I'm often amazed at just how smart my dogs are, even if they like to act dumb at times. I say they "act" dumb, on purpose, so they don't have to listen to me when they don't feel like it. I was babysitting Sweetie for the week while Bluey was visiting Chris in Chicago, and while I had to go out for a bit, I called Sweetie over. "Now, listen you. I'm going out for a little bit to run errands. Do NOT go downstairs and get into the litter boxes, you hear me? NO cat poop for you! You stay upstairs, or you're gonna get in trouble!" My mom walked past me while I was having this talk with the dog and said, "You're talking to her as if she understand what you're saying." I said, "They DO understand what I'm saying!" I'm not even kidding. Well, she didn’t go in the litter boxes while I was gone! :}
People who say dogs don't understand what people tell them don't know what they're talking about. O.o I've told my dogs to do things in plain English, that they've never heard before, and they'll listen. For example, today Dakota was running around my room, playing tuggy with pat_the_fox while I was in the other room. Apparently Koda jumped up on my bed and Pat was yelling at him to get down. I came into the room, and Koda was already down, but I looked at him and he stopped in his tracks. I said, "Koda? What were you doing? Sit yer bum." And he sat down right away, with his ears perked, paying SUCH close attention to me (which is something he very rarely does). I said, "Were you on my bed?" He flattened his ears. I said, "No going on my bed. You know better. Now go play with your toys." And he got up and went to play with his toys.
Another example, Barkley was also running around my room today, playing with iron_raptor and Pat. At one point he was laying in the middle of my room, panting like a maniac, so I looked at him and said, "For goodness sake dog, if you're that tired and thirsty, just go into the bathroom and get a drink." So he got up, walked into my bathroom and got a drink from the bowl I keep in there for them. Then he came back and laid beside me.
Maybe these examples mean nothing to some people out there, but I honestly believe that animals know and understand FAR more than we think they do. My dogs don't just obey simple one-word commands. I find that if I want them to do something, I simply ask or tell them to do so in plain English, and I get a far better response from them.
And now for a cute photo. :) My boys are spoiled, and have an entire toy box that they can picks toys out of whenever they feel like it. Dakota is on the left, and Barkley is on the right. ^^