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Do you talk to your dog?

April 5th, 2005, 11:09 PM
I was wondering if you all talk to your dogs. I mean to what extent do you talk to your dogs?

I have always used full sentences with my dogs and they understand very well. I just thought about it because I saw the no barking thread and people use commands like "No bark" and I realized tonight when Boo started to bark that he got a paragraph. "Boo would you cut it out, please. It's just the neighbors, so stop barking." I realize that all the code words are there but I mumble like crazy and he always listens. People at my dog park make fun of me a bit because of my sentences (and my nasal voice). When I study, I get tired fast so I read to Boo to keep me awake. He seems to care because when I stop he lifts his head up and looks at me like "Why are you stopping? Can we go over the reactions of Photosystem 2 again?" :)

I realize that I talk to my doggies more than most judging by the odd stares I get. I just grew up with dogs as people so there was no question to me whether they had open ears or not. I believe they understand a lot more than we give them credit for.

So, do you talk to your doggies? Or kitties? Or birds? Or rats? Or fish? ... :party:

April 5th, 2005, 11:15 PM
I talk to Candi and Jasmine all the time. I'll come home sit with them on the couch for a good cuddle and tell them all about my day. Candi will talk back, she grumbles and whines, I swear she is telling me what she did that day. But then again I talk to myself as well so I'm pretty strange. but Candi really amazes me, sometimes I'll tell her something like "stop jumping on me, it's annoying" and she'll give me this look like she's considering it and then grumble at me and sulk off to the corner. I couldn't imagen not talking to my babies, they are the ones that listen best, even if they do talk back sometimes.

April 5th, 2005, 11:16 PM
But then again I talk to myself as well so I'm pretty strange I think the people who don't are the ones with a problem. lol :D

April 6th, 2005, 06:22 AM
I talk to Odin all the time. I get funny looks when I talk to him on a walk though!

April 6th, 2005, 09:22 AM
I always talk to my dog!! When I talk to him, my fiance will always ask me "what did you say?" I always say " Nothing, I was talking to the dog!!!!" LOL My dog is very smart and understands me! When we drive, I say "Oh Copper look at the cows or horses etc" and he starts looking for them and gets all excited. Sometimes, I have better conversation with my dog, than some people!!lol :crazy:

April 6th, 2005, 09:47 AM
Of course. The dog is the only one that will listen. And since he thinks he is a person he likes the communication.

April 6th, 2005, 10:05 AM
I talk to sammy,

I dont know that he understands but he definatly reacts.

If i call him my handsome boy i get so many kisses i ahve to command him to sit so i can breath LOL

any mention of the word walk or leash sends him into an excited frenzy as well.


April 6th, 2005, 10:10 AM
We talk to Diamond all the time! Her kennel blocks the hallway to the living room, so when we close the kitchen pocket door at night...she can't wander into the living room. Well, we leave it there pretty much all the if she goes through the kitchen in the evening... she gets trapped behind it. She can see us.. but she can't walk that way to see us. We talk to her so much...that all we have to say now is "go through the kitchen" and she rushes to go do it.

Talking makes them understand more....dogs are so smart!

April 6th, 2005, 10:28 AM
I talk to Gabby all the time. She probably only hears: "blah blah blah blah Gabby blah blah blah treat blah blah blah walk...", but I still do it! :D

April 6th, 2005, 10:33 AM
Oh....that's kind of the way Diamond hears:
blah blah COOKIES blah blah TREATS
Yeah....I know exactly what you mean!

April 6th, 2005, 01:59 PM
My brother once told me that the reason he got a cat is because if you talk to yourself, then you're crazy. But if you talk to an animal, you're not. lol.

I always talk to my pets. I welcome them good morning when we get up, I wish them goodnight at bedtime, when I leave I let them know I'm going and how long I'll be out, and that I'll see them when I get back.

