Thursday, February 16, 2012

Zelda's Vocabulary


Here are all the words/commands I could think of for Zelda. Many of these I taught her using positive reinforcement with food as the reward, but treats are no longer required for her to obey them (so much for the "it's only BRIBERY!" theory from anti-treat trainers). Though I'll still use treats every now and then to keep her interested in the "pointless" tricks like "sit pretty" and "spin". Others have the reward built-in, like "uh-oh": for the game of fetch to continue, she has to bring the ball close to me. When we were training for flyball I rarely used food because the game of fetch itself was reward for running and getting a ball from the box. Others were taught (and continually used) using negative reinforcement. IE, I put some kind of pressure on her, and then release that pressure when she does what's asked ("get down"; "drop it").

~ "Come"
~ "Sit"
~ "Lay down"
~ "Roll over" (both sides)
~ "Sit up"
~ "Stay"
~ "Wait" (when walking next to me "stay here for a moment" or when waiting in doorway/threshold)
~ "Up" (meaning: "jump up on the object I'm pointing at")
~ "Go" or "OK" (release word - I really tried not to make 'ok' a release word, but it just kinda happened)
~ "Go potty/Hurry up" (aside from recall, having a dog pee on command is the best thing ever)
~ "Bed time" ("get in your crate")
~ "Get in" (car, bath tub, etc)
~ "Drop it"
~ "Off" (when jumping on someone)
~ "Leave it" ("whatever you're so interested in, leave it alone")
~"Bring it here" (bring that object you're so interested in to me)
~ "Wait/easy" ("don't eat the cookie I just set on your paw until I say so")
~ "Go get it" ("go get the last toy you played with")
~ "Do you need out?" (If she runs to the door, that means "yes". If she sits and stares at you, that means "no, I want a hotdog, stupid monkey". )
~ "Jump" (when holding the hula-hoop, means jump through it)
~ "Uh-oh" (when playing fetch "oops, you seem to have dropped the ball out of my reach. Please bring it closer so I can throw it for you again")
~ "Who is it?" (meaning: "bark wildly and run to the door" - this one I kinda, uh, taught her by accident)
~ "Sit pretty"
~ "High five"
~ "Shake" or "Gimme your paw" (left and right paws)
~ "Behind" (both sides - for agility - sends her behind me in a circle ready to launch at an obstacle)
~ "Over" (in agility, when pointing at a jump, means go over that jump)
~ "Spin" (both directions; need hand signals)
~ "Get off/down" (usually get off the bed or couch)

Things we're working on:
~ "Go get _______ (kong/rope toy/ball/slippers/car keys, etc)" (distinguishing between different toys/objects by name and fetching them.)
~ "Tunnel"/"Walk it"/Through"/"Climb" etc (in agility, distinguishing between two or more obstacles that are placed close together)
~ Carry a basket trick
~ Play dead trick
~ "Take it to Tom" (take an object from me to someone else)

Things I should work on, but am mostly just managing when it crops up:
Jumping on people to greet them
Chasing the cats. Oddly, only happens indoors under very specific circumstances.
Toy possessiveness with other dogs


K-Koira said...

Sounds like a nice collection. One you should add to the list, because it is awesome and easy to teach, is "close the door". Plus, people are super impressed when you do it. Adding to the bonus of being able to stagger into the house with armfuls of groceries (because we all know no one makes multiple trips if they can possibly do it in one), leaving the door open behind you, and being able to tell your dog to go close the door while you finish staggering to the kitchen.

Suzanne said...

I like that one. That reminds me of another I've been meaning to teach her: "turn off the light".

Caitlin Karplus said...

Cool! Such a good dog. Why don't you like "OK" as a release word?

Also, where does "SET!" fit into this list?

Suzanne said...

LOL, well as we all know "set" is a substitute for ANY of the commands listed.

I don't like "OK" as a release word because it's a common word and easy to use accidentally. "Go" is a little less likely to be used casually. Some people actually pick release words that are totally unique, or in a different language, for this reason.