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Discussion Starter #1
My hubby and I are in a disagreement!!!
I told him our older dog (Snickers) can understand a complete sentence when I talk to him. Hubby says Snickers only understands 'one' word out of the sentence!!!

Heres some examples: In the evening before bed I let Snickers out and tell him 'OK, go make your rounds' Snickers walks around the fence line and then around the deck! Then I will say ... 'You need to bring your kitty cats in!' Snickers will run to the corner of the yard and return with atleast one cat walking with him!Then I will say something like ... 'OK, lets go to bed' Snickers will go to his bed (at the foot of our bed)

OK... so do you think our dog is understanding the complete sentence or just a word or two?
I always talk to Snickers in complete sentences and I think he understands what I tell him!!!
thanks
 

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I have always talked to all my dogs in complete sentences when asking them to do something and they always do exactly as I asked. Now whenever I get a new dog it takes some time. It can take a year before they get everything I'm saying but they all have eventually learned. I'm not talking about the basics but some pretty indepth stuff. And I have to say I've always had some wonderfully trained dogs.

There's a Yahoo group, http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/SATZ_Main/ , and that's exactly what they do and talk about.

Jihad
and the pound puppy crew.
 

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You could try to vary the words in your scentence to see if he understands the string of words or just a few.

I know that Chloe only understands a few, but if I took to make a distinction between the words she would get it. If I say, "Go get..." she thinks I'm saying "Go get your toy." It doesn't matter what else I say after "Go get", she will run and get her toy.
If I say, "Where's your toy?" she will look for her toy. I think if I just said "Where?" or "Toy?" she wouldn't understand, but I haven't tested that yet.

I think a dog is fully capable of understanding scentences, the words just need to have meaning.
 

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When I need to give Mabel in-depth instructions I send her an email. I find it's much more efficient since she can review the instructions at her leisure and I don't need to repeat them.

We did have a compatibility problem between my iPhone and her Blackberry but she resolved that in a few minutes at the desktop computer.

Actually I think dogs use both our words and sentences. A specific word in the sentence tells them what's expected and the rest of the words convey tone.

A simple test would be asking the dog to retrieve an object to two different places. It's a simple two-word sentence:

1) Toy - Me
2) Toy - Mommy

Does the dog understand to take the toy to Mommy in 2)?
 

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i think so. Rosie only understand certain commands in their full sentence form.

Like if i say, bed, she'll look at me like I'm crazy, but if i say "Go get in the bed" she gets it....
 

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Here's a transcript of a one-sided exchange I had with Esther a while ago when she had done something horrible.

"Esther, I'm deeply disappointed in you. You've acted like you want to go back to the shelter where we found you, or possibly back to the streets, where there would be no tennis balls, not food, no walks . . ."

Esther wagged her tail at me furiously and I realized, though I think she is a dog of at least average intelligence, that what she actually HEARD was, "Esther blah blah blah blah, tennis balls, blah blah blah, food, blah blah, walk . . ."
 

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No, I don't think dogs understand complete sentences. I think their tiny brains pick out sounds and the associated action that goes with that sound. I think they associate certain voice inflections with a command, as well.

Sorry. I love my dog, but I don't give her that much credit in the "smarts" department, and I have a pretty smart dog. (She is, after all, part border collie)
 

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I believe that dogs can understand short sentences. Not long, complicated ones with semicolons. :) Just simple.

When I am playing fetch with Cupid and I say, "I can't reach it," he brings the ball closer to me. When I say, "Better grab it," he picks up the ball or toy.
 

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It's possible, but I think it's more likely that your dog is picking up on subtle cues in your body than on your grammar. Most dogs will notice the most minute changes in body position - changes in balance, where your eyes are pointed, the direction of your feet, etc. The best way to test is to control the variables (try issue commands while sitting on a chair, wearing sunglasses, facing away from the dog), and then mixing/matching your commands ("Go around the bed", "Bring the Kitty to the fence", etc). If she understands the grammar, she should be able to follow the commands.
 

