Quirky News

  • 25 May 2011, 10:18

Nazis 'trained dogs to talk'

Hitler and friend /Rex

The Nazis tried to train dogs to talk, read and spell during the Second World War, it has been revealed.

The Germans attempted to build a fearsome army of 'speaking' dogs, according to new research.

Hitler apparently hoped dogs would learn to communicate with their SS masters - and even had a special dog school set up to teach them to talk.

Nazi officials are said to have recruited so-called educated dogs from all over Germany and trained them to speak and tap out signals using their paws.

One mutt was even claimed 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.

The Germans hoped to use the animals for the war effort, such as getting them to work alongside the SS and guard concentration camps to free up officers.

The bizarre experiment came to light after years of painstaking research by academic Dr Jan Bondeson into unique and amazing dogs in history.

Dr Bonderson, from Cardiff University, visited Berlin to scour obscure periodicals to build up a bizarre account of Nazi ideas for 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."