Wally's Spanish "Vocabulary" Grows: ¿Dónde está? (Where is it?) | Exploits of an Amateur Dog Trainer: Blog Edition

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wally's Spanish "Vocabulary" Grows: ¿Dónde está? (Where is it?)

Yet another cue fell under the influence of the improved learning when switching to a Spanish word (or in this case, a short sentence).

Well, perhaps, not so much "improved" but he certain took to it immediately, and I'm wondering why.

The cue this time was "find it!" which, as you might guess, cues him to start searching around trying to find "it". Part of the quest for object discrimination is to be more specific than "it" but, right now, this is where we are. Changing over to "¿Dónde está?" (Where is it?) took hardly any time at all. This was really interesting because usually, there's some period where he's still trying to figure it out. But with this, he just got all over it.

Don't know why! Perhaps it's that it's connected to sniffing? Maybe it ends up being self-rewarding as he enjoys the sniffing and then of course if there's something for him to eat, he'll love the food.

As usual, we played something of a game with it. I hid lots of treats around in various places and I would take him to the places and cue "¿Dónde está?" for him to go find the treats. He does seem to not quite understand that the one cue is for all the treats he can find, so that's one place he will need to figure out, but given the early returns, that should be no real problem at all.

Adding on the object names one day will probably be where the challenge skyrockets in using this expression. That will certainly be an adventure, and probably take a lot of time and practice. 

Of course, I'm still wondering why the "new language" is working this well. There is one expression he just can't get at all and that's "Buenas noches" (good night) in place of "bedtime". Now this one is taking a lot longer for him to get. It's got to be a sounds thing. I wish I knew of a good way to test which phonics sounds he hears well and poorly! Anyone have an ideas?