MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — If you’ve ever done it, you know training a dog requires a lot of patience. Communication is a two-way street.

Teri Ann Lapsey is a professional pet communicator. She’s been “speaking” to animals all her life and says can understand an average of 60 words, but it’s best to start with the basics.

“A good way to learn how to communicate with animal, get to know them physically and emotionally is to establish a baseline, learn how they say yes and no,” she said.

A no could be as simple as backing away, or even shaking their head. Lapsey says “yes” responses can be obvious.

“Many dogs will look right at you and blink. And that’s a very definite ‘yes’. Some dogs will nod at you,” she said.

What most owners really need to know is when their dog needs to go outside.

“Better to put something on the door.  Put something that will make noise, like a bell. And when they’re smaller you need a designated place outside and it’s a great idea to get some type of lawn ornament and make sure they know that’s where they’re supposed to go,” said Lapsey. “When they final realize that you’re listening to them, they’ll try to tell you a lot.”

Lapsey will be hosting a session this Saturday at Chuck and Don’s Pet Food Outlet in Northeast Minneapolis from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. A 15-minute session costs $20.

Comments (21)
  1. The Editor says:

    “….all her life and says can understand an average of 60 words, ”

    What is this, amateur hour?

  2. maxey says:

    That makes it easier to accept to now know that, when irresponsible mutt owners let their barking mutts out at 6 a.m., the mutts are just trying to communicate with us. Just wish they could learn what ‘shut the —- up means.’

  3. Niki says:

    “Many dogs will look right at you and blink. And that’s a very definite ‘yes’.” Just a crazy idea here, but maybe the dog just needs to blink. Is this really news!?!

  4. BOB says:

    Who ever wrote this story must have Lepsy. A lot of miss spelled words.

    1. me says:

      Always a grammarian in the bunch. Like some of us really don’t care.

    2. retired says:

      How do you spell “misspelled”?

  5. rentacop says:

    Oh my, you people are so cruel. So it’s a slow news day. Chris was assigned to do the story so give him a break. Misspelled words, yes therer are a few. None of you must be dog owners. By the way, the dog understands 60 words NOT the lady

    1. O'Shannon says:

      It’s kind of nice to have a light hearted piece in the news once in a while; especially with all the horrible things going on around the world right now. Some people have nothing better to do than criticize for no good reason….

    2. Niki says:

      I own two dogs who I love, but a story about how many words a dog can understand is silly to me. How do we know that the dogs can’t understand every single word we say and simply only wish to respond to 60 of them?

  6. do do says:

    I have owned dogs all my life, and they understand much more, they can FEEL your mood without spoken words, ever wonder why some ppl seem to be disliked by all dogs “instantly” …….dogs are much smarter than we think…..

  7. J D FROM ALA says:

    do do, why do the dogs dislike some people ‘instantly’?

  8. Jay says:

    I swear my dog knows before I even tell her, when Im planning on going somewhere. Or, walks away from me when Itell her thats all shes getting for food. She walks away just like she is pouting. Also, if I have to go to work and cant take her when she is used to going every where I go. When I tell her she has to stay home today, she goes to lie down, otherwise she almost beats me to the door. Then there are those that KNOW when its time for their bath. They take off as fast as those legs will travel. Animals are a LOT smarter than we gove them credit for.

  9. Marcus Hill says:

    I think Teri means she understands 60 DOG words ( so to speak )

  10. King Farhan says:

    I’m so glad you were able to rescue Princess. It’s unfortunate some people still believe in certain myths about animals.
    about the German shepherd

  11. Guest says:


    1. Guest says:

      Its all about the bacon and the b1tches

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