Sure, most dogs understand the basics --"fetch," "sit" and "stay." But if you have the motivation and patience, you will probably be able to teach your dog even more than 100 words. Stanley Coren, a psychologist who has performed a significant amount of research on the subject of dog intelligence, suggests that average trained dogs know about 160 words [source: Coren]. Some dogs even show a vocabulary as vast as a human toddler's.
We did a post earlier about words that Couper knows. Due to time constraints (a.k.a. pure laziness) it was far from comprehensive, but showed that we are well on our way to 100 words with Couper.
English knowledge has come into sharp contrast this last week with Godiva entering our lives. All of a sudden, it seems like Couper has a Masters Degree in English (minus the inevitable post graduate job selling coffee at Borders - hey, that's not a half bad idea, what does that pay anyhow?). It is suddenly amazing how many words Couper knows that Godiva doesn't. And it is not like Couper has been subscribing to the Merriam-Webster Word of the Day this last week.
Well, we think Godiva has learned her first word. I was hoping for two words actually, "inside/outside" - as in "let's go outside and go potty" and "good girl going potty, let's go inside and watch TV". I have been emphasizing the words as we go in or out. She no more knows those words than she knows "truculent" or "quixotic" (recent words of the day - as if I know what they mean either). And no, it does not seem that she knows potty, or pee-pee, or poopie, or hiney, though I am sure she will in no time. Nope, her first word is more primal than even those.
(Godiva sits in the living room doing whatever she is doing with her 0.6 second attention span)
Big Buddy: Godiva, want a yummie?
(Godiva races into the kitchen and sits down)
Yup, she is her big brother's little sister. Here's guessing the next word she learns is "Mr. Hiney".