Talking with dogs

Lots of people are currently excited about the buzzers that allow dogs to “speak”. I tried them a year ago but couldn’t persuade my dogs to use them because they already had effective ways to communicate about their most typical needs or desires.

Also, the buzzers are great but you have to take them everywhere if that’s what you use. Instead, you can teach a dog speak in other ways – for objects, that can be indication and some way of saying “yes”.

Spontaneous demonstration from this evening…

For unclear requests I use run through a list of options preceded by the same question “what do you want” and wait for a response – it’ll be the thing they want.

  • playtime – enthusiastic playbowwalkies – walk towards the front door
  • dinnertime – head to the kitchen
  • pizzle – walk to the cupboard
  • cuddles – climb into human’s lap
  • sleepytime/bedtime – head to the stairs

Both girls knew these terms and we usually ran through the least likely ones first to see if they really wanted a specific thing 😄 Usually their face is 🤨 until we say the right word.

No buzzers needed!

Another example

A few weeks ago Grace was whining in the bedroom at 10pm and I figured the “easiest” thing was to let her conclude with her own nose that there definitely, DEFINITELY isn’t a tennis ball hidden in this drawer of random belts and scarves where we used to make balls “go sleepytimes”.

The last time that happened was meant 6-7 months ago and she has inspected it since but no, it is still guilty of harbouring balls until proven otherwise 🧐

I emptied contents in front of her onto the top of the drawer, she inspected them AND the empty drawer, I put them back… Then she wanted to check the drawer AGAIN 🤨

You might think you’d never indulge a dog’s obsessions like this and I shouldn’t either… sure, it’s a bit annoying but it’s more intriguing to observe even a glimpse of what actually goes on in her mind without shutting it down for my own convenience – not to mention it’s an endless source of comedy 🤣

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