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I've always tried to get my dogs to understand three main concepts.

That a word can mean an object/thing, that a word can mean a place/area, and that a word can mean an action.

Seems they need to learn several of each of those before it really clicks to them as a concept, and they get each as a concept. It's not easy but once they do you can teach them almost anything.

I think they have a concept of time naturally, though it seems to not be so well developed.

The fun part for me is to get them to chain commands with all three of those concepts. Like go to a place, get a thing, put it in a place or give it to a person.

Sometimes even 4 in a chain, but that seems to be asking a lot of even the sharpest dogs..
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