River's Vocabulary

Although much of my communication with River is through body language and gestures and quite a bit of it is through my tone and intention, there are a number of words that it is clear that he recognizes and responds to, even out of context.

RIVER - he recognizes his name, but his response is not prescribed

SIT - he sits

LIE DOWN - he lies down

GO LIE DOWN - he walks over to his bed (usually used when I’m at the dinner table)

HERE - he knows I have something in my hand

COME - he immediately walks to me

STAY - he stays where he is

STOP - he stops walking and sits down

WAIT - he stops walking but doesn’t have to sit

HUNGRY - indicates food is imminent

FOOD - same as above

GET YOUR _________ - he’ll go and retrieve the item indicated. Items he can ‘get’ are:

    KONG - feeding toy
    TOY - rope used for tugging
    ROPE - another word for ‘toy’
    BEAR - stuffed animal
    BONE - a bone

TOUCH - he’ll tap my outstretched hand with his nose

KISS - he’ll tap my face with his nose

HUG - he’ll press his body against mine

SPIN - he’ll make a 360

JUMP - all four legs, or at least his front legs come off the ground, depending on his excitement level 

BE RIGHT BACK - he knows I’m leaving him alone

SAY HI - he’ll walk over to someone else with their hand outstretched, tap their hand with his nose and then return to me

HEEL - he walks at my right side

BACK - he walks backwards into the ‘heel’ position

GO HOME - he goes into his crate

SHAKE - he puts his paw into my hand

PAW - he presents his paws to me, one at a time (usually for drying after a walk in the rain)

GO - his signal to chase or fetch something

OK - he is released from his ‘heel’ or ‘stay’

LEAVE IT - he ignores whatever he’s been focused on, even if it’s food

CIRCLE - going outside just to pee on the nearest tree and then come right back in

WALK - walking on leash

UP - he’ll jump up on a bench or a wall, etc

OFF - he’ll jump off same

TUG - he’ll grab the other half of what I’m holding and pull

PUSH - he’ll charge at me, pushing his chest into my outstretched hand

ALL THE WAY UP - he’ll run up the stairs and wait for me at the top

THIS WAY - when we’re walking or running together, he’ll change directions toward me

NO - he’ll stop doing what he’s doing. it is usually followed up by a suggestion for what to do instead

GO AROUND - he’ll walk toward me, walk past me on my left, walk around behind me and end up on my right side facing the same direction as me

ROLL OVER - he’ll roll over

READY - he’ll be on alert that a command is coming and wait for it

OW! - if he puts his teeth on me during playtime, this ends the game.

FACE - he presents his nose to me so I can slip a leash over his head

POOP - he will immediately start looking for the right spot

WANNA GO TO THE ____? - it doesn’t matter what the last word is, he wants to go anywhere I suggest

EXCUSE ME - he'll move out of my way

GO TO YOUR PAD - he'll go to sit on a bath mat near the front door

There are probably more, but this is all I can think of at this time.


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