Dog training tips - how to improve your dog’s vocabulary!

Narrated from: Dog Training

An untrained pet dog will recognize about 20 human words – but you can do better than that! Recently the world was amazed by Chaser, the smartest dog in the world. After extensive training, Chaser proved he could recognize more than 1,000 objects by name, and could obey many different commands.

Well, Chaser might be a unique case. Previously the smartest dogs of the Border Collie breed were thought to be able to process about 200 to 300 words. Chaser proves that with the right training, a dog could do a lot better!

A dog could be trained to recognize a lot of words – especially if the training starts when the dog is still young. Rico, who held the title “smartest dog” before Chaser, started his training when he was 10 months old.

A good piece of advice is to start simply – many people teach their dogs to recognize objects by placing a whole pile of items on the floor. That generally confuses the dog. Start with a single item, and place it such a way that the dog can’t miss it. After the dog has learned to recognize the item, introduce a new one. In time, the dog should be able to recognize an item among other items just by the name.

Another useful piece of advice is to teach the dog words, not phrases. A lot of dogs respond to “Fetch the ball”, but they do not recognize the parts of the phrase. The dog has to be taught separately to associate the word “ball” with the actual ball, and the word “fetch” with the command. Otherwise a dog will believe that a ball is called “fetch the ball”.

Also, it is a good idea to use different words for the different commands. A dog might get confused if you use the command “down” to indicate either “lie down” or “don’t jump”.
You should make a list of the words your dog recognizes in the process of training – in this way you won’t get confused yourself!

Well, there are many more things you could do – there are whole books written on the topic. Your dog might not learn 1,000 words – but with a little dedication you could achieve spectacular results. The most important thing is to be consistent with your dog’s training and to use positive reinforcement – and in time, another Dog Einstein might emerge in your very house!

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