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November 14, 2013

Magic Words

A dog’s sense of hearing is pretty incredible.  I’m not talking about the powerful ability to hear better than us humans, mind you.  I’m more impressed by Eko’s selective hearing. Sometimes at the park I swear I have a deaf dog, but that’s not what I mean either! At at
A dog’s sense of hearing is pretty incredible.  I’m not talking about the powerful ability to hear better than us humans, mind you.  I’m more impressed by Eko’s selective hearing. Sometimes at the park I swear I have a deaf dog, but that’s not what I mean either! At at home I never ceased to be amazed at Eko’s ability to hear the “magic words,” no matter where he is and no matter how quietly I say them.  The magic words are unique for each pup, but they’re magic because your pup knows they mean it’s time for one of their favorite things.  Here are the magic words for Eko: Rhodesian Ridgeback, adventure, marking our territory, mr. eko, dogs, photos

“Goooood morning” – Eko used to  jump out of his bed anytime I got up.  Even if it was the middle of the night and I was just going to the bathroom or to grab some water.  On those occasions when he’s not the first one out of bed, he knows that “good morning” means its time to get the day started.  No more hopping in and out of bed for Eko

Rhodesian Ridgeback, adventure, marking our territory, mr. eko, dogs, photos

“Hungry?” – Easily Eko’s favorite magic word, “hungry” always elicits the same response.  Eko licks his lips, does a lap around the table and then sits like a polite school boy, his eyes begging me to hurry up!

Rhodesian Ridgeback, dogs, adventure. photos, chicago

“Treat” – For the most part, Eko is out cold when he takes a nap on the couch.  He could sleep through a party.  But somehow, no matter how deep his slumber, his head immediately pops up if he hears the T-word.  Sleep can always wait for treats

Rhodesian Ridgeback, dogs, adventure. photos, chicago

“Outside/Walk” – The King of Blankets comes billowing over to my desk anytime I mention going outside.  He makes sure to block the door so he can’t be left behind.

“Ohhhh-kay” – This is my personal favorite magic word.  All the other magic words were ones I consciously chose and repeated, but Eko learned “Ohhh-kay” all on his own.  I did not realize that before Eko and I do just about anything I will take a deep breath and say “Ohhh-kay.”  I only realized it when I was upstairs by myself and said it and Eko came dashing up the stairs expectantly.  It made me question who is training who!

Rhodesian Ridgeback, adventure, marking our territory

“What’s that?” – No matter what he’s doing, if Eko hears me say “What’s that?” he picks his head up and quickly looks around.  He know’s I’m letting him know a new dog is at the park, or something else good is going on that he should check out.

Magic words can also cause some trouble.

Rhodesian Ridgeback, adventure, marking our territory, mr. eko, dogs, photos

“Did you say, ‘meet you there’ or ‘treat you there?'” – If I use a word similar in sound to a magic word, Eko will often give me a quizzical look and try to decipher what’s going on 

Rhodesian Ridgeback, adventure, marking our territory, mr. eko, dogs, photos

“I’m hungry too!” –  Visiting home, my mom asked me if I was hungry.  Eko already had breakfast, but that didn’t stop him from pouting for twenty minutes after hearing the magic word

One of my favorite parts about Eko’s magic words is having to tiptoe around them when I have friends over.  The conversation usually go as follows:

Me: In fifteen minutes I have to take Eko for uh…a you-know-what, you-know-where…

Them: …you mean a walk outside?

*Eko goes crazy*

Me: Welp, guess we’re going for that walk now.

What are the magic words in your house?

Comments for Magic Words

  1. That’s really like magic, I agree! Our magic words are “look what I have” that’s always the trigger. But I also follow signs: if my dad reaches out his arm in mom’s direction, that’s the signal that the Weim immediately has to lay between the two :o)

  2. raisingdaisy says:

    Those are great photos, especially that last one! We’ve tried to vary our “magic words” so we can communicate without Daisy freaking out. But our nicknames for her – the ones we use when she’s being just too cute for us to bear – always are the same and cue her to the fact that she’s mushied us up. Those are words like “The Baby!”, “awwwww”, “sweet little thing”, etc, all said with a similar honeyed tone of voice. When she hears them, she knows she’s got us, and she rolls onto her back, waiting for a tummy rub. 🙂

  3. Emmadog says:

    We have our “key words” too, even Bailie has a few already. Uh oh means there might be trouble and we all look for it, squirrel and wabbit, of course. Snacks (rather than treats so it isn’t as common), Fruehstueck (German for breakfast), Gramma, those are just a few of them. Mom tried spelling W-A-L-K but we figured out that trick pretty fast too.

  4. So true! Great post Will! Well done Eko!!!

  5. Gina says:

    “Cookie,” Fiona perks up and her mouth will water. This girl normally has a very dry mouth. “Doors doors doors” and all three jump up, run outside and go pee. Oh my favorite “table for three” that’s breakfast or dinner. Seating for three, one in each kennell. Kimi knows ” box box box” that’s time for this name sake Formula 1 race car driver to bring himself in. Time for bed, into his kennel. Which is not easy when the big girls get to go in our bed.

