Glasgow & West Scotland

Dog 'learns Gaelic' in three weeks

Ginger Image copyright Church of Scotland

A dog who joined his owner at language classes has impressed by learning a set of Gaelic commands in just three weeks.

Neil Smith took his four-year-old hearing dog Ginger along to the weekly session at a church near Dunoon.

Mr Smith said he was amazed to see how quickly the English Cocker Spaniel started responding to the words for sit (suidh), stay (fuirich), come here (trobhad) and good dog (cu math).

Class teacher Elma McArthur said Ginger was a very sharp dog.

Mr Smith and Ginger have been attending the Gaelic group at Strone Church of Scotland every week along with 23 other people.

Image copyright Church of Scotland

The 67-year-old paid tribute to his hearing dog: "He has given me a lot of confidence because I used to be a very shy person and often felt quite isolated in company, even with family and friends.

"Going to the Gaelic class gets me out and about to meet people, and I have always wanted to learn the language because my great-grandmother spoke it but it was not passed down through the family, so Ginger is helping to lead a family revival.

"Ginger has picked it up really quickly, it only took him about three weeks.

"It is great because I can show off that he is a bi-lingual dog - people think it is amazing that he can do that and it is a wee bit of added interest to the class."

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