Susan McKinney | Shouldn’t dogs be able to talk? | Books


“How Stella learned to speak” by Christina Hunger is about the author’s efforts to teach her dog to “speak” with her speech-pathological abilities.

When Hunger first adopted Stella, she asked herself this question:

“If dogs can understand words people say to them, shouldn’t they return them to us?”

This is how her adventure with Stella begins.

Hunger uses her skills and experience in working with young children with significant language developmental delays to work with Stella.

The children have tablets with symbols for different words and phrases that they press to communicate with hunger. She helps them develop their vocabulary by working with them to communicate their thoughts and desires.

For Stella, Hunger created paw-sized buttons for “outside”, “playing” etc. to express their different needs.

In less than two years, Stella has learned a vocabulary of over 45 words and regularly presses several keys in a row to say sentences.

For example, she will press “love, come, come” and then roll over for a stomach rub.

To ask for a walk, Stella presses “Help come out”.

Hunger didn’t want animal

human communication, but it has definitely made some scientists rethink their research directions.

Recognized dog trainers and the President of the Speech and Hearing Association support Hunger’s work.

Dog lovers and Stella fans have adopted the “Hunger for Words” method to connect more deeply and clearly with their pets than was ever thought possible.

I admit the idea of ​​a dog “learning” our language in order to communicate with us is fascinating.

I have cats. As a cat servant, I know they know when I say their special name.

The ear of the cat I call twitches where I sit, even when it refuses to acknowledge me.

Do I think this could be taught to other animals like my cats?

Possibly, but would a cat deign to stop being mysterious and angry?

Stella really does

Learn to speak or is it more of a training situation for Pavlov?

After some of the examples in the book, I believe that Stella is really trying to communicate with her owner.

This book also opened my eyes to how speech pathologists work with children on the autism spectrum as well as other language learning delays.

It takes someone very special to have the patience that Hunger has with both her students and her dog.

This book also contains information on how to teach your dog to communicate in our language.

Susan McKinney is a St. Joseph Librarian

Parish Swearingen

Memorial library. She received her Masters in Library Science from the University of Illinois. She came here from Indiana to study and fell in love with the area. She has lived here ever since. She is an avid reader and loves mystery, suspense, fantasy, and action novels.


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