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"..it has occurrred to me whether some such system as that followed with 
deafmutes, especially by Dr. Howe with Laura Bridgman, might not prove 
very instructive if adapted to the case of dogs.

Accordingly I prepared some pieces of stout cardboard, and printed on 
each in legible letters a word such as "Food," "Bone," "Out," &c.  The 
head master of one of the deaf and dumb schools kindly agreed to assist 
me.  We each began with a terrier puppy, but neither of us obtained any 
satisfactory results.  My dog indeed was lost before I had had him long.  
I then began training a black poodle, "Van" by name, kindly given me by 
my friend Mr. Nickalls.  I commenced by giving the dog food in a saucer, 
over which I laid the card on which was the word "Food," placing also by 
the side an empty saucer, covered by a plain card.

"Van" soon learnt to distinguish between the two, and the next stage was 
to teach him to bring me the card; this he now does, and hands it to me 
quite prettily, and I then give him a bone, or a little food, or take him 
out, according to the card brought.....No one who sees him can doubt that 
he understands the act of bringing the card with the word "Food" on it as 
a request for something to eat, and that he distinguishes between it and 
a plain card.  I also believe that he distinguishes for instance between 
the card with the word "Food" on it and the card with "Out" on it.

This then seems to open up a method, which may be carried much further, 
for it is obvious that the cards may be multiplied, and the dog thus 
enabled to communicate freely with us....
	John Lubbock (1884) Teaching animals to converse. Nature, 29, 
216. (also see pp.547-548 same volume)