Saturday, May 9, 2009


It's no secret that I love my dogs. They're both so different; Dunkin is the serious, rule-following, lover and Henry is the goofy, crazy, fly-by-night. I was talking to my dad the other night and he made a comment about how stupid Henry was. Bad move, Dad. Bad move. Don't you know better than to insult someone's kids? Besides, I started thinking in many ways Henry is probably smarter than Dunkin, he just chooses not to listen.

This past Christmas when Marley and Me came out I decided to teach them both to bow. By far the easiest trick to teach but Henry picked it up in about 5 minutes. Dunkin wasn't far behind, but Henry is far from stupid.

I think one of the things that surprises me the most is how they pick up on things even when we're not trying to teach them anything. These are things they learned all on their own:

... walk.
... hungry.
... go to bed.
... treat.
... up.
... who is it?
... outside.
... ball.

And then the ones we taught them:
... sit.
... stay.
... lay down.
... backup.
... get out.
... paw.
... other.
... speak.
... roll over. [Dunkin only.]
... bow.
... hug. [Henry only.]
... leave it.
... touch. [Dunkin only. He went to flyball classes for about 3 weeks.]
... bathroom.
... come.
... here.
... go get a toy.

It's crazy to think about all the things they know, that they learned without much effort. I can't even imagine how many commands service dogs and working dogs know. The list must be endless!

he greets me with one of these every time I come home.


Julie said...

Rodney tells Cash to "touch your mama" at least 10 times a day. It's his favorite trick. Have you read The Art of Racing in the Rain? I just finished it. It's a must-read for dog lovers.

Taryn said...

Dogs do amaze me sometimes. My parents' dog is a poodle- he is wicked smart. He picks up so many words that we were not trying to teach- enough that my parents have to talk in code sometimes! Impressive that they can bow. They are adorable.

Kristy said...

just stumbled on your blog, and wanted to let you know your dogs are adorable! We have two big mutts, and we finally taught Charlie how to retrieve the paper! trust me, this is HUGE for those dummies!