JAPANESE GUIDE DOG LEARNS ENGLISH TO HELP NEW CANADIAN OWNER -“…it is better to train the dog to respond to English commands because it’s her native language and the one she will naturally use first if something happens to her.”
A guide dog in Japan is learning English to help a Canadian woman named Lorelei Harada, who is living in Japan. Harada suffers from a serious eye condition which may lead to blindness. However, because Harada’s native language is English, her new guide dog must learn English to recieve commands. Read more from the Japan Times:
Canadian Lorelei Harada, a long-term resident of Japan with a progressive eye disease, will receive a guide dog from the Chubu Guide Dogs Association of Japan that has been trained to understand English.
Harada, 37, came to stay at the association’s training center in Nagoya to undergo joint training with the dog, which had to be quickly trained to respond to her native language instead of Japanese. Preparations are under way for the dog and the English teacher to live together as the dog adapts to receiving instructions in English.
The guide dog chosen for Harada was a 2-year-old male Labrador retriever. The dog had received about a year of training at the center but had to relearn all the commands in English to help Harada.
This dog is filling a very specific need and now the owner’s life will be changed for the better. Also, the dog will be bilingual! Click here for the full story (the article doesn’t provide the name or gender of the dog, unfortunately).
Ooh, cool. So it’s kind of bilingual —or trilingual.