These days it seems that everybody has a talking dog. But do any of those dogs speak German? Don the Dog Who Is Either A Setter Or A Pointer did!
Don’s power of speech was revealed when he was 6 months old. It came to light without training or teaching of any kind upon the part of his master. The dog took up his position one day while the Ebers family was sitting at supper and began begging, in familiar dog fashion, with his eyes. “Willst du wohl was haben?” (You want something, don’t you?) asked the game keeper, expecting nothing in reply except the stereotyped, grateful, affirmative look from Don’s soulful eyes. To Herr Eber’s consternation, the dog answered, not with a look, but with unmistakably plain and intelligent speech, “Haben!” (Want.) It was the first time a spoken word have ever escaped his lips.
The article notes that “Skeptics persist in the belief that whatever the dog ‘says’ is at best only articulate growling or barking.” But that surely can’t be the case, because the Times only publishes the news that’s fit to print.
Bonus fun fact: The phrase “Scientists Stupefied” only has three Google search results at the time of this writing (excluding instances where the words appear together but are parts of separate clauses).
GERMANY HAS A TALKING DOG: Don, the Marvelous Setter with a Vocabulary of Six Words — Scientists Stupefied. (PDF)
From December 11, 1910
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