Anyone who has ever had a dog knows that once they attain entry to the Master’s bed, they will try to claim it for their own.
And keeping the old adage to “let sleeping dogs lie” in mind, we just found a hysterical video of a family trying to make up their bed. No difficult feat under normal circumstances, but when they try to get their dog, great dane Max, out of the way, it becomes an almost impossible task. You are going to love this video when you watch it.
Max is a very special dog, indeed. The massive great dane is a comic genius, as demonstrated by his internet video debut. But more than that, he is deaf, and can understand sign language as taught by his human family.
Of course, in this clip, he does not seem to understand anything except that the bed is his now. Dogs are extremely intelligent animals. Animal behaviorists have determined that the average adult dog is about as smart as an average three year old human child, which means that it can understand a fairly sophisticated vocabulary. They are also capable of simple reasoning and problem solving skills.
This comes as no surprise if you are familiar with the coevolution of the domesticated dog and modern humans. When we still foraged for all our food, packs of wolves would follow us, and occasionally we would follow them, towards a successful hunt. Over time, some of the wolves lost their natural fear of humans and began to insert themselves into our midst. These smarter wolves realized that if they helped us bring down a bison instead of eating one of our children, then they could share in the feast. Before long, the wolves were being kept by humans and through selective breeding, became less and less aggressive, and more capable of following commands. In time, humans stopped needing to hunt and gather for sustenance, and our new buddies, the domesticated dog, were right there to take advantage of the good life.
One of the most important developments in human history was the rise of spoken and written languages. But communities of deaf people have been using hand based sign languages for thousands of years. One of the first mentions of sign language comes from Plato’s “Cratylus,” which was written in the fifth century BC.
In 1620, Juan Pablo Bonet published his guide “Reduction of Letters and Art for Teaching Mute People to Speak.” This is considered by many to be the first modern attempt at ordering and instructing a visual language for the hearing impaired. Bonet, who was a Catholic monk, has been credited for ushering in the modern age of communication and education of deaf people.
Most sign language users historically have not seen a need to develop a written language and have instead used the written languages of their native lands for reading and writing.
Sign language has also been used by scientists to communicate with non-human primates such as orangutans, chimpanzees, and most famously, gorillas. However, some researchers do not believe that an ape’s ability to communicate via signing represents the ability to grasp human languages.
And apparently it also works for our canine friends as well, as great dane Max can understand the hand gestures that his masters give him. Of’ course, as we all know, understanding and complying are two very different things.