07-21-18 Patricia Sargeant

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Want to Understand Your Dog Better? DO Try These at Home!

By Sarah Raplee

Dogs do talk!
Remember Dug the Dog from the Disney Pixar movie Up? Wasn’t the collar he wore that translated his barks into English AWESOME? 

A Japanese toy company has actually developed the Takara Bow-Lingual Dog Bark Translator, which according to their website “translates your dog’s barks into one of six emotions: happy, sad, frustrated, on guard, assertive and needy.” 

Extensive research by experts in acoustics and animal behavior was applied in the device’s development.
The website goes on to explain that the Bow-Lingual “provides a phrase matched to the emotion to represent what your dog might say if it could speak.” The operative words here are might say. The Bow-Lingual is good at translating the emotion the dog’s barks express. But don’t expect a word-for-word translation.

News flash: Dogs do not speak in words.

The following two features enable people to find out how their dog feels when left home alone:
-Home Alone Mode allows the system to translate while you are away (up to 12 hours)
-Bow-Lingual Maintains a record of the 100 most recent barks

The Bow-Lingual dog collar device was developed to help humans understand their dogs’ feelings better (and to make a kennel load of money for the toy company, no doubt.) But communication is a two-way street. Why not use a Bow-Lingual to learn your dog’s emotional bark patterns and then practice those patterns yourself in order to express the six of your emotions he understands to your dog in his language? 

Please let me know when you upload that video to YouTube. No; never mind—we both know it’ll go viral and make all the news sites’ ‘trending’ lists!


There’s an app for that!
In addition to the original Bow-Lingual device, there are now many smart phone apps available for download. I have an IPhone, so the apps I describe below are available in the Apple ITunes App Store. Never fear; apps are also available for other smart phones. 

The Bow (paw print) Lingual app is available in both a free and a ninety-nine-cent version. My not-so-extensive research indicates Bowitter is the Bow-Lingual-approved app. It’s well worth the ninety-nine cents. Bowitter offers settings to match the program to your dog’s body type for a more accurate translation. Additionally, this app gives you the ability to share on Twitter and Facebook. Perhaps the 99c version of Bow (paw print) Lingual does as well. Not sure about that.

Two Stellar Websites!
A Canadian website worth investigating is Talking Pets at http://talkingpets.ca/en/speakdog.aspx . You type in a ‘feeling’ word and a very photogenic dog will express that emotion via a video. Since dog’s communicate using body language as well as vocalizations, this site rocks!
And if you want to dig deep into your dog’s psyche, check out the Dognition website at https://www.dognition.com/

Dognition lets you discover how your dog thinks so you two can connect on a whole new level. It’s like getting a ‘dog's-eye view’ of your best friend's world.
“All great relationships are built on understanding and shared experiences. Dognition helps you and your dog get more of both, starting with the Dognition Toolkit. Fun, structured games lead to surprising new insights into your furry friend.”

If you have experience with any of the devices/apps/websites I’ve mentioned, please share your experiences with our readers.


Madelle Morgan said...


Your post made my day. I'm a sci-fi fan. You know those shows with "universal translators" that allow humans to communicate with the surprisingly humanoid species on other planets? And now you tell us there are real apps for dog-speak translation! Wow! (or in dog - Bow-wow!)

Paty Jager said...

What will they come up with next! I can tell my dogs' moods by the way they act. LOL Binky is cute!!

Judith Ashley said...

My goodness, Sarah - I never knew any of this - thank goodness I have you in my life, willingly clicking around the internet or phone apps to sniff these things out!

I truly do mean - thank you for sharing - very fun post!

Diana Mcc. said...

What a hilarious post! Enjoyed all your research gathering. I don't have a dog right now, but if I did, I don't know that I'd really want to know what it was saying. "Walk, walk , walk" "food, food, food" it could get rather annoying. Great post!

Sarah Raplee said...

LOL, Madelle! That was pretty much my reaction.

Paty, I think most pet owners 'read their dogs behavior. At least, I hope so!

Glad you enjoyed the post, Judith and Diana. It was fun to write. I agree that a dog begging in English would be even more annoying than the barking, Diana!

amber polo said...

Thanks for all your research. This proves there is an app for everything.
Still I prefer to imagine talking dogs live among us.

Melia Alexander said...

Do they make one for kitties, too? No, wait -- I'm not sure I really want to know what mine are thinking! :-)