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Bred for Protection

The Doberman Pinscher was bred by Friedrich Louis Dobermann, a tax collector in Apolda, Germany, who needed bodily protection during his night duties.

It is possible to teach a deaf dog sign language. In fact, any animal that can respond to verbal commands can also learn sign language. Some people use American Sign Language for guidance. For example, the ASL sign for “good” is a thumbs-up. For more ideas, visit websites like DeafDogs.org and DeafDogsRock.com.

The FIDO Project at Georgia Tech is developing and testing new ways for dogs to communicate with and on behalf of humans during a medical emergency. One project involves vests equipped with sensors that dogs can activate based on biting, tugging, and nose gestures.

According to one linguist, dogo is Spanish for Mastiff and dogge is German for Great Dane. When three or more European languages share a cognate, it is from Latin.

Lena Headey (Cersei Baratheon on Game of Thrones) has a Brussels Griffon named Angela Lansbury.

Mr. Smarty Pants read the above information in a book, magazine, newspaper, or website; heard it on the radio; saw it on television, or overheard it a party. Got any facts? Email them Mr. Smarty Pants for possible inclusion in the column at Mr.Pants@AustinChronicle.com.