Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Vocabulary Lesson

2007-01-15-1536-00Okay class, how many of you out there have to spell out the word W-A-L-K to keep your dog from going nuts? Not me! I've known plenty of dogs who go ballistic, but I can safely ask Pappy whether he wants to go on a walk without a sign of recognition. It's not until I'm actually putting on my coat and heading for the door that I get the focus of my little meathead.

I hear amazing stories of the vocabulary of dogs, but half the time I'm barely sure Pappy knows his name. The word 'treat' doesn't elicit much of a response, but surprisingly 'Good Boy' always grabs him. I immediately have his undivided attention. If I'm slow to deliver a treat, he starts experimenting-- he'll try staring at me expectantly, he'll perform a dignified sit, then he'll poke his cold nose at my fingers.

And here you thought that selective hearing was only an aptitude of husbands.

11 comments:

macgoogle said...

I understand lots of words. I just don't necessarily react to them. For example, if Mum tells me to get OFF the bed, I *might* get off or I might pretend I didn't hear her. Or another example (a less naughty one), when Dad asks if I want to go for a WALK, I am probably already quite happy and am following him around so if we went for a walk it would be great, but I am just happy being with my hoomans, so I don't go crazy like I have heard some other dogs do.

Love and Licks,
Texas (and his humans).

Scrappy said...

My mom is laughing so hard at the selective hearing thing. Here it depends who is doing the asking. If it is dad sometimes I want to do what he is doing sometimes not. But, I love going out with my mom so i never turn down an invite to go out with her.

Tail wags
~Scrappy

Pappy's Fella said...

Texas,
Yes, that all sounds very familiar.

Scrappy,
Once Pappy works out what is going on, he definitely wants to be involved. But there's a pretty big communication gap before we reach that point.

Gus said...

Pappy sounds a lot like my Dad. Muzzer says it is because he is a philosopher and always thinking big thoughts. I think that is what Pappy is doing too. He has the face of a philosopher.

Gussie

3dogcache said...

Good answer Gussie...very diplomatic. And 3dogs have a BIG vocabulary. I say the word "OUT" and all three are hopping around like the floor is littered with hot coals. "wanna eat?" gets Maggie in her crate waiting for her bowl and Ellie drooling all over the place. "Bad dog" gets Andy and Ellie running for cover, whereas Maggie really hasn't caught on to the meaning yet. Lately I've been teaching them to wait while we go out the door, this includes a command to go "back" which has andy literally scurrying backwards.

Enjoy, 3dogs

Becky said...

ha! maggie doesn't really have a huge mastery of english, but the words she does recognize a few words:

sit
lay down
stay
shake
cookie
outside
cat
go peeps and poops
get off the bed
give me kisses
where's your duck?
maggie, what is this mess?
come get in your spot (while pointing to the space on the couch next to me)
go eat YOUR food (when intently watching me eat)

those words and phrases make up the bulk of our conversations, with alot of "who's the best girl of all the girls?" thrown in...

Charlie said...

Great post! Perhaps Pappy knows that actions speak louder than words.
- Charlie

Pappy's Fella said...

Gus,
I like the thought that Pappy is a philosopher, if only he didn't seem constantly baffled. But maybe that fits the profile.

3Dog,
I don't give Pappy adequate credit. He's surprisingly good with "drop it" from all his ball fetching practice.

Becky,
Pappy's got about 70% of those same words about 40% of the time. I'm with Texas here... it's selective hearing.

Charlie,
And barks speak louder yet. Stopped by the Bone Zone, and certainly appreciate your nomination of Pappy.

Minou and Birdie's Mommy said...

Minou definitely understands some - greenie, treat, cake, cookie, all food related except get daddy and where's your baboon.
Birdie understands nothing. Sad really. She just gets excited if she sees Minou getting excited.

Pappy's Fella said...

Poor sweet Birdie

Cubby said...

Dakota knows treat, food, lunch, dinner, snack, hungry, eat, want some, bone, and boney.

Soon she will know breakfast, too, as the moms keep trying to use food words she doesn't know...