When we're exercising I often keep a running commentary between us. Basically just vocalizing what I'm thinking. Something like " .. stay by me, good boy, lets go over here and do this, look at those dogs playing, I'm going to take off my coat, sure is warm out today, are you hot, lets go find some water to play in, oh look at the pigeons..." and so forth.

I think it's a good thing. Pets can pick up quite a vocabularly from often used words and phrases and gestures.

I used to be self concious about talking to my dog like that in public, but I mutter to myself even when there is no dog around anyways. lol. And what's crazier is that I still say 'we' and 'us' even if I'm just talking to myself about if I hould buy that can of beans or not. lol.

April 6th, 2005, 02:56 PM
Beetlecat that is so funny. I do the same thing. I swear they understand because they have different reactions to so many different things. I wanted to make a list of all the things I know they understand but that would take forever.

We give Boo food at night but only if he brings us his bowl (if he is anxious, he won't bring it because he isn't hungry). Anyway, I was in bed already, lying facing the wall and I forgot about him so I whispered "If you're hungry, bring me your bowl". About two minutes later he poked me in the back with his bowl. I was so hoping he didn't understand but he did, and I had to get up and feed him...

Like I said before, I'm sure they know more than we give them credit for. :)

April 6th, 2005, 06:27 PM
Could it be that less people talk to their pets than kiss them? Or they're more ready to admit they kiss them than they are about talking to them... :party:

April 6th, 2005, 06:37 PM
Yeah i mumble at my frog and fish,and i always talked to my dog when i had him...............

April 6th, 2005, 07:18 PM
I talk to my animals all the time.
I laughed at her tonight
We are teaching her to bring her Kong to the kitchen with her when she wants Rice Krispies. I hate having to search the apartment to find the kong.
We slowly taught her to bring it to us int he ktichen. one person with her and the kong, someone waiting in the kitchen, and would tell her "ok, bring it to ____" she caught on by about the 3rd time. Then today, she brought the kong to my mom while my mom was in the living room, so my mom said, ok, and went to towards the kitchen. justice did not pick up the kiong, and just followed.
So I said "justice, you have to bring the kong with you" she turned around, picked up the kong, and trotted to the kitchen.
I just laughed... I think I talk to her too much. she understands full sentences.

April 6th, 2005, 07:24 PM
Yeah i mumble at my frog and fish,and i always talked to my dog when i had him...............
Have you ever posted a pic of the frog?

April 6th, 2005, 07:43 PM
Well, I may not kiss them.. :sad: but they're defnitely not shorted out on communication! I talk to all my pets - a lot.

This can prove a bit embarrassing when we are out.. and other people notice. :crazy:
Once in a while my small dog inexplicably refuses to go any further when we're out walking. Sometimes he will continue if we go in the direction HE wants, but other times he just wont budge no-how. :( This odd behaviour is a mystery to me and the vet.
I recall once kneeling down beside him, feeling exasperated. I said to him.. "For heavens sakes, why are you acting like this? You SAID you wanted to come!'". and then looked up to a curious bemused glance from a passerby.

ok, not in words. But yes... I AM trying to reason with my dog.. He knows what I mean. ;) .

April 7th, 2005, 10:44 AM
No i will have ot get one and put it here.He is so cute......I was wondering why does he shed so much though???Anyone know why,,,

Lucky Rescue
April 7th, 2005, 12:32 PM
This discussion reminds me of the Gary Larsen cartoon::p

I talk to Chloe all the time and she listens attentively, not because she understands what I"m saying, but because she's waiting to hear the words - walk, cookie, rabbit, cheese, dinner, ball, etc. :D

There is one sentence she does understand (but maybe it's just the tone I use) and that is "I've got something for Chloe!!"

