the dog looks up to his owner and says, "What, I should have said DiMaggio?"
posted by bpm140 at 3:56 PM on October 13, 2011 [5 favorites]


6 out of 6 for me as well. I've owned dogs most of my life though and am a SERIOUS dog lover.
posted by triggerfinger at 5:26 PM on October 13, 2011


I missed the first one totally, it was the "stranger" bark, which sounded unusually high pitched and non aggressive for a "stranger" bark. I got every single one correct after that.

My two dogs had specific barks. One for squirrels and other mammalian ephemera that might transgress the yard. Another one for people walking in the street. And a very clear, urgent one that was specially reserved for coyotes. When I heard that one, I would bolt up, check the cats and get out into the front yard to shoo off the hungry buggers.
posted by Xoebe at 6:01 PM on October 13, 2011


I don't think I've ever done so well on a MeFi-posted test before. Got most of these moments after they began, except for stranger bark, which I needed to listen to all the way through.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:11 PM on October 13, 2011


wittgenstein: I also did badly on this. I hope I speak cat better than dog.

Well if your Dog's anything like your Lion...
posted by GeckoDundee at 8:15 PM on October 13, 2011


I did very poorly on this test, but I have a very good excuse.
Husband and I are sitting on the sofa watching Community, and I'm taking this test in between commercials and my husband starts making fun of me.
"Why are you making fun of me? I am taking a test, whereby I am learning about dogs. This is educational. I hope to learn more about the needs of our beloved pets."
Husband starts giggling and says "Say it out loud. I AM TAKING A DOG TEST. Think about how silly that sounds. Try saying it just once without laughing."
I try it.
I cannot do it. I cannot say I AM TAKING A DOG TEST out loud without laughing. I admit defeat.

Go ahead, people, try this at home.
posted by Dr. Zira at 8:19 PM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


i got 6 out of 6 and was feeling pretty good about it until i tried saying, "i am taking a dog test" out loud.
posted by gursky at 9:39 PM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


I got confused because I thought it said, "Don't! Leave me alone!" Which totally messed things up.

My kitty was very displeased with me taking this test. She particularly disliked the aggressive one.
posted by meese at 10:59 PM on October 13, 2011


I did rather poorly on the test, but my dog aced it. We also watched the episode, and he liked it as much as I did.
posted by ambulocetus at 11:28 PM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


I took this test with my super-whiny doggy drama queen snoozing at my feet. When I got to the "Don't leave me alone!" vocalization she lifted her head and said, very flatly, "Woof." and went back to sleep. I think that translates as "amatuer."
posted by biddeford at 2:29 AM on October 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have a pit bull, and she only barks for two situations:

1. There is someone across the street she doesn't like the look of (which is everyone): Grrrruff. Whuff. Whuff.

2. There is someone coming up to the door: BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK

Once the person is through the door, they become her best friend in the world. This is why pit bulls make terrible watch dogs. And in any other situation (I want food, I want to go out, I want to play) she will stare at me. Sometimes she will pant.

Those are my excuses for doing so poorly on this test.
posted by cereselle at 7:04 AM on October 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


My dog has two:

All squirrels to maintain an altitude of at least ten feet.

All rabbits must relocate to a different field.
posted by Trochanter at 9:18 AM on October 14, 2011


Once the person is through the door, they become her best friend in the world. This is why pit bulls make terrible watch dogs.

Oh gods yes. I have a pit bull mix, and if we were ever burgled, he'd show the burglars to the cheese drawer first. He hasn't the foggiest notion of how to be mean.

(Though, to be fair, I think if anyone actually tried to hurt me, he'd probably eat their face.)
posted by MissySedai at 10:17 AM on October 14, 2011


I grew up with dogs but haven't had one for 20 years and I still got 5 out of 6 on the quiz (I missed Let's go for a walk, probably because our dog usually just scratched the door or peed on the floor to signal that one ... poodles are crazy.)
posted by gudrun at 6:56 PM on October 14, 2011


I have a German shepherd, so the high-pitched stranger bark threw me off. I did okay other than that. I am still waiting for a dog translation collar like in Up or Dexter's Laboratory, because my dog is very vocal.
I watched the NOVA episode too, and it was great. My dog is totally smarter than a two year old human.
posted by natasha_k at 7:47 AM on October 15, 2011


« Older Metal Machine Models   |   Stubborn as a Muledog Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post