  6. Mrs Fever says:

    Spelling never helped with my dog. Nor did pig latin (alk-way in the ark-pay?), though my husband and I tried. And no matter how dead asleep she was, deep in dreamland chasing squirrels, she would be awake *instantly* and sprint to us if we clicked her leash lead. 🙂

    I miss my sweet girl.

  7. Victoria says:

    ours are downstairs -means either play outside or play downstairs while i do laundry. Which also means laundry is a magic word that means socks to snack on or play. whats that means there is a deer on the lawn or something quite close. Now on the other side – two barks tells me its potty time, intermittent but constant barks with a circle around the great room means I need a treat, face licks mean hey atttention here i need something and grumble yawns mean i want a belly rub. so canine magic words – kind of…

  8. Marcela says:

    Oh, Will, let me tell you that you and Eko are the perfect comedy team. I always laugh while reading your blog. Alex, just like Eko, loves the word Treat, but I think my girl is more into body language. I am usually too absorbed getting myself ready to go out, scarf, gloves, jacket, etc., to remember to say walk. But I don’t have to because Alex comes to where I am as soon as she sees me getting dress and with a cute face looks at me as if asking, “am I going out too?” I laughed so hard at the part where you have to tip toe around certain words:) You two are hilarious:)

  9. Steven/ Buddy says:

    Buddy and I are some what routine, meaning I eat the same thing every morning. So Buddy knows this, I use cheese, so Buddy will wait till he hears the refrigerator open, then waits till he hears the container for the cheese is opened, then he is jonny on the spot, right next to me waiting for his slice of cheese.
    But there have been a couple of times.I.made the same thing I have for breakfast, for dinner, and Buddy acts the same way.
    As for words, oh yeah, Buddy had them to.

  10. I love learning about other dogs favorite words, we have quite a few in our house too such as, walk, car ride, outside, potty, treat, cookie and my personal favorites cheesy snack and waffles.

  11. Whee have trigger words. If whee hear the hooman say ‘munchie time’ or ‘go home’ whee all instantly run back to our cages to await treats!

    Our problem is any mention of food or even any suggestion someone in the house might eat something causes us to squeak like crazy . . . you know, just in case they fancy sharing!

    Nacho, Noah, Buddy & Basil

  12. Eve says:

    Juley also has a variety of magic words, but the most favorite is W A L K; and yes she even learned how to spell it. So new magic words have been use and soon to be changed again and again. So far we have use exercise, exploration; and couple of others that had to be given up. But it is the old favorite – W A L K that get her going best. I enjoy all of your posts and have fun with some new words!

  13. Elyse says:

    I taught my recently departed Springer to come for a special great when he was off the leash by saying “CAR” Because we walked along abandoned farm roads where there was an occasional vehicle. Since “come” has never worked for any of my dogs, I improvised and it worked. Whatever it takes …

  14. I use “let’s go” when I want Donna to come away from something she is checking out and for us to continue with the walk… I use it so much, I find it creeping into my everyday vocabulary so that when Mr P and I are ready to go out, I say “Let’s go” too to Mr P… Only Donna would think that it’s for her and that we are going out for a walk!

    So nowadays we have to speak in Chinese when we don’t want her to listen in to our conversation. Talk about a spy in the midst!

  15. harrispen says:

    For us it can also be trigger actions. If we change our clothes they usually know either the humans are leaving the house or we are all going on an adventure. Our dogs don’t wear collars around the house so when we grab them you might as well say “Want to go for a ride?”

  16. Rose says:

    The elephant in the room…
    Dog park/ doggy daycare
    Big sellers here. I sometimes bring up a walk before I’m ready and then he goes between me and the door to remind me.

  17. Mags Corner says:

    Oh, yes we have magic words and magic sounds. Chancy’s favorite words are cookie, itsy bitsy (small treat), outside, and go get your ball. Hugs and nose kisses

  18. There are magic words and magic sounds and magic movements from the Mom Person. Even magic attire. If a bandanna appears we know we’re going to work. If she takes her glasses off or puts her shoes on we’re going outside. If she puts her hat on we’re going to the river and that’s the most magic word ever. We dogs are so much smarter than you humans give us credit for! We just KNOW things!

  19. Misaki says:

    ‘dinner’ is one of my favourite words 🙂

  20. Boomdeeadda says:

    Cats are not as intuitive as dogs and I don’t think much care what ‘you want them to do’. The words I seem to use most are ‘down’ and ‘no’. It’s like having 2 year olds 😀

  21. Three moggies are the same they only want to hear MILK or DINNER 🙂

  22. Jamie says:

    I love your blog! My husband and I have a rescue pup (he is 5, but still my puppy ). Jack has a little bit of separation anxiety and when my husband asks me if I am ready to leave-Jack drops his head and pouts. So we tried spelling ready. Yeah, that worked for about a week!! We have to be careful about saying squirrel and don’t EVEN think about looking in the direction of where his leash is kept!!! We also board him at a place that has camp in its name. As soon as he hears that he goes bonkers!!!

  23. Valerie says:

    Potty… Can’t even spell it.. I get p.o. And there at the door spinning in circles lol

    Or let’s go . They will run in to door if I don’t hurry to open it..

    My fave is daddy’s home and that is met with bellows of barking and expecting the door to garage open to great daddy.!!!!guess I’m boring lol

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