Sit, stay, sign! Looks like sign language is going to the dogs on the west coast! In early March, Tik Tok user Allyna Safris posted a video to her account @_lynalove13 of her dog Bentley patiently absorbing a sign language lesson from Safris’s one and a half year old toddler.
“Fast learner!” The California mom wrote over a video of Bentley and the baby captioned, “My one and half year old teaching the dog to sign ‘more’ to ask for more pets.’ In the action the young toddler signs “more”, where you flatten out your hands then bring your thumbs and fingers together and pull them apart repeatedly, to Bentley who seems to try his doggie hardest to copy. Although the little half French Bulldog and half Chihuahua (or Bullhuahua) found touching his paws together a bit of a challenge.
@_lynalove13Fast learner!♬ original sound – Allyna Safris
“The dog using every ounce of strength to touch his paws” commented one user. “I can relate” responded another to Bentley’s heroic effort for “more”.
This wouldn’t be the first time a dog has learned, or tried to learn, sign language. Dogs can have an incredible capacity to learn and adapt, especially with a strong bond to their human counterparts. The canine companion can not only be trained in sign to support the communication needs of their human partner but in support of their own needs if the dog is deaf themselves. A fact that had some users excited enough to sit and speak in the comments.
“As a veterinary professional and mother of twins that was at one point a Deaf Studies Major in college .. MY HEART IS EXPLODING!!! 🥴🥰🤯”
Bentley, the west coast Bullhuahua, and focus despite physical limitations garnered a pretty diverse set of reactions.
From his skills: “The balance of that dog is unmatchable 😂”
To his tenacity: “The fact that he can barely touch his paws but still makes an effort 😭😭”
And the haters: “Idk who is smarter, the kid or the dog???”
Even some concern regarding Bentley’s toddler teacher’s “love taps” on Bentley’s chest during their lesson, “The dog – I’m doing exactly what you showed me, why are you smacking me 😂”. Which Allyna Safris assured, in her Tik Tok bio, were not hurting the dog.
“FYI: My One and Half year old is not the Hulk. The dog is just fine. 💙”
Whether Bentley continues to expand his sign language vocabulary is yet to be seen but for now it’s a reminder that a great relationship with a dog is the best path to clear communication and good communication leads to a great pet partnership.