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  #11  
Old 05-01-2013, 03:15 PM
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Laurelin Laurelin is offline
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That's a really interesting point! Summer, who does not have as large a vocabulary and doesn't seem to 'get' nouns/names, also relies much more heavily on hand signals. Ex: spin vs dance. After months and years of those tricks Summer still needs a hand signal to go along with the word. Mia picks up on straight verbal cues just as fast as hand signals. Now in agility where there is a mixture of body language and words (but mostly body language) they both pick things up at a similar fast pace. But in the absence of body language to go along with a cue there is a distinct difference in level of understanding.
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  #12  
Old 05-01-2013, 04:02 PM
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I think a lot of it depends on how much you talk to your dog. My aunt and uncles dog can pick out all of her toys by name. Part of it is intelligence, she's the smartest dog I personally know, but her owners have also named all of the toys and use the names throughout play time. "Wanna play with piggy, where's piggy, let's get piggy, there's piggy, get piggy, etc." When I play with Tucker I growl and might say the occasional "gimme that" or "puuuuuull" but nothing that would turn into a cue. I'm just not talkative enough. Any cue I teach him is something I conciously tried to. Like during tug "get it" means he can grab the toy now (after a leave it or other command) but I conciously taught it. When we are outside and I want to go in I taught him "go on in", but it wasn't something I normally said, I said it on purpose so he'd catch on to it. So it's not really his fault that he doesn't have a big vocab, it's mine.

Mom's taught him a few things unintentionally, like he knows "daddy's home" and "Erin's coming home".
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  #13  
Old 05-01-2013, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Laurelin View Post
See? I told that other forum that Mia would be rehomable even if she's a brat.

I do think all dogs pick up on things for sure. Even my terribly non observant Summer does but to a lesser extent than Mia does. Maybe it's because I talk so much to my dogs. I blabber a lot.

I just think its all kind of amazing. I had someone once say dogs didn't understand names. But really what is there to understand about names other than this sound refers to this thing/person. I just think people underestimate them.
Just tell all the doubters that Shai(na) would take her. But then most of them would say, "Who?" and you'd be right back at square one

But yeah it just depends. Webster and Kim are more verbally oriented especially Kim. She knows my name means me, hubby's name means him, Webster, and Mira. We never trained it she is just a thinker and she pays attention to stuff like that. All three respond to a broad range of full sentences appropriately. Everything from "Watch your head!" when closing the car hatch to "Is it time to go feed the bunnies?" and they run to my green bucket and wait to see which door I choose. But Kim is definitely the most uncanny in that regard. Webster is creepy smart but he's kinda got him own agenda going lol. And Mira is, I think, the least prone to verbal cognitive leaps but she compensates by being the most in tune with my body language and tone. She is sort of obsessed with what I am doing or might do next and a couple years of relentless observation has made her almost creepily good at leading the way to my next activity even if I don't say anything at all. She seems to know when I'm leaving the office for a glass of water and coming right back vs. heading off to take a shower vs. going outside...even though I'm walking quietly out of my office wearing socks and empty-handed either way.
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  #14  
Old 05-01-2013, 07:55 PM
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I talk in full sentences to Jackson all the time. Kind of like you would a toddler. He is very smart and picks up on many things. I actually have to be careful, like if I'm on the phone and say something that triggers something else, he hears me. Let's say I'm talking to my step-dad and say "oh, yeah, my mom is on her way home"... I guess he hears "mom" and "home" and he runs to the door, LOL. I find myself spelling things out a lot.

I also explain everything we're going to do. When we're learning a new trick, I'll be like "No, I don't want you to do that" in a patient voice and "this is what I want you to do" and I'll often show him, and then he gets it.

If we're in one room, the whole family, I can say "go get daddy" (without pointing) and he goes right to my step-dad, and "go get mommy" and "go get Emma" etc and he knows each person individually. Funny thing is, though, he knows my real dad as 'daddy' too but since they're in different houses and never together, I guess he differentiates enough.