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I use sentences to give Sadie cues a lot, but I also emphasize the word I think she knows. In the example above with the toy, we do that.
"Sadie, bring me your BALL".
"Okay now take the BALL to DADDY"
She does pretty good with that stuff. Of course, I also point to the ball and daddy but it works :)

"Let's GO", "GO to your KENNEL right NOW", "Ready to GO to WORK?" are all different. She knows where to run for each one.
 

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I have a pretty smart dog. (She is, after all, part border collie)
Forgive me for asking, and for veering slightly off-topic, but what are the other parts?

I only ask because any part Plott hound cancels out any part border collie and diminishes the canine IQ by at least 40 points. Other hounds may have a similar effect, but I'd rather not insult all the beagle owners out there in a single post.

Anyone interested in exporing the notion of human-like cognitive powers in a dog, might enjoy Dean Koontz's Watchers. It's fantasy, but an interesting read about a Golden Retriever that reads and writes.
 

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Forgive me for asking, and for veering slightly off-topic, but what are the other parts?

I only ask because any part Plott hound cancels out any part border collie and diminishes the canine IQ by at least 40 points. Other hounds may have a similar effect, but I'd rather not insult all the beagle owners out there in a single post.

Anyone interested in exporing the notion of human-like cognitive powers in a dog, might enjoy Dean Koontz's Watchers. It's fantasy, but an interesting read about a Golden Retriever that reads and writes.
I once thought my basset was one of the dumbest dogs on the planet. Then I failed to not put the lid of the tug a jug on tightly enough and he figured out how to unscrew it and get all the food out at once. I couldn't punish him for that.
 

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Ha -- English Springer Spaniel. So, she is like that really smart kid with no common sense. She has her really dippy moments.

But I am being a little silly with the comment. I really do not believe that dogs can understand sentences. I think they associate sounds and gestures with actions and rewards.
 

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A lot of sentences, yes! (Dixon, I mean. The boys are still learning.) I've said sentences to her before with word combinations she's never heard before, it's clear she knows exactly what I mean.

She can spell certain words too (we never meant to teach her spelling -- we'd spell words so she WOULDN'T understand what we were saying, but she quickly picks up on the spellings.
 

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i believe that dogs understand just as much of a sentence as a human does....it has been proven that people only hear the key words of a sentence and their brains put in the rest as needed...just like w/ reading....you actually read only the key words.....have you seen the thing going around in email on the sentences?...where all the words are mixed up except the 1st and last one?....your brain tells you what the word is automatically....

yesterday, i said to my GD that i had to get my socks on and b/4 i said anything about my shoes Lacey was already bringing me one, just b/c i said i had to get my socks on....if that isn't understanding what i said (even not saying it to her) and, also, knowing the next step, i don't know what it would be....this is not the 1st time she has done it, nor any of the others.....
 

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Yes. Like people it's different degrees of intelligences etc However dogs that do not know word of language like us only know what we teach them. Johnnie knows few sentences Frankie the PM Rescue doesn't get the conept :(

My RB two dogs knew what you were talking about most of the time if you mention their names they look up with perky ears
 

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I'm going to guess that no, my dogs don't understand completely sentences. Doesn't stop me from talking in them, but they only seem to pick up on words that are already commands they know. I can say "Would you guys like a treat?" and no response until they hear "treat" Same goes for "potty" or any words that sound similar.

Though, my doxie gets excited and out on control when I ask "Are you my little meat man!? My little hot pocket??" so figure that out. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #20
LOL .... thanks for all your responses ....
its my 12 year old lab/collie that i talk sentences too .... my 10 week old lab is just basic commands ... but i catch my self telling her the same and she just looks at me like ... 'huh?' .... but, i do think it is cute ... (and she did this on her own) .... she chases her tail when I call her 'cutie pututie!!!' (sp?) ....
 

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