The Ultimate Dog Vocabulary Quiz

By: HowStuffWorks.com Contributors

The Ultimate Dog Vocabulary Quiz
Image: Dirk Anschutz/Taxi Collection/Getty Images

About This Quiz

How much do dogs understand? Do they have vocabulary comprehension and retention? Can they say "Woof!" and mean it? Take this quiz and learn more about whether dogs understand words.
According to psychologist Stanley Coren, how many words does a trained dog know?
about 60
about 100
about 160
He believes that trained dogs know about 160 words. That's more than the average three-year-old kid!

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When did researchers successfully train chimpanzees to use sign language?
in the 1950s
in the 1970s
They did this in the 1970s when they trained chimps to use and read sign language.
in the 1990s

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Which animal can be trained to speak human words?
the parrot
The parrot, of course! Polly want a cracker?
the dog
the monkey

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In a certain study, Rico, a border collie, displayed his knowledge of 200 words. How did researchers test whether he could expand his vocabulary?
They repeated word after word until Rico showed he understood them.
They gave him a new word list and got him to bark when he understood them.
They introduced new items and words and Rico caught on 70 percent of the time.
They introduced new items with their corresponding names and had Rico fetch the items. Rico caught on 70 percent of the time.

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Remembering words after exposure to them for one time only is called:
good luck
fast-mapping
It's called fast-mapping and it applies to humans as well. Children do this often in their language acquisition.
brain train

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In the 1900s, a horse named Clever Hans appeared to be able to do math. Upon investigation, what did they discover about Clever Hans?
He had an IQ of 180.
He was a fraud.
He was just responding to subtle, unconscious cues.
The horse, it seems, was just responding to subtle, unconscious cues from people. He couldn't do math at all!

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How does language acquisition begin?
The learner associates sounds with items or concepts.
The learner, whether human or animal, associates sounds with items or concepts. "Bottle" is a sound the baby hears, which he associates with the drink he loves. Similarly, "No!" is a sound he hears, which he associates with something forbidden.
The learner listens out for repetitive sounds.
The learner hears a word and repeats it.

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Which things do dogs understand, abstract or concrete concepts?
both abstract and concrete concepts
concrete concepts only
Dogs only understand concrete concepts, such as toy, food, bowl. They don't understand abstract concepts, like love, hate, happy.
abstract concepts only

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Some linguists say that dogs do not understand language because:
they can't repeat words
they don't understand syntax
They say that language acquisition is defined by an understanding of syntax and therefore dogs do not understand language.
they have limited vocabulary retention

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Does body language play a part in a dog's ability to understand language?
possibly
Many researchers believe that it is possible that, rather than understanding words per se, the dog is actually reading body language for cues to behavior.
not likely
it can't be proven either way

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You Got:
/10
Dirk Anschutz/Taxi Collection/Getty Images

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