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Did the Nazis have a school for talking dogs?


Posted on Thursday, 9 January, 2014 | Comment icon 22 comments

Can you train a dog to talk ? Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Bodlina
Reports suggest that the Nazis attempted to train an army of talking dogs, but just how true is this ?
One of the stranger stories to come out of World War II, the idea that the Germans were training an army of intelligent dogs is based on the activities of Margarethe Schmidt who in 1930 owned a dog that gave birth to a litter of five puppies.

According to reports, the Schmidts had somehow managed to teach the dogs to talk and to perform feats of intelligent reasoning that would seem to be impossible. The training was said to be so effective in fact that the dogs were eventually sent to work for the Nazis by giving the soldiers an edge in the battlefield.

If all this sounds far-fetched then that's probably because it is. While the Schmidts likely did train dogs to perform tricks, their feats would have been more like those of circus animals.

Feats of intelligence from the dogs were attributed to the 'Clever Hans effect' in which the animal is simply responding to subtle clues in the body language of its owner. The dogs didn't speak either, according to witness reports.

Ultimately, Margarethe Schmidt herself is said to have admitted that she had received no money from the Nazis to train the dogs and that their tricks were little more than a circus act.

Source: io9.com | Comments (22)

Tags: Dog, Word War II


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #13 Posted by DemonicCupcake on 10 January, 2014, 2:25
Unexplained Mysteries already had this story/subject a year ago.
Comment icon #14 Posted by EllJay on 10 January, 2014, 3:42
I don't know about this talking dog story. It seems like some kind of ruse, guile, PR-trick or whatever. I can tell you that the translator of dog-thoughts that was claimed to have been developed recently, is most likely a PR-trick by the PR-bureau Studio Total for whatever reason. They have done these kind of scams and false news before. Here is a google translate of the article where they suspect them of doing yet another scam with this dog-thought-device: The advertising agency Studio Total has made ??themselves known to cheat. Now the duo figures in a commercial associated with a dog trans... [More]
Comment icon #15 Posted by ealdwita on 10 January, 2014, 11:32
The Hundesprechschule Asra (Asra school for Talking Dogs) was founded in 1930 by Margarethe Schmidt in Leutenberg, and its main purpose was to train animals to perform circus tricks for workers and soldiers' families under the auspices of the Kraft durch Freude (Strength through Joy) leisure organization controlled by The DAF - the German National Labour Front. There is no proveable record of the dogs (and other animals present at the school) ever 'talking' in a recognisable manner. The Nazis were however, interested in animal psychology, including human-animal telepathy and its application to... [More]
Comment icon #16 Posted by Taun on 10 January, 2014, 11:46
eald... where did you find that photo of Churchill wearing a swastika?... You probably shouldn't have revealed it... THEY might get you!...
Comment icon #17 Posted by ancient astronaut on 11 January, 2014, 0:11
Well, they (the Nazis) tried damn near everything else, so this doesn't shock or surprise me at all.
Comment icon #18 Posted by Joe2112 on 18 January, 2014, 20:40
This is just dumb. Dogs don't have the vocal cords to talk.
Comment icon #19 Posted by psyche101 on 20 January, 2014, 8:19
Ruh Uhh!!!! Roo rold Roo Rat? hehehehehehe
Comment icon #20 Posted by Simbi Laveau on 20 January, 2014, 11:45
There is a dog all over the news now, who is saying a very distinct NOOOOOOO, to going into his crate. It doesn't sound like an accident to me. He knows the word No, and he's saying it
Comment icon #21 Posted by Lilly on 20 January, 2014, 12:15
I can talk with my dogs just fine (no need for human speech).
Comment icon #22 Posted by EllJay on 20 January, 2014, 13:01
This could be the first talking dog ever, and the video shows the moment he said a firm NO to going out to his kennel. Blaze the husky looks less than impressed in this footage when his owner asks him to get up. But rather than making a run for it, Blaze makes a stand, and lets out a series of deep howls which sound exactly like he's saying no. The 11-month-old pooch lies on his side and waves his paws around like a child when his owner persistently shakes him - and it looks like he won the battle.


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