Bark Translation…Say Woof?

Pet owners talk to their furry friends all the time. The problem is, they never really seem to get a response. I’m sure dog owners everywhere would love to be able to actually communicate with their canine companions. Well, according to Amazon, that little fantasy might actually become a reality within the next decade.

Amazon partnered with futurologist (yes, that’s a real job title) William Higham of Next Big Thing to create a report on what’s to come. In it, Higham talks about the future of pet communication and the possibility of pet translators.

“Innovative products that succeed are based around a genuine and major consumer needs. The amount of money now spent on pets – they are becoming fur babies to so many people – means there is huge consumer demand for this. Somebody is going to put this together,” he says.

Credit: Cesar Millan

As proof, he cited research by Northern Arizona University professor Con Slobodchikoff. Slobodchikoff has been studying prairie dog behavior to see if they have some sort of communication system. Through extensive research, he’s found that they seem to have their own “language” that can communicate things such as different species and colors. He believes the same kind of research can be done on dogs and cats.

In the past, there have been attempts at creating dog translation devices. A small Scandinavian research lab called the Nordic Society for Invention and Discovery created something called “No More Woof” a few years ago. Unfortunately, it was put on pause when the developers realized the true scale of the project.

So while there aren’t any current gadgets to help us decode the language of our bow wows, it’s not crazy to think that they might exist in the near future. With people like Higham and Slobodchikoff working with giant companies like Amazon, we might be able to talk to Toto sooner than we think.

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Sarah Cookson

Writer/Dog Enthusiast living in New York City. Only goes to parties in hopes there will be a dog there to hang out with. Her resolutions for 2017 were to eat healthier and pet more pups. Bet you can guess which one she stuck with.

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