What Unintentional Words Or Actions Does Your Dog Understand?
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  • Post published:19/04/2021
  • Post last modified:19/04/2021

We put a lot of time and effort to train our dogs to recognize basic words such as sit, stay, no and leave it.

We also put a lot of time into training or dogs to understand certain actions. 

And when you really take the time to observe your dog you’ll see that in most cases, they are observing you more than you are observing them. 

They begin to associate certain cues that we do throughout the day to let them know what’s about to happen, such as grabbing our keys, purse or putting a hat on.

These are all cues to our dog that we are about to leave the house. 

Words that we use on a daily basis when not interacting with our dogs can also be things that they pick up on quickly. 

I got to thinking about some of the words, phrases, and actions that Odin has picked up on in the short time that he’s been with us and here are some of the ones I’ve seen.



Oops usually means that some type of food or beverage has been dropped or spilled on the floor and a clean-up is needed. 

Grandma and grandpa.

When those words are said Odin knows that his grandparents are coming over for a visit or we are going to their house.

He gets so excited and will wait at the window for them or run down to the garage door with his tail wagging. 


We tried to cover up the word car and replace it with Jeep but Odin caught on quick and his tail starts wagging when we say Jeep in any context.

Let’s go.

We have to be careful with this phrase because I say it to Odin when we go for a walk.

If I’m telling the kids they need to get a move on it I try to say “Hurry up” instead of “let’s go”. 


Alright usually means I’m done with work or chores or relaxing. 

It’s usually said right around feeding time, walk time or playtime when Odin is 100% tuned into what I’m doing and has been staring at me for over 20 minutes. 

What do you want?

This phrase usually goes with “alright” and almost always gets an answer with a few woof-woofs. 

Get your squirrel.

He knows which toy is the squirrel and which toy is not. 

Both of the kid’s names. 

If I ask Odin where Bobby or Gracie are he will look towards the direction that they are and if it’s close to the time when they are supposed to be getting home from school, he sits at the window. 


Putting my hat.

Winter hat means it’s time to go for a walk and Odin gets up and runs to the door.

Putting my baseball hat on means I’m going to the store and he just lays there. 

We’ll see how this changes as the weather warms up and the winter hat gets put away!

Any bag movement

Any crinkling of any type of bag means food. Odin could be snoring logs and if a cupboard opens or a bag gets moved, he is immediately in the kitchen.

Garage door opening 

Odin picked up quickly that the garage door opening means someone is home and he is always there waiting with a shoe in his mouth when you walk through the door. 

Popcorn popping. 

I think almost every dog knows this one but as soon as that first kernel pops, Odin is right there staring at the microwave. He also knows that there will always be a few stray popcorns that will fall on the floor from the bag to bowl transfer. 

Ice cubes. 

Odin learned quickly from Leroy that the rattling of ice cubes is party time. 

Odin doesn’t even like ice cubes but he’s there at the freezer for every cube that shakes.

Jazz hands

When I show him there is no more food or treats in my hands. Odin will usually give a little sad sigh and walk away. 

These are just a few of the several actions, words or phrases that Odin has picked up on his own.

Think about it and come back and tell me what are some of your unintentional words or actions that your dog has picked up on?





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