Friday, January 18, 2013

Dog Vocabulary

Our dogs know a few words, but I doubt they know 165 words as claimed by this article, even considering that German Shepards are on the top 5 smartest list.  But they do seem to differentiate between places we go regularly.  Now, Elka is still young and she really doesn't seem to understand where we are going until we arrive; but Kain and Nala, they know what's what.

Of course they know all the regular words that most dogs know; sit, stay, come, hungry, treat, walk etc. But they have definitely picked up some additional vocabulary.  If I say the word "beach", "mountain", or "island" they get really excited.  Even without a word though, Kain and Nala get excited as we get close to the places in the car.  How do they do that?  Is it the landscape, the familiar turns?  Who knows?

Now 'beach' is pretty self-explanatory, but 'mountain' and 'island' could use some elaboration.  There is a mountain about 10-15 minutes from our house that we like to hike located within Mission Trails Park. it's called Cowles Mountain.  We usually hike up the back side on the fire road to avoid any congestion of people, but the whole thing is dog-friendly and our kids love it.

Now, onto the island.  In Mission Bay, there is a little island called Fiesta Island.  It is about 4.5 miles around, there are beaches and places to have bonfires, but the best part is....wait for it....a leash free dog park! With access to the bay!

Not only do the dogs love it but it is great for Noell and I too because one person can take all 3 dogs, and you don't have to hold 3 leashes.  The dog park is on one end of Fiesta Island and is surrounded on 3 sides by water and one side is fenced. It is little over 1.5 miles around and it makes it perfect to do a quick 3-4.5 mile run.  Over the many, many times we have been there, our dogs have (mostly) learned to stay out of the water unless we give them permission.  But every once in a while, just when I get into a good running groove, I look over and there is one of my dogs heading for the water....That makes for some entertaining yelling on my part.  

So last week I ended up with an unexpected day off and headed to the island, with 3 dogs in tow.  I brought my camera along for the ride and here is what our trip was like.

Elka is excited, even though she has no idea where we are going!

Checking things out when we first arrive.

Practicing a few 'call backs' at the beginning to make sure the doggles have on their listening hats.

Up on the rim, over that edge is a hill that leads to the beach/water.

Looks like the Germans are interested in the water.  Sorry girls, not today.

Beautiful day.
Kain runs ahead, Nala stays close to me, and Elka Bean can never decide what to do, so she alternates running with Kain and hanging back with Nala. 

FINALLY! A decent picture with all three butts.

Follow the leader.
Kain in front, Elka sprinting to catch up, and Nala hanging with me. 

Nala Bear, 8 years

Elka June, 7.5 months
My sweet bo-beet, 9 years


  1. These pictures make me want to cry I miss SD so much!!! And you of course dear friend! :)

  2. thanks lady! miss you too!


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