I want to teach Juno English and another language(English first) given that the 2nd language is the home spoken language...not because i want him to be talented! but he also needs to learn english since training classes will be taught in that. Is it possible for a dog to be bilingual? How do you go about teaching him tricks and commands in both languages...which one to start first? will it only confuse him?  Has anyone tried? would love to hear stories and your POV

btw: ...new here. Will be getting my pup(Juno) towards the end of May he's currently 8wks & i've met him twice.super excited!!!can't wait to get my baby!...this will be my first dog & I have many questions but this was one that i haven't found an answer to through research.



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Yep, police dogs are bilingual and some agility and service dogs are as well. Most common languages are English and German or English and Dutch but you can teach them any. Its the same thing as teaching a word and a hand signal, in a sense dogs who respond to both are bilingual as well. I personally don't see a real point in doing it, but you could. You could teach him hand signals and then use whatever word you want to associate with that command.


It is possible to get Corgi to understand the same command with different languages.  We often issue commands in English and Chinese.  Yoda and Chewie understand the commands fine.  However, they might respond slower with the secondary language (Chinese in my case).  If English is your primary language start with that.  However, if you seldom use the secondary language, they will forget just as humans do.  So, unless you use two languages all the time with them, otherwise it may not be effective.

I plan to use both languages on a consistent basis. do you think it will be too confusing if i said SIT and then right after also added the command in the 2nd language?

Yes, that is the easiest way to get him to associate the action with both command.  Be sure there is a distinct stop between two languages, so they do not confuse it into one word.

You are setting the bar very high for this yet to come 8 wks.old puppy..... i would suggest that you keep your interaction with the puppy simple and use the forms of language you are most accustomed to, without giving it too much thought or planning.  Dogs have many ways of understanding what you want, regardless of how you choose to say it.  Get to know your pup in a loving and relaxed way and allow him to get to know you and bond with you and you will be amazed at the results.  It takes time and pressure to teach him in different languages will only complicate your life and his; if you instead speak to him in any way that comes natural to you in the moment, he will learn to respond appropriately.  Be patient, as you would with any infant....

good to know thanks. I'm only trying to teach a second language because it's the spoken home language so everyone will be speaking to him in that but i want him to know english because outside of home everyone will be talking to him in that language.....yeah...complicated =/

Juno, the dog will naturally learn to respond to his environment , both inside and outside the home, if you do not try to artificially manipulate that environment.  Since each dog is an individual and has its own level of intelligence and learning style,  I would do some observing, with the intent of helping if I saw confusion, but allowing the dog to process things on his own as much as possible with the various individuals he needs to relate to. If his primary relationship is with you, speak in whatever way comes natural to you ( don't even think of it as two languages ) but don't use long sentences, that does not work for dogs in general.  Companion animals, in time, respond more to body language, tone of voice, various situational cues and yes, your mental images and thinking, than they do to the actual words.  We use two languages in the house, but only English with the dogs.  When we don't want the dogs to understand, we talk in the other language ( for us Italian ). This works for awhile, then they learn to understand what we are saying anyhow, which is not directed at them, but has to do with them.  Next we resort to spelling and soon they get that too...  Just relax about it, be yourself, cultivate the bond and prepare to be amazed :-)

I'd probably work on teaching commands in the primary language first while also teaching hand signals, and then once he has those down, you can give the hand signal while teaching the commands in the secondary language.  Otherwise I think it would be confusing to the pup.

Tama was a year old when he joined our family.  After he got used to us, I started giving him commands in Japanese.  I would tell him the command in English and then in Japanese.  No special rewards, and over time and he picked up the Japanese words.  Now he'll obey Japanese without the English cue.  In fact, the "let's go" command only works in Japanese.

Good luck!

I would do exactly what Cheetah suggested. Yes, dogs can learn multiple "languages" (really cues). My dogs know that "treat" and "cookie" mean the same thing. Many dogs learn to "spell" words that are important to them.

BUT I would teach each cue in one language first, then re-teach it in the second language. Most working police dogs know English and German, and I don't think it's confusing to the dog as long as you are consistent. Good luck!

ty! will try. Plan to get him a little earlier now. :) YAY!


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