Page last updated at 20:54 GMT, Wednesday, 13 January 2010

English lessons for 'Polish' dog


RSPCA care assistant gives Cent commands in Polish

A dog caused confusion in an animal home when he failed to respond to basic commands - until staff realised he could only understand Polish.

Staff at the RSPCA centre in Oldham, Greater Manchester, originally thought Cent the collie was deaf.

But when they looked into his history they realised he came from a Polish family and so did not "speak" English.

So staff brushed up on Polish commands and, four months on, they say Cent is now bilingual and ready for a new home.

"When he came in he wasn't responding to the basic commands," said care assistant Karen Heath.

Polish dog commands
Sit - siad
Come here - do mnie
Heel - noga
Stay - zostan
Fetch - aport

"We couldn't understand why at first but when we've looked at his records and his history he has come from a Polish family.

"So obviously we've gathered from that he doesn't understand the English language, so therefore he won't understand our basic commands."

Staff turned to the internet for phrases Cent could recognise - although they are unsure of the pronunciation.

"We've learnt a few basic ones which are sit - siad - and come - do mnie - and he seems to understand what we're saying," added Ms Heath.

"Obviously, maybe he's having a chuckle because were pronouncing it a bit wrong... but we've got to work alongside that to teach him the English versions of them as well."

Cent has been in the kennels for about four months and needs a new home.

But staff have assured would-be adopters that they do not need to speak Polish.

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