We know about dogs being smart and doggy IQ tests being developed to help us learn more about them and human health in general.
It’s common knowledge too that dogs can understand commands and remember their training. But…dogs that can read? Now that’s something I haven’t heard of yet.
Meet, Fernie. A Labrador that can recognize four words and is going around town to encourage kids to learn more! To know more about Fernie and her training, visit the full article from the Telegraph here.
Fernie, a two year-old chocolate labrador, was introduced to classes as part of a national scheme to give young children motivation and confidence.
But since starting at Winford Primary School, near Bristol, Fernie has been taught to recognise commands on four flashcards.
“The parents think he’s great, and the children love him. He’s a real star,”
Owner and headmaster Nik Gardner, 38, says Fernie can read the words ‘sit’, ‘down’, ‘roll over’ and ‘spin’.
And Nik claims that with further training Fernie could learn up to 20 more words.
He said: “Training Fernie to recognise words was surprisingly simple.
“For his initial training I used the clicker technique, where the dog learns to associate a treat with the distinctive sound made by a clicker when he responds correctly to a command.
“Then, while still using the clicker technique, I started showing him simple commands on a flashcard – which he recognises as a shape – whilst giving him the spoken command, so he learned to associate the two.
“After a while, I stopped using the spoken command and just used the flashcard on its own, because he had learned to read it.
Nik added: “If children can see that the dog can read the flash cards, then they can do it too – so it’s a huge motivation for them.”
Aside from being totally cute and adorable, Fernie is also doing amazing deeds by encouraging these little ones to do better at school.
Great job, Fernie!