The PJ Tatler

Nazis trained dogs to talk, write poetry says new research

Uh-huh. I’m skeptical too. But here it is, in black and white (or whatever color your monitor displays):

Nazis tried to train dogs to talk, read and spell to win WW2

Maybe its Sweeps Week on Fleet Street and this is all a tremendous gag. But it is an incredible story. And if it’s not true, the reporter should get a raise for being so wildly creative.

Hitler hoped the clever creatures would learn to communicate with their SS masters – and he even had a special dog school set up to teach them to talk.

The incredible findings show Nazi officials recruited so-called educated dogs from all over Germany and trained them to speak and tap out signals using their paws.

One mutt was said to have uttered the words ‘Mein Fuhrer’ when asked who Adolf Hitler was.

Another ‘spoke’ by tapping letters of the alphabet with his paws and was said to have speculated about religion and learnt poetry.

It’s an old carnival trick you’ve probably seen with horses. Domesticated animals have an extraordinary ability to read the human face and pick up subtle clues via our body language. So over the years in America, there have been horses who could count, and even answer “yes-no” questions simply by watching their handler closely, who always gives them a treat when they answer “correctly.” Trainers have similar successes with dogs who have learned extraordinary tricks simply by keying off signals – sometimes given unconsciously – by their human masters.

Still, it’s interesting to read about how truly daffy the Nazis were:

The incredible story of Germany’s educated dogs has now been revealed in full by Dr Bondeson, a senior lecturer at Cardiff University in his book “Amazing Dogs: A Cabinet of Canine Curiosities.”

He said: “It is absolutely extraordinary stuff.

“In the 1920s, Germany had numerous ‘new animal psychologists’ who believed dogs were nearly as intelligent as humans, and capable of abstract thinking and communication.

“When the Nazi party took over, one might have thought they would be building concentration camps to lock these fanatics up, but instead they were actually very interested in their ideas.

“Part of the Nazi philosophy was that there was a strong bond between humans and nature – they believed a good Nazi should be an animal friend.

Believe it…or not.