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Hello everybody.

I moved here, from Brazil, in 2014 due an internal transferring on my job. We speak portuguese in the house, mostly to keep my children's mother language, although they're already speaking English between them and better than I will never be.

Anyway, we have an 8 weeks old Golden Retriever puppy and got me thinking whether I teach him the basic obedience commands in English or Portuguese :ponder:

Personally I've been trying to keep it in English, but some times just say things in Portuguese, inside the house, is my natural behavior. What concerns me is if I have to leave the dog with a sitter or in a day care where no one would speak Portuguese...

Is there any other "bilingual" dog around here? If so, how did you do with the different languages in the house? :)

Thanks!
 

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My dog is not bilingual because I am not bilingual and I live alone, but it is completely possible for the dog to know several different commands for one task. You just need to teach them carefully. Ie. Alva comes when I call 'tänne', 'eteen', 'tule' or pat my legs. She also sits for 'istu' and 'sit/sitt/sitz' or at my pointed finger.

Yet she won't always obey my mother even though my mother should know some of her basic commands. Alva is not expecting other people to command her. Although for a treat she would try almost anything.
 

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Totally do-able, it just does mean that you have more work to teach both cues to mean the same thing. it can go by pretty fast depending on the word/extent of training put in.

I would have the primary language as one the community can use, though, for emergencies. If your dog gets lost and recalls to strangers if they say 'come', you might get him back sooner, etc.
 

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Yup, dogs can definitely be bilingual. My girl speaks English and a bit of Dutch (since she stays with Dutch friends during the day sometimes). Luckily the commands she gets most are Come and Sit and these are "Kome" and "Zit" -- not too hard :) But "Down" is "Af" so that one is actually different.

It's easiest to associate a hand signal for the command and then once the visual cue is established to associate both verbal cues with it, then practice just the verbal cues (giving the visual cue only when needed to help out).

So for example my hand cue for sit is to raise my hand outwards with my four fingers and thumb together; my cue for lie down is to point to the ground (but in front of me); my cue for "come" is to point to the ground with my arm at my side (as in "put yourself right here next to my leg. Now.")

Hope that helps!
 

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Mine are taught in German. Main reason is because I am German. German commands are short and distinct unlike some English commands (depending on what words you use). They also sound more forceful than the English counterparts which works a lot better my line of training. Schutzhund is traditionally taught in German so that is what I go with.
Neither of my dogs know any English words. I picked German for them and stuck with it.
 

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Hello everybody.

I moved here, from Brazil, in 2014 due an internal transferring on my job. We speak portuguese in the house, mostly to keep my children's mother language, although they're already speaking English between them and better than I will never be.

Anyway, we have an 8 weeks old Golden Retriever puppy and got me thinking whether I teach him the basic obedience commands in English or Portuguese :ponder:

Personally I've been trying to keep it in English, but some times just say things in Portuguese, inside the house, is my natural behavior. What concerns me is if I have to leave the dog with a sitter or in a day care where no one would speak Portuguese...

Is there any other "bilingual" dog around here? If so, how did you do with the different languages in the house? :)

Thanks!
I speak Portugues to my Fila, English to my Lab, and Spanish to both. They're just sounds to them, if you teach them what it means they have no problem.
 

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I think it would be pretty cool for the kids if their dog was taught in Portuguese- that's a really nice way to keep that language alive for them. Maybe train mostly in Portuguese, but have a few basic commands taught in English in case others need to use them- like come, sit, down, leave it, drop it. Personally I rarely encounter other people who tell my dog to do anything, and if they do I'd never expect her to listen unless it's 'sit' or 'come' or they have food. I think a lot of dogs are better at performing wit their owner, I view teaching her to listen to others as its own step in training, personally.

Also, if the dog is especially smart and needs the mental stimulation learning multiple commands for the same hand signal could be beneficial.
 

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Guys I couldn't be more grateful for all of you who chimed in and shared your thoughts. I really appreciate it!

We decided to mix Portuguese and English. Right now it's working. Let's see how it goes. I promise to post some updates soon.
 
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