April 7th, 2005, 12:55 PM
I will always believe that if you talk to your dog as if it's a member of your family, it will behave as such. Our first dog, Murphy, was our first child. She was never really trained (in the traditional method) for anything beyond "sit", "paw" and "come", but we always spoke to her the way we would to a young child, and I firmly believe she understood a lot of what we were saying. One day, hubby was at the kitchen table working on a model car. Murph decided she wanted some lovin', so she came over, put her nose under his elbow and gave a little shove (what she always did when she wanted attention). Well, hubby wasn't amused, as he was in the middle of some very minute details at the moment, so he turned to her and said, "Oh, Murphy! Why don't you just go to sleep or something??" - at which point she turned and left the room. Out of curiosity, he followed her, only to find that she had in fact gone to our bedroom and had curled up in her bed. :D Having said that, I do believe tone has a lot ot do with it. Murphy would get very excited when you said, "Where's the squirrel, Murph? Get the squirrel!" (there was never really anything there, so she never actually "got" anything, don't worry). Then one day, my brother :evil: came over and said, "Where's the hippopotamus, Murphy? Get the hippo!!" and she took off looking for that hippo. So, yeah, it's all about tone & body language, I believe. :p

April 7th, 2005, 08:52 PM
I think tone works up to a point. I'm pretty nasal and monotone and I had to teach my dogs what the good words were because they couldn't tell a difference in my voice whether they were good or bad... I just don't have much range. Now my dogs know that if I say something is awesome, it's really good and if I say disgusting or I'm not impressed, it's really bad. We also have many different words for wildlife. If I say go see the squirrel, they go to find a squirrel. If I say go see the kitty, it's a different reaction. I guess because of my voice, they have to really hear the WORDS, not the tone.

It's funny because if any of my friends come over, the dogs go crazy because my friends can talk in that higher voice that I can't. You know the voice like when a woman is talking to a baby? I can't do that but my dogs spin around in circles when someone else does...

April 8th, 2005, 07:48 AM
I talk to mine all the time too. They understand things. When Scrappy is being scolded he will get an indignant look on his race and bark at me. Malibu is still in puppy phase and has a bad habit of retrieving my oven mitts and chewing the thumbs off. When I catch her, I say "what's in your gums?" and she knows she's been bad and goes into her kennel for a time out. Now when I want her in the kennel, I just say Gums. She goes right in. :)

April 8th, 2005, 07:56 AM
I talk to my animals all the time!! I do believe they only understand a few words though, or whatever commands they were taught. They do act like they're listening no matter what I say especially if their name was in the sentence!There is one sentence she does understand (but maybe it's just the tone I use) and that is "I've got something for Chloe!!" We have a sentence like that for Yukon, it seems like he knows what we're saying, but I think it may just be the voice we use when we say it and it's usually followed by a treat or new toy, it's "is Yukon a good boy?" He goes nuts! I should try saying "is Yukon going for a bath?" in the same voice and see if he reacts the same way... Btw, he HATES baths but he may go nuts when I say it!

April 8th, 2005, 08:25 AM
This thread reminded me of my old spaniel terrier. He loved his toys and always had at least six going at once. We would get home from work and ask him to bring a particuliar toy. He would hunt all over the house for it until he found it and brought it back. That toy would then get to go on our walk and playtime together. I often wonder if it was just the one word he learnt for each or not.

April 8th, 2005, 08:26 AM
I talk to the dogs all the time. Not big conversations but I am pretty sure they understand specific words and that they continue to learn new ones. Duke clearly understands cheese, kisses, no(although does not always care to listen), good boy(wiggle butt to this one), fingers, leave it. The new boy, Wizard I think is more concious of tone and perhaps facial expression. If its a new word, noise or situation you get the head tilt. I think Dukes favorite is when he is tired and you tell him he is such a sweety sweety boy, ears go down, tail wags, rolls over for a belly rub.

