Sunday, February 24, 2013

Beep beep beep.

A few days ago, Pamela wrote a post about words she uses to communicate with her dog, Honey. Beep beep beep is how Pamela tells Honey to back up. That woman is funny, isn't she?

This is my response to her question "What are some of the strange cues you use to tell your dog what you need from her? It was a bit too wordy to leave in her comment section, so here it is as a post :)

I don't know if the words are strange but I certainly find them useful! In no particular order of importance, here they are -

I guess back up are words every bigdog living in a small house has to learn. Georgia is pretty good at it. She can even go up steps backwards. [Just a few, not a whole flight.] I don't think she particularly enjoys doing it though.
"Methinks I better wait here. That corridor is too narrow and if I wait by the door, I will just have to back up out of it when Cushion comes home with my meat."


Having stinky knees, I use the word slowly quite often. It is a good word to use when 
you'd rather not have a 43kg dog bounding by you on the stairs while you're carrying 2 cups of scalding hot coffee.

"Hey Cushion, can we move a little faster here?"
"What do you mean...stop tailgating me?"


Since Georgia likes to sleep in the kitchen [usually right behind my feet while I am holding a sharp knife or directly in front of the fridge or pantry door in case food crumbs drop on the floor], I had to teach her how to move away on cue. We say excuse me because we like to be polite in this family. 

Flashback to an early lesson on excuse me.

"Excuse me, Georgia!"
  "What IS that thing, Mr T?"
"Why is it following me?"

"Leave me alone! Can't you see I can't go any further back?!"

"Oh, shove it, Mr T! I'm not scared. You just look like you could do with some company."


Curl up is something I would love to teach Georgia because it's uncomfortable sharing a small bed with a large dog that likes to sprawl and dig her nails into your legs in the middle of the night, then grumbles when you try to push her back.
So far, I've had zero success teaching her this phrase. 

Any ideas?

I always tell Georgia to relax when I'm giving her a massage. It isn't a word that requires her to respond in any way. I just want her to associate relax with an action she enjoys. Does she actually understand this? Who knows, but there are definitely times when it would be good for her to believe that this word means something nice is about to happen.
"Relax, girl. You'll feel so much better after I squeeze that awful smelly stuff out of your butt."

Ready? is another great word we use to prepare Georgia for something that is about to happen. For example, we use it before we lift each paw for washing or drying and it actually makes her shift her body weight so it's less of a struggle to lift the paw. Because the poor girl isn't psychic, I also tap the leg I want to lift as I say ready?
"Argggh! I was so NOT ready for that!"

"Okay Typist, I'm ready for my after-bath peanut butter bikkie now."

Finally, leave it! Could these be the 2 most useful words in dog training? I can honestly say, not a day goes by when we don't use leave it! at least a few times. Here are some practical examples of how we use them.

"Leave it, Georgia!"

"Leave it!"
"Leave it!"
"Leave it!"

"Leave it!"
Leave it! can, of course, also be used in situations that have absolutely nothing to do with food.
"Georgia! Leave! It!"




"Curl up indeed!"
"I don't know how you can expect me to stuff any more words in my head and keep up with my hand signals and español. I'm a dog, you know. Not a genius."


What Remains Now said...

Very interesting! I'll have to think of the words I use. One that has no meaning to Freedom, Casper & Nikki that I use all the time is "careful." I don't know why I insist on saying it as much as I do.

Anonymous said...

"Leave it" always means "don't have any doggie fun" around here, according to my dogs.

Jan, Poodles and dogs

georgia little pea said...

Hey LORI! I say "careful" too! You think they understand? NOT.

I'm guessing Georgia would agree with your dogs, JAN.

Jean said...

I shall have to try "beep beep beep" with Eddie. The most frequent command to Eddie is "QUIET!". Other frequently heard words include sit, wait, wait, wait, wait, and leave it. Dealing with an exuberant dog calls for a lot of 'wait's.
Mitzi doesn't need to make herself smaller on my bed (she's all of eight pounds and the bed is queen sized), but she does get "scoot over" several times a night - she insists on pushing tightly against my hip which throws my spine out of alignment.

georgia little pea said...

