Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday Fun: Elka the Talking Doberman

I don't have any video yet (I know, sorry), but one of the tricks we're working on with Elka is video-worthy: saying "Hello".

I've mentioned that Elka is very vocal, and that she says "out" when she needs to go outside to eliminate. I don't know how many talking tricks we're going to end up with (probably not as many as Mishka the husky on YouTube), but a few seems pretty cool, and viable.



The reason I even got the idea is because of this situation: A few months back, one of our college neighbors knocked on the door. It was her birthday, she said, and she was having a party. If they got too loud, she said please come tell them, and they would cool it. I was amazed and pleased; none of our college neighbors had ever done such a thing. She introduced herself (I forgot her name), I introduced myself, and Elka, who of course was standing next to me. She looked down and said "Well, hello Elka!" and Elka looked up at her and said "Hello." I was so floored I couldn't even think to reinforce her or anything, and we finished our conversation and went our separate ways. I turned to Jim, who was on the stairs, and said "did you hear that?" He had.


So, now with the lovely weather we've been having, we've had the screen in the front door again. Elka is re-acclimating to those sounds (people walking past, car doors, the screen jostling in the wind) and will alert us to each one of them. Awesome. Since they don't all need our attention, I've been working to redirect her. She hasn't yet said "Hello" cold, but will make reinforceable "Hello" noises once she starts going and then I say "Elka. Hello!"

She's a bit confused so far as to what I'm marking, but she's getting there. And she's "talking" more, which makes me think maybe we'll add more. I also don't want to muddy her "Out", which has gotten pretty reliable.

10 comments:

  1. Haha captured behaviors are some of my favorite behaviors EVER. They can be extremely cute. I hope you find success with Hello! Elli's only real captured behavior is Ice-Cream - she licks her nose. I want to get the Wet-dog Shake off and maybe a sneeze. :)

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    1. Elka has a "Sneeze", but it isn't 100% just yet! I do like the spontaneous awesome thigns that they'll do.

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  2. That sounds adorable. I wish my dogs were natural talkers enough to make that feasible. I did train a friend of mine's Chinook to say "I love you" in about three five minute sessions once, which was fun.

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    1. I've heard that Chinooks are very talkative! "I love you" is a cute one.

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  3. Today it's hello. Tomorrow it's the Gettysburg address?

    Can't wait to see how far you can go with Elka's speech.

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    1. Maybe we'll do "I love you"

      She also frequently says "out" a whole bunch when she wants food and water, so we'll see if we can work on that.

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  4. Haha good luck! Can't wait to here it, sounds adorable
    Dachshund Nola

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    1. Thanks! It is very cute. She's still sometimes confused, so we'll see how long it takes.

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  5. That is the coolest thing ever! Elka's adoring public demands videos!!

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    1. Once it's reliable, videos will be had!

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