April 8th, 2005, 10:12 AM
I have always talked in full sentences to all my dogs and I think that most of them understand more than people think. We had a german shepard once that you had to spell things like 'out' or 'go' because she would go nuts if you said them. We tried spelling things with a Rottie we had, but she knew what you were saying anyway. I know that the Rott responded to more than just tone because my husband would say (in a really nice tone) what an ugly butt she had and she would scowl at him and walk away. She would refuse to have anything to do with him until he took it back. I have had dogs that I swear understand everything, and dogs that I know are just responding to tone. I also kiss my dogs - and my husband will share his popsicles, ice cream, whatever. I don't share my food, although I used to let one of german shepard's take little bits of meat from my mouth. I would pinch the meat between my lips and she would take it from me - she never even gave me a scratch doing it! :D

April 8th, 2005, 11:29 AM
See, if what they say is true and dogs have the mental capacity of a 2.5 year old child (I say older but I have yet to prove it publicly...), children of that age are capable of incredible learning. If we raised our dogs like we do a two year old, they should be able to advance like a two year old. That is one reason I read to them and don't talk down to them. I think over time, if you really believe they can do it, you can teach your dog a ton of vocabulary and to listen for the words and not the tone...

doggy lover
April 8th, 2005, 02:21 PM
All the time. Yesterday I had some dental work done and was in alot of pain I went to bed before supper, the only one who checked on me was Tucker. He layed with me for a couple of hours, and this is never done by my active 11 month BC, he layed beside me with his head on my neck and then curled up towards my tummy. My last dog stayed with me for almost 2 months when I was sick a couple of years ago, so yes I cry to them when I'm in pain and talk to them, thank them for caring about me and reasured them I would be fine. I think they are more understanding than teens and husbands and they don't answer back.

April 9th, 2005, 01:10 AM
This thread reminded me of my old spaniel terrier. He loved his toys and always had at least six going at once. We would get home from work and ask him to bring a particuliar toy. He would hunt all over the house for it until he found it and brought it back. That toy would then get to go on our walk and playtime together. I often wonder if it was just the one word he learnt for each or not.

I personally believe that dogs understand a lot! The more you talk to them, the more they understand. Den-Den3 understood things had names. He had over 300 latex squeekie toys and knew them all by name. Friends couldn't believe it and were always testing him. We kept the toys in a large doggie basket (with cushion taken out). He'd dig into the basket to locate the toy we asked him for. He got "Tomago" (Japanese word for egg) and "Tomato" mixed up though. Our fault for assigning such similar names. Once I said to him, "Den-Den, you left Big Mac-Mac outside!" He ran to the sliding glass door and looked out into the back yard. Then he ran through the doggie door and retrieved his hamburger from the lawn, bringing it back into the house. Just because they can't verbalize, they can still understand so much. Doesn't mean they don't still communicate loud and clear to us.

April 11th, 2005, 08:54 AM
Our last dog, Sweetie, an Alaskan Malamute, had a vocabulary all her own, mostly because my husband and I talked to her like she was just another person in the family. From the day we rescued her after she was hit by a car or thrown from a truck, she had ways to call us to her, tell us what she thought of activities, food, arguments we had, and any number of other commentaries on our life together. When I read the out of print book "Kinship with all Life" I began to see how Sweetie tried to think things through to us as well, and how she tried desparately to form words we said to communicate in our language. She also knew when I was coming home, even when my schedule varied, and then I read "Dogs who know when their masters are coming home" and it made sense.

The dog we had before Sweetie we still treated like a dog - a beloved pet, but we didn't assume that he was as intelligent as we were, and as capable of language and expression. I attribute Sweetie's growth in intelligence and expression to the fact that we encouraged her - like a 2 year old, in relationship with the world, they absorb so much, but in isolation locked away from the world, they don't develop their innate capacities.

For this reason, I'm not a fan of crates, dog runs, and kennels. Sweetie slept on her own cushion/bed, and occasionally hopped up in bed with us like a 2 yr. old would. We never trained her in anything - we just told her what would work best, and then showed her what that was, and she learned fast, and we learned her rules too, though probably not as fast. :grouphug:

April 11th, 2005, 09:14 AM
I do not currently have a dog but when I did, I talked to them all the time -as I do to my "nephew" choc lab, lol I also talk to my Siamese cat who of course has a very extensive vocabulary. :)