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At what age can you start expecting a pup to be able to distinguish between toys for commands? Chouette has quite a few toys but a few favorites, and I always use their names when I tell her to bring them to me or when we're playing with them. But if I put two on the floor and ask her to bring me her owl, she'll bring the ball as often as not - she just seems to choose whichever she'd rather play with at the time. Is she just too young at nine months, is my beautiful little pup a trifle dense, or am I starting the Ph.D. curriculum before she's finished kindergarten? She knows all the usual commands including "Drop it!" and "Bring it here" and "Go to your place," and she picks up a lot of what I'm saying, but I wanted to start with some more challenging tasks and we're not getting anywhere on this one.

Those of you who do this sort of training, is there something else I could/should be doing with her at this age?

Leslie
 

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Interesting... I don't think Charlie would know these either. He might know ball but I can't be sure. He does know people by name. If I tell him my granddaughter is coming, he knows and gets excited. He certainly knows the word cookie!

I look forward to the expert responses. :D

Deb
 

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LOL Annabelle knows Cookie and Treat real well !

AB appears to know what certain toys are but she def has selective hearing and will bring what She wants to play with most of the time She does have certain toys she knows well though - her ducky is one of her faves and she will get that if I tell her too - sometimes :wink:
 

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Nicky knows "ball" and he will bring me one if I ask him. He has several different ones, but he knows they're all balls. I think his favorite word is "food"! He also knows "cookie" (which is different from "food").

A game Nicky likes to play is "Find." I get one of his toys (usually a ball) and tell him to sit and stay. Then I leave the room and put the ball down on the floor where he can't see it from where he is sitting. Then I return to the room where he is and say, "Nicky, OK, find the ball!" in an excited voice. The "OK" releases him from the stay. Then he goes on a hunt, finds the ball, and brings it back to me. "Good find!" I say and we do it again. He loves this game!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Sandy, we play the same game with Chouette. I must say that I have never been very impressed with the "superior sense of smell" that dogs are supposed to have; sometimes the ball or owl or other toy can be practically under her nose and she still can't find it at first. None of our dogs has shown particular prowess in that department! But she adores that game, and we play it fairly often. When I mentioned it to her trainer last summer he liked it because it mimicked what canids do in the wild, finding food. It's also great at reinforcing sit and stay.

I have found that in teaching Chouette new things it's almost better if I don't use a food treat, because she gets so hyperfocused on the food that the lesson seems to take longer to sink in.

But I'm also thinking, these dogs were bred as guide animals and they must be able to learn to distinguish sounds or whatever so that they can bring their people the things that they need. Naturally some are better than others, though.

Leslie
 

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NOW with Max i clearly remember he knew what BABY meant...one of my daughter's bigger plush TY stuffed dog. I'd act like it was a baby and really special. Would tell Max bring me your "baby" Max would get it and then lie down to lick it.


I am SURE If any of us work daily on it within a few days these doodles would distinguish better a particular ball and/or toy.

what age to start? for some at 6mos....others more like 9mos
Though even at a year old you can still try. as for the 1st year they love to go thru stages of selectice hearing hahhahaa

IF they were meant to be service dogs....think of all the words they learn via training. It's in them.......question is : is it in us to TRY this out? hahhaa

for me,with 3 doodles now, it gets challenging some days. :wink:
I do play 3 way fetch with them finally bringing the TOY back to me
(and not wrestling to the ground with it hhahahaaa)

TOY, OUT, SETTLE DOWN, WAIT are the major known words in the house
BEAU...the word OFF just clicked
 

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Ozzie is learning some choice Italian swear words.

He also now knows "get the paper" on Sunday mornings. The massive Sunday paper is still too big for him to carry but he knows his job is to find the paper in our driveway. I keep a small rolled up newspaper section with a rubber band around it for training purposes. As I carry in the big Sunday paper, Ozzie happily carries the training newspaper.
 

