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I have had people comment to me that it's amazing my dogs "seem to understand what you say". Like, if someone says to them "You guys can't come out right now", they will stop looking at the door, and then the person says I have amazing dogs.

Well, of course I think I have the best dogs in the universe. But all of my dogs have been able to discern what I am saying, or what others say, to them. I always tell people who are amazed, that their dog would probably be like that as well if:
they trained the dog
they spent a lot of time with the dog
And most of all:
they made a point of talking to the dog a lot, like saying "you can come with me" or, "you can't go this time".

Talk to the dog and the dog will learn to understand you. Pretty simple.
Dogs are so much more on all levels than people have typically given them credit for being.
A few yrs ago we were in the park and jesse wanted to go in the mangrove water and it was stinky that day so i said he couldnt go in he stood there refused to budge cause he was havining a tanty.
I sat down and twinched my spinal athritis and couldn't get up without help but jesse refused to help he said screw you. I said how about a compromise if you help me ill let you go in. Immediately he ran over to me and went in brace position without me guiding him then afterwards he bolted straight in water
 
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