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Some Choice Words on Dog Intelligence

June 20, 2004

Re "This Dog's Way With Words Turns Fetch Into Child's Play," June 11: When I told my two mixed-breed dogs that your newspaper reported that they had the intelligence of a 3-year-old, they were highly insulted. My German shepherd mix, age 6, knows what I say to her, sometimes before I say it. She responds to hand signals, also. The black Lab mix, age 3, is only slightly less intelligent. Whereas the older dog considers watching TV nonproductive, the younger dog will watch the dog shows with me. She also prefers dramatic programs, such as "CSI," but naps through some of them. She also knows what I say to her and is responsive.

Both dogs are alert and protective. They know the names of our neighbors, friends and relatives who visit. If you are not on their list, you get the angry, protective treatment. Know any 3-year-old children this smart?

Vera Holden

Atascadero

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I was glad to read your article on the extensive vocabulary of dogs. It supports my own experience with canine friends. Dogs not only have the capacity of human words, they also share our feelings. They know love, pain, fear and terror. That Americans kill them by the millions every year is wrong, and we humans should stop it. We must stop breeding more dogs than we can care for. Breeding must be regulated across the country.

Peter Wickham

San Jacinto

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