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I found that just one day all of a sudden it seemed like Dexter knew what I was saying (not just his commands)...maybe around 1 yr or a bit later? I don't remember exactly. It's definitely selective though - both him and Kirby seem to totally understand "go for a walk", "go for a ride" "do you want to play with your ball", if I say "where is your ball" often one of them will go get it...I was amazed one day when both of them seemed to understand "let's cross" when I was about to cross the street....

I would just keep talking to her and using the same phrases and I bet she'll get it :)

Oh yeah - I love the photos of Chou on your avitar - can you post more photos?
 

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Cinnamon knows most of the names of her toys. Ball, rope, hedgehog & a hedgefrog (hedgehog that ribbits). The new toys she got for Christmas she's still learning, but I think she has down Buck (a stuffed squirrel) and Fluffy (a stuffed soft ball that chirps). She destroyed a stuffed frisbee type disc right after she got it. That was so fun!!

I can't remember at what age Cin learned her toys. Just keep naming them when you play and Chou will pick up on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Chouette does know a lot of what I'm saying. For instance, if she tries to bring a stick or pinecone in the house and I say, "That has to stay out here" she'll drop it immediately. And she understands "Chou can't come" when I'm walking out the door with keys. But I got a book called "101 Things to Teach Your Dog" right before Christmas, and I've tried working on "Take it!" preparatory to the cleaning up toys trick and it seems very hard for her to grasp - literally! So instead of a formal lesson, when I'm offering her something I know she wants, like her ball, I'll preface it with "Take it," and I think it's getting through. We're also working on "Hold it." I don't know how Chas taught his pup to carry a newspaper!

Leslie, here are some photos from Christmas, since you asked:



Chouette gets a duck for Christmas - and promptly demolishes it!



You can see that no one likes Chouette in THIS household!



And lastly, a little reading material for those down times...

Leslie
 

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ChasP505 said:
Ozzie is learning some choice Italian swear words.

He also now knows "get the paper" on Sunday mornings. The massive Sunday paper is still too big for him to carry but he knows his job is to find the paper in our driveway. I keep a small rolled up newspaper section with a rubber band around it for training purposes. As I carry in the big Sunday paper, Ozzie happily carries the training newspaper.
That's great Chas, we had a lab who used to get the paper every day - dh taught her to go out to paper box, she'd pull it out (always came in bag), then pick it up and run in the house with it. We lived on a deadend street with only 5 houses so no traffic issues for Brandy going to end of driveway, it was her favorite thing to do
 

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There is a chapter in The Complete Idiots Guide to Dog Tricks that talks about teaching your puppy the names of toys and how to fetch a certain when you ask for it by name. I've been using this book for some other training and tricks and so far it's been working but I haven't tried the naming yet. good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
doodleallday said:
There is a chapter in The Complete Idiots Guide to Dog Tricks that talks about teaching your puppy the names of toys and how to fetch a certain when you ask for it by name. I've been using this book for some other training and tricks and so far it's been working but I haven't tried the naming yet. good luck!
Yep, that's the sort of thing I mean. She's not especially good at that. It is getting so if I tell her to bring her bone or frisbee, or whatever she's been playing with, with her when we go in or out a door she'll comply, though. And today we were running errands with the car; she hops up front into DH's or my seat while she's waiting for us, but when we return I can tell her to get in the back and she does. I just tried that today. DH is wa-a-ay impressed! So she seems to understand a lot of language, but so far isn't good at fetching a specific toy, I guess.

Leslie
 

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i feel at times Max understands sentences MORE than he does individual words if this makes sense to anyone.
though he does know some words other than commands/training etc
one in particular is HUSH :wink: and tiptoe/whisper

and i would think we can teach them individual words via repetition
 

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Very definitely my old Irish Setter
understood complicated sentences.
Coco does, too. She just decides which she
intends to respond to.
Abby, well....she is smart and obedient,
but she is a puzzle to me sometimes.
I don't know what she really knows and she isn't
as quick about responding as Coco is
and she is much slower to even notice things than Coco.
Abby is in la-la land a lot of the tme.
I don't think it is just age either....Coco has always been
super focused on everything at once and very, very smart.
Abby is just more laid back and if she does notice something
~she just doesn't jump up hyper to respond....maybe
 
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