As many of you might know, I find it difficult to upload videos onto blogger – mainly because our bandwidth here in South Africa is very expensive. It literally takes ages to upload video footage. So today I will have to rely on my language skills to get my message across to my dear, furry friends...
I am not sure if I’ve mentioned this before, but do you know that MAXDOG can
“TALK” ON COMMAND!?!
Yes indeed he can!
When Max was young and still being actively trained, he and I achieved this incredible feat!
It is something that I am quite proud of.
What do I mean when I say “Talk on Command”?
Well this is what I mean...
If I put my right forefinger on my right cheek bone (as if I am pointing to my eye) and I get Max's attention and say:
MAX!... TALK!” , he will respond with a LOUD bark!
This is his basic “TALK” command.
Now if I make a soft fist with my righthand, put it to my mouth and then open and close my fingers gently but rhythmically, Max will respond with a GENTLE AND SOFT BARK! This has become his
SOFT "TALK” command.
Then, if I keep this last action going but slow my own body language down (visibly relaxing) and verbally ask him :
..he will literally produce the stretched out word, “MOM!”
I personally think this is an incredible achievement for a dog because it is almost impossible for a dog to produce the “O” sound!
Unlike humans, dogs have elongated mouths and snouts and cannot create that hollow “O” sound.
So how do I get Max to produce the "O" sound?
In order to understand my answer you will have to do this yourself ....
Then somewhere between the mmmmm’s lick your top lip and quickly bring your tongue back into your mouth. You will discover that the sound changes to
which technically sounds like
It is extremely funny to watch Max’s expression as he determinedly tries to emulate me and produce this sound. Here are a series of photographs in which I try to show you his expression whilst trying to obey my command...
The actual moment of MAXDOG sticking out his tongue has only every been caught once on camera, I am showing you and old photo....
The interesting thing to note in this ‘talking’ exercise with MAXDOG is that his mouth and snout get very itchy whilst trying to accomplish it. He ends up licking his lips profusely...
...My very sweet and endearing Dog will do anything for me!
Finally as a “reward” I spur him on further and allow him to bark to his heart’s content!!!
As a whole, the exercise produces endless tail wags and happy expressions!
I must warn you, that if you try and teach your dog how to "TALK", it will take HOURS of practice and patience!!!
You might like to teach it in private because, from an observer’s point of view, it is extremely funny to watch the trainer make all these barking and mumbling noises as they try and get the idea across to the dog. :)
I have personally found this to be an extremely rewarding accomplishment because on occasions MAXDOG produces this “MmmmmOM!” sound spontaneously.
Obviously this generates a HUGE cuddle from me and only serves to reinforce his behaviour.
Good luck to you all who are going to attempt this ultimately rewarding experience with your companions!
I will be interested to hear about your endeavours.
MAXmmmmmllllummm IN SOUTH AFRICA