Messing with Language
Today I was in a rare mood, and Ember was being mopey. So I decided to play with certain words that I know have meaning to her to figure out how strong that meaning is and if anything gets a "better" reaction than other words.

Ember's Vocab Showcased:
- "Go" = "Go Run!!!" (used in racing games to build energy and allow chasing of critters)
- "Com'ere" = "Come"
- "Gotcha" = "I'm chasing you" (even though here I lied, and you can see the result)
- "Ember" = "Come immediately without fail"
- "Hungry?" = "Dinner's coming"
- "Here we go" = "Something's about to happen"
- "Ready..." = almost always pre-empts "Go"

I was also experimenting with frustration levels (yes, I deliberately see what it takes to frustrate my dog so I can see where her threshold currently stands - not all the time though!). I wanted to see where she was giving up, and what might bring her out of giving up. For reference, when I first moved into this apartment 3 months ago, very little brought her out of frustration - even the "promise" of food. I would have to physically produce food to bring her out of hiding if I frustrated her. You can see here the conflict is still very real but she has a better grasp on what different words mean and is contextualizing better, in my opinion.

Oh, and this dog LIVES to eat. Even if she doesn't want to eat a given meal (she skipped yesterday for no discernable reason), she will still get excited about the presentation of it.

ETA: please don't judge the condition of my house... it's pretty dirty lol

ETAA: also Sharkey is now a stuffless stuffy LOL

So, what do you see?

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Gotcha Day: November 14, 2015
Vet-Listed Birthday: May 2, 2014
Max and Jaspers vocabulary is ridiculously huge. Your thread caused me to really think about it and I was surprised myself. They are also chronic eave's droppers and we often find ourselves spelling words so as to not trigger a particular reaction but Max is now learning to spell. That boy just blows my mind. There are words and small phrases that might fit into differing conversations and it is a crack up and amazes me when they grasp those words or phrases out of our communication. A common example is if my partner is struggling to make it to the end of a movie or similar. He might say, "I think I'll have to go to bed" and they will grasp the words "go to bed" and fly into their crates. If we have avoided the words "go to bed" they will grasp the "goodnight"and fly into their crates. These words have never been used as part of a request or direction to them, if we want them to go to bed, it is simply,"in your crate".
These are the some of the joys of the amazing BC intelligence. Figuring things out for themselves, problem solving and anticipation combined with an extraordinary will to please. Never a dull moment and never stop learning from "them".
How many of you whisper to your dogs? Gideon understands every command, request, suggestion at a whisper that he understands at a normal tone. Micah is finally starting to pick it up, but Gideon has always responded immediately to whispers.
Gotta love 'em.
I whisper to my dogs.  I find it works really well when they are overexcited like when we are waiting our turn at agility class.  Mattie especially responds well to whispering.

My two are catching on to P-A-R-K so now instead of spelling I'll tell the family "I'm planning to take them to that place."  

If we are in the car and pass someone walking their dog Tasha loves to do the total, ear splitting, bark-fest.  If I see a dog ahead of us all I have to say is, "Tasha there is a dog, do not feel the need to bark" and she will keep quiet.

"That'll do" has two definitions for Tasha when she is playing ball.  If Dad says it Tasha will walk a few feet away and wait with her ball knowing that in about five minutes Dad will forget and will start up the game of fetch again.  If I say it Tasha hold her ball and look at me like a child that has been told we are not going to celebrate Christmas then walks to the corner of the room and flops down and pouts.
Yes GM, I whisper a lot and funny enough a whisper seems to almost hold more strength than louder, particularly with Max. I wonder if they are more focused on us with a whisper ?
TMM, that is so cute how the girls have your husband figured out. Just like children really, Haha "take them to that place", yep when my partner is going to bed early he has now resorted to, "well, you know where I am going don't you", won't be long before they figure this out as well. They are so much fun aren't they ? Their antics develop and grow all the time.
I whisper. I started doing it when my dogs would be distracted or just not wanting to listen that day. I think it makes them listen to you closer. Now I start with the pups and in a way I also think it calms them down.

What about turning your back or closing your eyes/wearing sunglasses, even sitting on the floor or laying down to give commands? Some dogs find it difficult when they can't see the owners eyes or face.

One Border Collie Is Never Enough

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Once in a while I will stand completely still and without expression give a commend in a monotone voice. It really confuses the dogs and I have to wait for them to realize what I want them to do. Patricia McConnell talks about how in an emergency situation where you think your dog might be injured or killed that your voice will be very different from your calm voice so it is important to practice keeping your voice calm but also to practice having your dog obey when your voice isn't calm. I need to put that on my list of things to do.
By the way I love the video. Ember is so cute! I know I have said this before but she reminds me of Mattie. I love the way Ember pokes her head around the corner of the door to look at you and how she wag her tail so much her entire body moves.
I need to try all the things. Yes the way she moves makes me laugh. I love how her feet move in the middle of that entire body wag. Also how she hits herself on the face with her tail. And then the frustration of “you not fooling me again, Mom!” Lol. She is so funny to watch.

ETA I also would like to see some videos of Mattie!!!

Sorry for crappy responses phone is difficult to type in. Never been good at it
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Gotcha Day: November 14, 2015
Vet-Listed Birthday: May 2, 2014

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