Discussion in 'General Dog Training' started by tazman, Apr 1, 2009.

  1. tazman New Member

    I hear many years ago that dog needed one word commands I see lots of people using two and three words or more. I also hear it best be said in English or German is that also true. :dogwacko:

  2. Jean Cote Administrator

    I like two syllables word for commands.
  3. snooks Experienced Member

    I don't think the number of words matter as much as that they sound distinctly different from one another and are no confusing or repetitive like lie down and sit down. The intonation should always the same. The biggest thing I try for are words that I instinctively remember and are easiest for me/you to remember. Twist and reverse (as many obedience classes teach) for left and right spins always makes my life harder. So I just use left and right.

    That said it is possible to use some long sentences to convey a clear meaning. When I say excuse me my puppy has learned she gets a good girl!!!! if she leaves my big dog's tail alone. and let's go get a treat if I don't have one on me. Let's go get a treat is a sentence but it conveys a meaning and she's probably only cueing on my intonation and one or two words.

    My requirement is that cues be clear and unique. I also do a lot of chaining b/c I do agility so I might have go, chute, right, come, hup, out, tunnel, go a-frame, come....YAY GOOD GIRL. So she hears a lot of thing a lot of short commands when she needs to be fast. But when she's driving me nuts with a ball and I say go lie down she will.
  4. CollieMan Experienced Member

    Each to their own. One word or six words - it makes little difference as long as you use the same thing each time. I regularly use three word requests (I hate the word 'command' in terms of dogs) such as "shut the door", "open the fridge", and "in yer bed". I also use one word requests such as "down", "sit", "spin", etc.

    Nope. Use whatever language you know best. :)
  5. snooks Experienced Member

    Collieman reminded me of one thing. It is MUCH easier if you use common core cues (I also dislike the word command) so that people at the vet or boarding kennely can control him. If the vet tech says down and your dog knows platz it's a little more difficult. Not that you couldn't teach german cues if you wanted too...dogs don't really mind that we have 2 or more cues for the same behavior as long as we are consistent with their intonation, delivery, and reward for correct execution. (no good boy for down when he sat etc.)

    One requirement for CGC Canine Good Citizen (don't know the UK equiv) is that you must walk away and leave your dog on leash with another handler. The dog should remain calm and in control. This certification is the first step in any further certifications, many classes, and in general a good dog ambassador in public. Mine got so much out of the learning experience and exposure to new things like dropped metal bowls and pop out umbrellas. They were unconcerned and having a confident good time.

    This never occured to me until I took an obedience class and the CGC cert class.
  6. CollieMan Experienced Member

    We call it the Kennel Club Good Citizen. We have Bronze, Silver, and Gold. You have to take them in order.
  7. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Also not a fan of the word 'command'...feel like some of kind of Cesar Milan leader.....but can't find another word that I like better, lol. xD

    As already posted by everyone else, you can really use whatever language and however many words you want. Now, I wouldn't expect my dog to understand if I told her, "Go to the fridge and get the red can on the bottom shelf and bring it to me in my bedroom." You could probably teach this with only a few words, but it would take her forever to even try to learn it with this lengthy cue. And she probably would only go off of the first few words anyway.
  8. tazman New Member

    I can agree Command should change how about Dog Input. We have PC input why dog input.
  9. szecsuani Experienced Member

    I'm not very good with commands, as I use like 10 commands for our at least 50 tricks.... :LOL::D:D

    But I don't think that language matters. We have only one English command "touch", and it doesn't seem to be easier to understand for her, than if I said a Hungarian command.
  10. CollieMan Experienced Member

    I've elected to stick with 'request' as that's what I'm really issuing - a request. I'd like her to do x, y, or z, but it's no big deal if she doesn't.
  11. bighoneydog New Member

    I think consistency is what matters, not only in words but in tone of voice (ie. "Come" can sound very different said in high pitch/low tone, drawn out or short and sharp, with inflection or just monotone...).

    Dogs don't really see it as words anyway - they just see them as sounds which are associated with certain actions. They dont' care if it's English, Italian or long as the sounds are consistent and always mean the same for the same thing. You can use English, one-word commands and still end up with a very confused dog if you're inconsistent!

    I teach Honey mainly in English but a few commands in Chinese or Arabic - she has no trouble following them or shows any difference in speed of response! I also use both one word and two word commands or even whole sentences ("get in the car").

    I know shepherds will teach their sheepdogs commands in different languages (eg,. English & Gaelic) in order to make it easier for them to work out who he is talking to...
  12. marieke New Member

    I use commands in more than one syllable. With Buck I could use even sentences like "get your ball/stick/toy" and "bring the ball to Kees/Marrie/Marieke". He probably just picked up the essence like ball/Kees.

    But Buck was a lot smarter and eager to learn than Guus. I do give Guus commands with more than one syllable but never more than that. He responds the best to gestures though but with obedience that's not allowed. I still use them because I prefer to use what is right for Guus.

    Most of my commands are Dutch and all logical. Sometimes I use english term if the most logical command is something already used for a different trick.

    I don't think it's a problem to think of them as "commends". Dogs certainly don't know the difference between a request or command and in the end I am the leader. Also Guus responds a lot better to commands given in a rather low voice. A request simply doesn't work. For Buck it was the exact opposite: he wouldn't do anything that sounded as a real command.
  13. stormi Well-Known Member

    For competition work; yes. A one syllable word is recommended...extra words/syllables would be considered 'extra commands' and would be penalised.

    Bearing that in mind my dogs have one syllable words for each competition behaviour, although for some exercises they may have a sequence of words that builds them up for it/lets them know what exercise is next which I would give to them between exercises (and so are not markable). For none competition behaviours I don't stick to single syllable words...too hard to think of...I just use something easy for me to say/remember and ideally not like any other 'prompts'.

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