Quote: ‘I found out about Monty’s background, and realised he only knew Spanish’


A dog that was recently fostered failed to obey its new master – because it only understood Spanish!

Ariana Giampietro, 26, had been looking after pup ‘Monty’ for a week and couldn’t understand why he ignored her commands.

The mixed-breed American Pitbull terrier was well-behaved, but it wouldn’t ‘sit’ when she asked him to.

When Ariana asked the animal shelter she fostered him from, she discovered Monty had previously lived on a farm with a Spanish family – and only understood Spanish.

Ariana looked up the Spanish word for ‘down’ (abajo) and ‘let’s go’ (vamos) and when she said them aloud, Monty immediately knew what to do!

“I had had Monty for eight days and was really confused why he wasn’t responding to commands,” said Ariana.

Ariana, an adoption case manager for children in care, from Gainesville, Florida, said: “I could tell he wanted to, he was listening to me, but it was like he didn’t know how.

“Once I found out about his background, and realised it was because he only knew Spanish, I was amazed.

“I was so happy to understand where the discord came from. After I started speaking to him in Spanish, it was like he settled right in.

“He started getting ‘zoomies’, and his overall confidence skyrocketed because all of a sudden we weren’t alien to him.

“Nothing prepares you for the shock of being able to bridge that cultural divide. I was shocked but so excited when it all made sense.”

Ariana’s partner, Andrew Gomez, 27, is fluent in Spanish and helped with the dilemma.

Monty, Ariana’s first foster dog, was so much happier and more confident than when he arrived in December, now he is being spoken to in his own language.

He has even built up the confidence to play games of tug-of-war and wrestling with Ariana’s other dog, Lucy.

The dog lover decided to start fostering Pitbulls after losing her own Pitbull, Jack, at the age of seven to cancer in November 2022.

“It’s weird. I had been telling my boyfriend for so long that I wanted to learn Spanish, and I downloaded Duolingo but never used it”, said Ariana.

“Andrew now laughs about it, because having a Spanish speaking boyfriend never made me commit to Duolingo. But having a Spanish-speaking dog has,” said Ariana.

Monty with Lucy.
Monty: Lived on farm with Spanish family.