HomeQ&AAnybody here with a bilingual dog?

Anybody here with a bilingual dog?

3
votes

I have one whose language is basically Spanish. Meanwhile, she's been adopted into a mostly English-speaking household.

I've been teaching her English commands, and she's been responding rapidly.

But I'd like to retain the Spanish commands she already knows, because we spend much time in Mexico.

Do you have any tips?

5647 views
updated MAY 4, 2010
edited by 0057ed01
posted by 0057ed01
bilingual and trilingual are un-hypenated words, Heidita. Maybe even "un-hyphenated" is unhyphenated, too? - 0057ed01, ENE 21, 2010

10 Answers

7
votes

My dog is bilingual, I think smile I have taught him all kinds of commands in English and Spanish, but also with hand signals. I bet I could say "gobbledegook" with the right hand signal and he would sit. My trainer says that dogs respond much faster to hand signals than to oral commands since hand signals are pretty much the same all the time whereas oral commands change depending on tone, emotion, urgency, volume, accent, and the person giving the command.

So, try practicing all the Spanish commands and incorporating hand signals. Then, give the same hand signals with the English commands. I bet she will catch on even faster.

updated AGO 11, 2010
posted by Paralee
3
votes

Our mestizo Jack Russel/Chihuahua is tri-lingual: Mom speaks to him in Spanish, I speak to him in Spanglish, Dad & my other siblings speak to him in English, and the maids speak to him in Tagalog.

updated ENE 21, 2010
posted by jaimetayag
increible, I suppose, but not really - with dogs. They are incredibly smart and too many underestimate that. - 0057ed01, ENE 21, 2010
2
votes

I have a bilingual cat!

grin LOL

updated MAY 4, 2010
posted by 00e657d4
But when does a cat ever pay attention to anything anyone says? Mine didn't, and he totally controlled the entire household and most of the nearby neighborhood. Mostly with disapproving looks combined with mellow purring. - 0057ed01, ENE 21, 2010
Well, my cat is kind of unique. You can call him and he will came. He also likes to be around people and he plays with my youger kid just like a puppie. - 00e657d4, ENE 21, 2010
I think Siamese cats behave more like dogs that other cats - mine did. - ian-hill, MAY 4, 2010
Sounds like you actually have a dog and you just 'think' it's a cat. - samdie, MAY 4, 2010
2
votes

I just started Spanish this week with my dogs. I don't think it will make any difference to them because I'll be using essentially the same inflection and tone of voice as the English commands. And it won't make any difference to them because they don't obey, anyway. grin I'm doing it mainly as an excuse to practice.

updated ENE 21, 2010
posted by 008f2974
2
votes

I speak to my dog {su nombre es Niña} in what little Spanish I knowalt text. She responds to her name, venir and galleta and that's about all. But then that's is all she responds to in English as well. Funny you should bring up the hand signals because I tried learning A S L and Spanish combined a while back and it really helps for remembering words. It doesn't do very much for the grammar though.

updated ENE 21, 2010
edited by Yeser007
posted by Yeser007
Hey, I think Niña looks indignant. Like, "What the heck does he know?" :) - 0057ed01, ENE 21, 2010
She responds to hand signals also. I hold a treat and she comes jejeje - Yeser007, ENE 21, 2010
2
votes

Yes, my kids has three dogs, and all of them are bilingual, my kids talk to them in English and my ex talk to them in Spanish. And they understand both.

updated ENE 21, 2010
posted by Shrek
1
vote

I used to have one. A little Dominican poodle, very cute by the way. Her name was Viernes, only because she was the 5th of five puppies. The other ones were named after the week as well and as we know the Spanish calendar starts on Monday. She knew the Spanish commands like súbete, bájate, etc...

updated ENE 21, 2010
posted by claudiamatos24
0
votes

We adopted a 4-year-old English cocker three years ago from a Spanish-speaking family, and it had always occurred to me that he had been spoken to in Spanish with them, but I couldn't test it, not knowing enough of the language. We knew he was smart, as he learned at least fifty English words and phrases. Then recently I started learning Spanish myself, and on a whim yesterday, I asked him "Donde es pelota?" ("Where's the ball?") and he run into another room to get a tennis ball. This is a whole 'nother world!!

updated MAY 4, 2010
posted by denisesparks
He didn't care that your grammar was off then? :) - ian-hill, MAY 4, 2010
Perhaps he knew that the only reasonable choices were 'tu pelota' and 'la pelota' and (further) knew that, since there was only one ball, it had to be the one in question. - samdie, MAY 4, 2010
0
votes

Paralee - are you a professional dog trainer, too?

Your suggestion for incorporating hand signals with the verbal commands is excellent. That's a great teaching technique, combining physical movement with the verbal.

I have been using hand signals with my older dog who is 105 years old in "dog years" and is totally deaf. I use hand signals with him all the time. But never thought of doing so with the younger.

I'm starting today!

Thanks...

updated MAY 4, 2010
edited by 0057ed01
posted by 0057ed01
Lol. I wish I were a professional dog trainer, but no, I just love having an extremely well trained dog and I work from home, so I have plenty of time to spend with him. - Paralee, ENE 21, 2010
I use hand signals a lot in my classes when teaching English - and it works well. - ian-hill, MAY 4, 2010
Yep. Dogs, people. Not much difference. - samdie, MAY 4, 2010
0
votes

When I was in college I was fortunate enough to do a study abroad program one summer. I lived with a family in México, d.f. and took some courses at a university there. The family had a dog and on my first or second day there the dog got in trouble and the señora of the family started fussing at him in Spanish. I started laughing and said "Didn't you know dogs only speak English?" Of course I was kidding but it struck me as funny. I'd never really thought about animals in other countries learning other languages until that day. That dog sure listened to Spanish though!

updated MAY 4, 2010
posted by Lrtward
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