Have you ever made a list of your dog's vocabulary – all the words that evoke a response?
Sit! Fetch! Down! Leave it! These are the type of words, commands really, that many people would think of when asked about the words dogs understand. But, those of us who live with dogs soon realize that they learn many words we never intended to teach. Each day, we discover a new word that our nine-month-old Poppy suddenly understands. (That's her in the photo playing with her lizzard Iggy.)
An Informal Survey
Have you ever found yourself spelling B-A-T-H because your furry friend will hide under the bed if you say it? For Molly, a Boxer and Jake, a Westie from Winthrop, spelling C-A-R is not quite enough because they recognize the “C” means car to them as their person begins to spell it. Sophie, a German Shepherd from the Back Bay, loves to R-I-D-E too. And, for her family T-R-E-A-T requires spelling.
Other Sunday dogs know other words:
Sunday Dog, Odis “Loves Everyone!” and his favorite word is present.
For Sunday Dog Jackson, Life Is Best with a Stick and you can guess what word alerts him to fun.
Creating a record of your dog’s vocabulary can be a fun family project. It can demonstrate the various relationships that exist with the animal. Who has worked on training, taught tricks, provided the food and care? All of these seem to come out with the words we use to communicate.
What's your dog's favorite word?
What word surprised you when you figured out your dog knew what it meant?
What words do you have to spell?
Get to know all of our Sunday Dogs at Boston Dogs.
Words: Penny & Ed Cherubino
Photography: © 2013 Ed Cherubino
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