We should say right off the bat: we know dogs can’t talk. If you’re learning a language and looking for someone to correct your grammar, you’ll be better off with a human. Or maybe a very clever parrot.
Still, dogs can provide you with opportunities to practice a language. We covered one group in New York City that teaches people to train their dogs in Yiddish, and you can train your dog in really any language of your choice. This is particularly useful when you’re learning commands. The biggest advantage is that dogs are a lot less judgmental than humans are when you make a mistake.
Lots of dogs also have cities or countries in their names, like German shepherds and Belgian malinois. The names were chosen based on where the dogs come from or were bred. That probably doesn’t mean a Portuguese water dog will be better at Portuguese than a golden retriever would be, but you never know.
If you can’t decide which dog you should adopt to study with, we made a handy, largely unscientific quiz. At the end, we also give you some of the background on the breed, like where it comes from and how it gets its name. We can’t guarantee improved results, but both learning a language and raising a dog are incredibly rewarding journeys, and it can’t hurt to pair them up.