When I picked up my dog Ruby in Long Island nearly seven years ago, I was surprised to discover that she talks like a human. When I ask her a question (Are you hungry? Do you want to eat dinner? Are you going to bed?), she looks me in the eye, nods her head, and opens her mouth in agreement. For years I tried to figure out the reason for her mysterious behavior — was it genetic? — by trying to track down her parents or siblings, but that search only resulted in some phone calls with sympathetic and sometimes suspicious miniature pinscher breeders who told me I should just give up. It finally dawned on me last week to ask an animal behavior expert. So I pinged Victoria Stilwell, who hosts the hilariously informative dog training show It's Me or the Dog on Animal Planet. Here, Stilwell explains why Ruby talks, why dogs aren't like humans, and how dog training techniques can be applied to tame unruly children.