It's really amazing really. I love trying to understand how a dogs mind works.
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Old 05-01-2013, 08:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurelin View Post
That's a really interesting point! Summer, who does not have as large a vocabulary and doesn't seem to 'get' nouns/names, also relies much more heavily on hand signals. Ex: spin vs dance. After months and years of those tricks Summer still needs a hand signal to go along with the word. Mia picks up on straight verbal cues just as fast as hand signals. Now in agility where there is a mixture of body language and words (but mostly body language) they both pick things up at a similar fast pace. But in the absence of body language to go along with a cue there is a distinct difference in level of understanding.
The odd thing is, even though Jackson is good at understanding me when I'm talking to him, etc... as far as tricks goes, he relies heavily on hand signals. I guess I always just emphasized those more than verbal cues. The only ones he does with solely verbal is sit, down, stay and roll over oddly enough.
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  #16  
Old 05-01-2013, 08:19 PM
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Lo isn't very verbal at all. She knows a few words, but she actually relies more on the tone than the actual words. She knows the word "home", but only if I say it in my "talking to dog" tone of voice.

For tricks, she actually gets really really frustrated when I don't use hand signals. It kind of cracks me up actually and results in some funny noises. It's so funny that you can say the same word in the same tone for years, but don't put a hand signal and she's all "I DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU WANT FROM ME"

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  #17  
Old 05-01-2013, 08:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JacksonsMom View Post
The odd thing is, even though Jackson is good at understanding me when I'm talking to him, etc... as far as tricks goes, he relies heavily on hand signals. I guess I always just emphasized those more than verbal cues. The only ones he does with solely verbal is sit, down, stay and roll over oddly enough.
This applies to Cali as well, although I feel as though hand signals are more my way of giving her one less excuse not to listen. I can do the hand signal and say the wrong word and she'll do the trick. I once accidentally said "twitter" instead of "twirl" and she still twirled... although they do sound similar, and I still don't know how I messed it up. I try to always use the hand signals to differentiate her twirl and spin tricks but she's associated each word with the particular direction.
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  #18  
Old 05-01-2013, 09:43 PM
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My dogs know a lot of words. I talk to them all the time and they've picked up a great deal.
I'm also a crappy trainer sometimes with my wording. Over and over I've read you're supposed to give clear commands that are easy to discern, but instead of saying a simple "leave it" to Fable, often I'm like, "Fable, leave that alone and stop bugging Millie. Now go chill out." And she does.
Millie picks up everything. By the time she was a 4 months old I would put a backpack on her or give her a note to hold and tell her to take it to my mom (keep in mind I was 10 ), which she did every time, even when my mom was in different places. She'd even wait outside a closed door for my mom to come out.
Millie is more in tune to body language, though. Seeing as she's been my SD for a long time and knows when I need help with my invisible disability, that's not surprising.
Everyone gets excited when I mention "treat," so I tried the whole spelling "T-R-E-A-T" thing, but they know what that means now, too.

I think dogs are much more intelligent, much more emotionally aware, and much more intuitive than even many true dog lovers give them credit for.
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  #19  
Old 05-01-2013, 10:01 PM
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I think its more body language that theyre reading, than words they understand. Stand in the middle of the stairs, face away from the dog, fold your arms, look upward, and say in a monotone "go upstairs", and see if the reaction is the same

Dogs are MASTERS, Jedi Knights, at reading body language and inflection

Words are mostly babble when not connected to the all-important posture, intonation, gestures, etc
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  #20  
Old 05-01-2013, 10:56 PM
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Pirate knows "where is" too, and I find it really intriguing. He usually brings his beloved Chuck-it ball to bed, so if I go to bed and he's getting in my way, I ask him "Where's your ball?", and he takes off to find it. When we're out hiking, if Tess vanishes, I ask Pirate "Where is your mom?", and he'll run off and find her. (sometimes he can chase her back, sometimes not, but he always seems to be able to find her)

I'm not sure he knows the nouns when I send him to find something, I think most likely, he just goes to look for the thing he thinks I'm most likely to be asking about. But he certainly recognizes the action.
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