I thought I had read somewhere that dogs have a vocabulary of around 100 words, but a quick google-check found a bit of a range all the way up to the record holder, a border collie with over a thousand words in her vocabulary.



Of my boys, Ray is definitely the brainiac of the bunch while Julius is the one with the great personality. Of course, Julius does know basic words; he just doesn’t have the same level of comprehension that we see in Ray. They both know the basics as well as “breakfast,” “dinner,” “bone,” “bye-bye,” and “antler,” so we try to be pretty specific when speaking to them. (That doesn’t mean we don’t occasionally engage in a conversation that is guaranteed to elicit the ever adorable head tilt.)


So, what to do about these walks that Ray and I have been taking? Naturally it’s one of the highlights of his day, but we strive to keep them low key and not elicit too much excitement. Why, just the mere sight of a collar or leash sends both boys into states of ecstasy so we have adopted a new phrase around the house that the boys have yet to add to their comprehension vocabulary and make us all feel oh-so-smart to boot.


A Nod to Throwback Thursday

A Nod to Throwback Thursday

We now “perambulate about the neighborhood.”

8 thoughts on “Vocabulary

    • LOL! When we only had 3 dogs, Carlos and I had to come up with ways to say walk, treats, ready, go, park…spelling the words worked for a very short time. Then I started to roll my eyes to indicate going for a walk to Carlos, which Sasha picked up immediately!

  1. Kaya is way smarter than Norman so she knows a ton more words and tricks. And like Julius, Norman has a much easier personality. Is there something dumber dogs that makes them more affable? Are smarter dogs usually more high strung?

    I’ve seen a couple documentaries on Youtube about Chaser…he’s awesome!

  2. I love seeing strangers interact with Trevor for this reason! To command him to lie down I use ‘down’ and to get him to not jump up or to get off the sofa I say ‘off’. Occasionally he will try and clamber onto the laps of people and they say ‘no! down!’ and the look on his face is one of utter confusion!

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