Children are such sponges.  If you speak any language around a young child, the child will learn that language.  In fact, children can learn multiple languages, if exposed while young.  It is estimated that a person must know 3,000 to 5,000 words to speak a language fluently.  That is a lot of words!

There is a Border Collie in Germany that knows about 250 words.  Rico, the Border Collie, is world famous.  Scientists study this dog for his amazing abilities with words.  Two hundred and fifty words.  Remember, people learn three to five thousand words to speak a language fluently.  That is quite a big difference, and something we must keep in mind when training a dog.

Dogs clearly don’t have the capacity for language that people do.  While a human child will eventually learn the meaning of “come”, the four legged member of your family will only learn if you teach him.  No matter how loudly or how often you say “come”, it does not help your dog understand. 

Most dogs learn few words.  Not always the words we want them to learn.  Treat is a popular word for dogs to know.  Chanting a word to your dog does not help him understand.  In fact. important words said repeatedly might interfere with the dog’s ability to learn the meaning of those words later.   

Choose the words you want your dog to know well – his name, come, sit down, stay, etc.  Use these cues carefully.  Give your dog a cue only when you feel certain he will understand and perform correctly.  Reward him handsomely for a successful completion.  Repeat this often.   Over time, with many successes that have been rewarded, your dog will learn the meaning of the cue. 

If your dog does not perform a task he has been asked to do, instead of becoming angry, review your training process.  Remember, you are smarter than the dog.  The dog does not understand the rules for living peacefully with humans.  You must teach him.  Gently instruct your new family member on the correct behavior.  We are a great facility for your pet to Lodge and Learn. If you have trouble, seek out a Certified Professional Dog Trainer to assist you.


Tricia Fagan

Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed

DogS Gone Good

trainer @ (remove spaces to send an email)

(713) 557-1949