Is Eddie still working on "stairs" JEAN? Beep beep beep is easy to teach. Not good that Mitzi is throwing your spine out! Might a dog bed on the floor be in her future? Horror.

H and Flo said...

Haha! I like 'ready'. I say 'ready steady go before I throw a ball' but it would be far more useful to get Her Fabulousness to shift her hefty weight... I shall try. And I like 'relax' too. The ones I use most are: 'OI!!!!' - this has several meanings which can only be confirmed by the accompanying hand signals; and 'OFF!!!!' - which is also generally accompanied by a shove to move whichever paw has found its way onto my foot. Oh, I use 'mooooove' too, which removes any doubt as to what a cow I can be. It is used when they decide to stand in the middle of the stairs (clearly trying to kill me) as I'm trying to take a load of washing down to the laundry, or a load of shopping upstairs.

georgia little pea said...

Oi H! It's a wonder you haven't broken your neck yet! 2 big dogs on the stairs and a laundry basket can't be a good mix. I use "move!" when "excuse me" doesn't work LOL.

Cowspotdog said...

it got me thinking - we have so many words.....the bad thing is when your dog even knows what they are when you spell it out letter by letter saying someone needs a B.....A......T.....H as you see them jump up and suddenly head out the doggie door!

Ruby said...

Oh, that is so funny!! I guess the words Ma uses the most are: Leave. Drop. Move. Stop. Stay. Okay.
I have to say, the only one I live is "okay"! BOL
I guess Ma is less polite than your Moms!!

Kari in Alaska said...

Back Up is something we say to our pups very often

Stop on by for a visit

Pamela said...

If you figure out how to teach "curl up," will you please teach me? That means Honey could sleep on our bed and we could put her crate away!

Love your take on talking to Georgia. I'm sure the vocabulary changes with each dog. A common phrase with Agatha and Christie was "don't even think it" when I anticipated a problem. Luckily, I don't need that for Honey.

BTW, does doggy pee make a good hair treatment?

georgia little pea said...

REILLY AND DENNY, do you think it's just our imagination that dogs can spell? It's dangerous to saying w.a.l.k. Or e.a.t. here. After Georgia learns a word that we want to avoid, we start spelling it and after she learns that, we move on to a foreign language LOL.

RUBY, I think Georgia's favourite words are... time to eat, treat, banana, brekkie and dinner :)

KARI, I can imagine. You have A Lot of pups!

PAMELA, thank you for getting me to finally do a post on training (sort of). Can you believe I've actually written 3 drafts on something like this over the last 2 years and then deleted them?

I got nails in my back last night and Missy had to go sleep on her bed. Grumble grumble. Surely someone will have a brilliant suggestion on how to train a bigdog to sleep small! No idea on the pee treatment. She gets it, she gets a wash :)

Rose ~ from Oz said...

OMG T, this post really got to me. It was the "exuse me" that did it. It used to be used by me 100 times a day. I liked to be polite as well. Imagine 4 largish dogs all insisting on being lolling on the kitchen floor ANYTIME I was in there working. So, "excuse me" was constant as was the UP, DOWN, UP, DOWN. "Excuse, me" "Excuse me". People used to ask why I didn't just say "OUT". My reply was, "I love it, they love it, no problem".
-sniff- oh dear.........

georgia little pea said...

Awww ROSE, no sniffles. You're in a happy place :) When you settle down, perhaps a new pup to say "excuse me" to? x

Kirsten (peacefuldog) said...

Of all the roughly 3 million pictures of dogs I see every day, the ones of Georgia always seem the most...I don't know, expressive. She always has this very human expression on her face, a combination of worried and bemused. Or maybe it's just that your posts are so attuned to her expression. But of course they are, as you are her typist.

Sherri / 2Rescues said...

What kind of dog was Mr. T? He looks bigger than Georgia.

Peggy Frezon said...

It's wonderful that you and Georgia communicate so well. Dogs are so smart. One thing I use with Brooks is "Gentle." When we first adopted him, he used to grab food out of my hand, nearly taking off my fingers. Now I just say "gentle" in That Tone, and somehow he knows. He takes the food from my hand oh so softly. (but only if I say gentle. Otherwise, it's off with the fingers.)

