Commands in other languages?

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Charles's picture
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Joined: 2013-04-11

I worked in law enforcement for 10 years and assisted in training our K9 officers, in that time I learned all of our commands in Dutch which was protocol in my department. I always liked the fact that the average person on the street didn't know what we were commanding or could not try to confuse the dogs. I also know that many show dogs are trained this way. My question is just does anyone who doesn't show or have a working dog do this?  Is there any advantage in training this way for a non working or non show dog?  I really figure it's a personal choice and I am not saying I feel it's necessary or anything, really I'm just curious. 

Tannaidhe's picture
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Joined: 2013-02-25

I had a german shepherd who was trained in German a few years back.  But, she 'came that way'; we got her from a friend who bred working dogs for K9 units/sniffing dogs/etc. and she trained all her pups that way.  I enjoyed the idea that the average joe on the street couldn't give her commands, but as you say, I don't really see much benefit to it.

Charles's picture
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Joined: 2013-04-11

I like the idea but in reality most dogs know the voice of their human counterpart and listen to that person before anyone else anyway. 

talisin's picture
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Joined: 2011-02-25

My dad always trained our Rhodesian Ridgeback with spanish, in the event of other people being with us he could command Rojo without anyone knowing what he was telling the dog to do, so if he sensed Rojo not tolerating one of the guests well he could command him to the bedroom in spanish and no one knew the dog was being banished to another room nor why.....Rojo would do commands in English and Spanish and a few German words.....

DJ's Dad's picture
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Joined: 2010-10-04

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As soon as I read your post saying that your local K9 Law Enforcement Officers trained their dogs in the Dutch language, I had to look at your profile to see if you were from Indiana...and you ARE.  I live south of Indianapolis, and our local police also use Dutch and some use German commands for training their dogs for the exact reason you spoke of...so other people cant tell what is being said as commands to the dog and be alerted before the dog acts.

HarleyBear's picture
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Joined: 2011-08-16

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When I was little, my uncles doberman Shadow (the reason I love the breed) went off to "school" and came back knowing German.

I just thought it was funny since we are all Spanish speakers.

KevinK's picture
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Joined: 2010-07-15

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As long as you're consistent, it doesn't matter what the words are.  I would think about situations where someone else needs to tell your dog something though...  what if someone dog sits, now they don't know a single command.  But the words, or hand signals you use are irrelevant, again assuming you are consistent.  You can teach your dog that "bugaboo" means sit, and "Florida" means lay down, makes no difference.  Using a different language, or weird words, will however make it harder if anyone ever needs to give your dog a command.

Kim
Kim's picture
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Joined: 2012-02-05

I had a friend who spoke German, and he taught me how to say "Get out of the kitchen!" in German.

Lib, Dil and Jesse all knew what that meant! 

Jeffhettling's picture
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Joined: 2013-05-31

Just out of curiosity I had tried German with Tia...she immediately sat when commanded, did a rather impressive heel a few times and paid very close attention to me...until her puppy scatterbrain decided her chew toys would be more interesting.  She never heard German in her life.  It was probably more how I was saying it rather than what I was saying (German is after all a rather authoritative language).  Got me thinking that she really spoke German though and just didn't understand what I wanted in English lol

 

jeff

Joined: 2012-10-28

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My chinese girlfriends' husky respoinds to English and Mandarin both:)

KevinK's picture
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Joined: 2010-07-15

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To JeffHetling - dogs tend to repond more to tone of voice, body positioning, etc. as opposed to what is coming out of your mouth.  It could be as simple as the way you hold your hands when you give a "sit" command, the tone, the way you slightly lean forwards, etc.  Dogs pick this stuff up, many times we don't even know we're doing it.

 

I could say "jungle gym" and Dakota will look at me sideways... But, If I were to say "Jungle Gym" and hold up my hand, she would immediately sit regardless of what I say, because she is picking up on my manerisms and body movements.

jerial13's picture
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Joined: 2010-07-22

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I would like to share my compliment on Shelbi, this correlates to your question.

I had thought of teaching German so that no one could give her a command.  I did not teach German, but was complimented at the vets office at how well she minded everyone there.  Given that everybodies body positioning could be different I would think they have some understanding of the words being said to them.

I just know that others being able to handle and direct her has been a necessity and I am glad I did not teach a foriegn language.

 

Just my two cents.

 

Jeri & Shelbi