Saturday, April 27, 2013

Verbal Communication With Your Dog - Use Vocabulary They Will Understand.

Do you have conversations with your dog? Verbal communication with your pup can be a bonding experience, but for your pup to respond you need to speak in a language they will comprehend. This does not mean you have to bark like a dog and don't expect your dog to respond to you in words.  However, a dog's actions will be their response if you speak in words they can understand.

Dogs have the ability to learn and respond to verbal communication.  Over time, your pup can build a vocabulary of many words if taught with consistency. Keep words short (no more than two syllables) and be sure to use the same word each time, avoiding confusing combinations

For example, to call your dog to you a good choice of word is "Come". Whenever your want your dog to come to you simply sat "Come" and over time they will associate the word to the action. However, to a dog "Come" and "Come Here" are not the same thing.  We can recognize the difference but your dog may not. "Come" followed by your dog's name is appropriate since it is a combination of two words they know.

Make sure you attach a specific action to a unique word.  One of the most confusing word is "Down".  "Down" is often said to have your dog get off a chair or couch that you don't want them on or if they jump up on an unsuspecting guest.  "Down" is also often said when you want your dog to lay down. Expecting the correct response by using this word interchangeably will confuse your pup and result in frustration for both of you. Consider using "off" when you don't want your pup on a chair, couch, or visitor and "down" when you want them to lay down.

Combined consistently, short simple words can be phrased together. Examples of a appropriate phrases are  "leave it" and "drop it". Every dog should be taught a basic vocabulary that includes:

  • Sit
  • Stay
  • Down
  • Come
  • No
  • Off
Other words/phrases to consider:
  • Quiet
  • Heel
  • Leave It
  • Drop It
  • Out
  • Go
  • Fetch
  • Good
These are just a few of the possible words/phrases you can teach your pup.  Every dog is different and some breeds are more adept at learning vocabulary and following commands.

1 comment:

  1. As you know, Shelties are brilliant and Dakota's understanding of words simply amazes me. I blogged about it and shot a video of him understanding what the word "gentleman" can check it out here!
    Barks and licks and love, Dakota and Mom