How to Talk to Your Partner Without Your Dog Understanding

Keep your clever canines confused and ignorant for a happy life

Ralph, looking for something to eat or play with no doubt. Maybe both

Do you have a pet dog? Is he/she really smart?

Yeah, tell me about it.

I have two Border Collies. They are my two fantastic little dudes. Both as sharp as knives and each with the energy of a supernova.

Notice the eyes are open. Always ready, even when “resting”
Waiting for Mummy to come back from the convenience store

Border collies are the most intelligent breed of dog, by far. There was recently one who broke the record for having the largest vocabulary for their species, being able to understand over one thousand human words.

The problem, as I discovered, is that they are too intelligent. It becomes difficult to talk to my wife without them understanding and going bonkers. They learn words so quickly. Not only that, but my boys are bilingual so they go crazy in two languages.

This is how it was in the beginning:

“Darling, shall we take the boys for a walk?”

But soon they learned the word “walk” and began bouncing off the walls if we said that word.

Then it became:

“Sanpo ni ikimashou.”

And they learned that.

Then we tried spelling out W-A-L-K and S-A-N-P-O and they learned those sequences, those crafty little woofers.

And so on.

Also, after using phrases like “Are you hungry?” and “Shall we go out into the garden?” just a couple of times, they get super excited and are already on their way when I look at them and say “Are — ” or “Shall — ”

Recently, I found myself speaking like Mr. Darcy in order to communicate with my wife without the boys flooding the room with dog energy. They’re good boys, well-trained, but it’s so tiring to watch them zoom back and forth from sofa to front door, or standing alert with those baby brown eyes pleading “let’s go Daddy, let’s go Daddy, let’s gooooooo Daaaaaaaddy! Hurry uuuuuuup!”

I plead back, “please boys, please! Just give me two minutes to get ready, okay? Pretty pleeeeeeease!”

So, here are some examples of how I have to talk so that the boys don’t know what’s happening:

“My dearest wife, would you be amenable to egressing our abode and meandering through the streets for the purpose of exercising the canine duo?”

“Golly gosh, I see that the hour of sustenance for our two empty-bellied quadrupedal companions is upon us.”

“Is it not a wonderful idea to retire to the peaceful surroundings of the grassy area of our property upon which our house does not reside?”

They haven’t caught on to the meaning of those…yet.

Our feeble attempts at tiring them out just build up their stamina so they can play longer
Ralph and Luca wondering why I am messing with my phone instead of throwing balls

Do you have the same problem? How do you deal with highly-energetic dogs ready to go crazy at the mere mention of a word? Have you developed a secret code? How long before it was cracked?

Scifi writer, roboticist, and game developer, 2x Quora Top Writer. I write about writing speculative fiction, computer graphics, AI, evolution, and programming.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store