Speaking Polish, a dog’s life

Staff at an animal sanctuary thought a dog was deaf until they realized it only understood Polish.


When Cent the collie failed to respond to basic commands, such as sit and stay, staff thought he was deaf until they looked into his history and saw he came from a Polish family and did not speak English.

Staff at the dog home in Manchester, England, looked up the Polish equivalents of the basic commands on the internet and in just four months, the dog has learned English and is ready to be re-homed.

“When he came in he wasn’t responding to the basic commands,” said a Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals spokesman.

“When we’ve looked at his records [we saw] he had come from a Polish family [and] doesn’t understand the English language, so therefore he won’t understand our basic commands.

“We’ve learnt a few basic ones which are sit – siad – and come – do mnie – and he now seems to understand what we’re saying.”

Now that staff have trained Cent to understand English commands too, prospective adopters won’t have to learn Polish.

Teach your dog Polish

Sit – Siad

Heel – Noga

Stay – Zostan

Down – Waruj

Fetch – Aport

Good – Dobry pies/dobry chlopiec

Jump – Przeszkoda

Go outside – Na dwor/na miejsce

Go inside – Do srodka

Come here – Do mnie

No – Fe/Nie wolno

Leave it – Zostaw

Needless to say, we were amazed to discover that there isn’t an iPhone app for translating dog commands into Polish.