Tuesday, April 26, 2011

V. Variety. Variations on commands.

I have tried to come up with something for v.  So, here it is. 

We have a couple variations on standard commands for the dog, the chickens (yes, the chickens), and one for the llamas.

First, Rudee.  He has one command that I have a suspicion not too many other dogs have.

"Moo".  Said loudly, and sometimes with a "no" after.  It's a command that more or less translates to, "you have been eating grass for the last 10 minutes, knock it off." (He eats too much, it will make him sick.) Occasionally, we have to repeat it, as he will check, see that we aren't watching (or so he thinks), then will slllloooowly put his head down and take another bit of grass in his mouth.  Leading to a louder moo, with a definite no.  That usually gets him to stop. 

Has also made the neighbors give us funny looks...

A hand command, picture an underhand in softball.  This is his non-verbal command for either 'go in your kennel', or 'you can eat now'.  I have used it so much, sometimes I can just make the motion, and he goes into his kennel.  The funny part, this is mostly the time I have a bit of trouble, as he will turn around and stick his head out to be petted.  Guess he figures, I can signal for him to go to the kennel, them hands are fine for scratching, too...

"Beep."  This one is shorthand when I am walking, for, "you are going to get a walking pole into your backside if you don't move.  Urgently repeated, if I am tipping over, and he has stuck his head in a rabbit hole.  He doesn't seem to pay attention to "go", "move", "watch it", but "beep" seems to get his attention every time, but it's when I am walking.  All the other aforementioned commands work fine with both Husband and I, when we are by the house. 

Go figure.

This leads to the chicken command.  When I had a big batch of chickens, (about 30 total, pre-bobcat), I had to get them to move away from the gate when I opened it, or they would get caught as it swung open.  The least that would happen is a chicken rolled in mud, but I had a few injured, too, so I came up with the idea of making a sound when I opened the gate. 

The only thing that immediately came to mind was the back up alarm of a truck.  You know, 'beeeep, beeep, beeeep...'.  Well, I did this, every day, every time I went out to the chickens.  Pretty soon, they would all back up from the gate simultaneously.  This worked really well at times when I had my hands full, packing in feed! 

The best part, however, was when we had a delivery of rock.  The truck slowly backed up the drive, beeep, beeep, beeep, and the next thing I know... 

The whole flock had dutifully walked away from the gate, and were looking around intently, to see when I would walk into the hen yard!  I so wish I had a video of it, they just did exactly what they were supposed to.  I haven't practiced it with this  new group, they are much more aware of the gate for some reason, and stay away from it, for the most part.  (Rudee doing herding practice for wayward birds, perhaps?) 

The llamas, they have one word, it's not a command, really, it's to call them for breakfast.  I have no idea why I started saying it the way I did, but I call for them, "Brekkers!"  I started that when I first had them eating grain, and now, they will ignore anything, except when I call for brekkers.

However, llamas aren't known for being overly gregarious, affection overloaded animals, either, so there you go.  Way to a llama's heart... Food. 

Like other beings I've heard of.


  1. Rudee has a yen for grass, huh? Do they do that to soothe their stomachs or to make themselves throw up? I could never figure that out.

    Very funny, the chickens and the rock truck! Chickens are quite smart - for the size of their brain....

    Nice to see you!

  2. Sharon:

    Hi! Yeah, I haven't figured out why he does it, either. I just try desperately to get him to not overdo... And yes the chickens are smarter than you think, for something with a brain the size of a shelled peanut. :)

    Nice to be able to post for a bit! And you, too!


  3. i had to laugh at this post! we taught our pugs to back up to "beep, beep, beep" as well! i initially started it to get them out of the way so i could open the refrigerator door. the last few years of nigel's life, he went blind. obviously, it came in handy for when he was trucking across the yard, thinking he knew where he was going.

  4. bon bon:

    I am happy to know that "beep, beep, beep" is not singular to my bunch! (The moo seems to be, however.)


  5. Nice variations! After all, what's the use of a command for your animals if you can't use it to suit what you need?

    It's nice to know that chickens can be taught to at least get out of the way.

  6. Thats a riot, love the idea of the chickens minding, didnt know they were smart enought to train.


Hi! What have you to say today?