Anonymous said...

When I think about, I have some different commands. For some weird reason I will tell the dogs "please". Because they care if I am polite?

Anonymous said...

Petey knows "Ready" which means I'm going to throw a stick or something. He knows "get in the bed" "other bed" and "cookie". He knows "he's not there" when he looks for his doormen friends and they are not there. Petey also knows the phrase "it's your friend". But overall he can't be bothered to be very responsive to commands :(

georgia little pea said...

That's very nice of you to say so, KIRSTEN. We think she's pretty expressive too but we could be biased. Maybe she'll get spotted, star in a film and win an Oscar hahaha.

SHERRI, Rufus B Thumper was a malamute. He was very big even for a mal, over 70kg when he was young and fit but after a leg op and various medical issues, he was put on a strict diet and his weight came down to 50+.

I use "gentle" too, PEGGY! but not so often these days. It was a popular word when Georgia was younger, ADHD and reactive (and curious about babies, kiddies and littledogs) A heart stopping word in those days!

We say "please" too, ROXY'S MAMA. Why not? I'm sure our dogs appreciate that we're polite to them LOL.

LIVIE, those are spectacular words that Petey understands! Every dog can learn "sit" and "stay". The concept of "it's not there" and "it's your friend" are, I imagine, harder to grasp. Some words I wish Georgia could understand are "not now" "later" or "soon" and "the other side". Our old dogs (Jordan and Rufus) understood "the other side" and would roll over or turn around to present the other side when we were brushing them. Not Miss Pea. Sad to say, the girl is no genius, and very wilful ;)

sonia a. mascaro said...

Georgia is very smart!
Love her pose on the bed. So cute!
Love all photos!

Flora also undertood many words and many gesture...

sonia a. mascaro said...

I enlarged the first picture and I saw you have a gorgeous door and a beautiful color on the wall!

ann @ studiohyde said...

Goodness, Georgia you certainly know a lot of words! Love the photos.

Anonymous said...

What a hoot, text and photos. My boxer and I could talk for hours, but Albert has a very limited vocabulary. Excuse me is big around here, said in a variety of ways for a variety of effects. And he does understand shut up.

Taryn said...

OK, coming at Georgia with a gloved hand and saying Relax....Now that's funny!

My Excuse Me is Out of the Kitchen! It works for all of a few seconds before Wilson slinks back in. Jimmy doesn't tend to get under foot. He just takes up his spot under my chair and waits for the meal to be served.

Friko said...

Millie knows two words best: walkies and biccies?

If those two words happen to be used in the same breath as other commands, we might get somewhere.

Jean said...

GLP, since Eddie tore his cruciate, we are no longer considering working on stairs - he even gets lifted in and out of my van. I just can't risk his cruciate blowing completely, and that is his bum leg that was likely injured or broken in his past life and not treated.
As for Ms. Mitzi - she has a dog bed on the floor. It's the same one she ALWAYS slept in for the twelve years she lived with my cousin (she wasn't allowed on the bed). She refuses to use it - the Princess has claimed her spot on the bed, and there is no persuading her that somewhere else would be just as comfy. And I'm obviously more of a softy than my cousin was.

Amy said...

Georgia, I'm pretty sure you are a dog and a genius - they are not mutually exclusive. We use "beep, beep" with the boys instead of excuse me - and when you live in an RV you say "beep, beep" a lot! I love that Georgia can back up the stairs - there's no way my boys will do that.

LetterstoAndrew said...

Those are some funny phrases! We use beep beep too, although Sampson knows it better than Delilah, only because we've used it since he was 12 weeks old.

chandra said...

RBT!!!!!!!!!! That flashback makes my day.

"Beep Beep" cracks me up and I really like your "Excuse me."

I say "Uh-uh" to Mason when I want him to stop what he's doing and reserve "No" for emergency/dangerous situations.

"Curl up" is a super good one and reminds me of "Get small" which I believe is used for guide dogs and service dogs in training for when they will be in tight-spaced areas such as airplane rows.

-c at ddy.

georgia little pea said...

CHANDRA, "get small"...thats great. If they can teach it to guide dogs, I should be able to teach it to Georgia! I shall google it. Thanks for the tip!