In this video, Abba is going through her dinner ritual. Mom asks her several times if she’s ready for her dinner and treats. Everytime Abba hears the word “dinner” or “treat” she suddenly stops, then does the happy growl. Abba recognizes these important words, but most likely she knows quite a few others. In fact, dogs probably recognizes many more words than we think. And they know when we are spelling b-e-a-c-h. Just watch those ears perk up. They are not fooled by us!
How to teach your dog more vocabulary
Rose Frosek interviewed Dr. John Philly on the topic of dogs’ understanding of our vocabulary. Dr. Philly’s dog, Chaser, memorized the names of her 1,000 toys and can bring them to you when you call out the name. And this is now elementary for Chaser. She recognizes complete sentences. And she can imitate her owner’s behavior.
Dr. Philly shares some helpful tips on how to teach our dogs vocabulary. A key is to reinforce positively, whatever that may be for your dog. You can start with just this one and keep your dog busy learning for quite some time. Pick your dog’s favorite toy, play with only this object. Say the name of the toy. Repeat the name often. Let’s say the toy’s name is “pig”. Ask your dog to fetch “pig”, “catch pig”, “go find pig”. If that’s the only toy on the floor, your dog will always succeed. And this in itself is a positive reinforcement.
Soon your dog will learn that people have names, objects have names. And overtime, it would take your dog very little time to learn new vocabulary. Use the spirit of fun and play when you “teach” new vocabulary. Afterall, when we are the most relaxed, we learn the most. You can read Rose’s entire article here.
Article source: Rose Frosek on Modern Dog Magazine