It’s not so much that I have tried to teach Dobby English, but he has a working comprehension of many words and phrases I use daily. The obvious words to learn are food-related:
Dobby has also learned some names:
He has also learned to differentiate between a Visitor and a Neighbor. He knows that visitors expect him to show off, do a little Doofus Dance. Neighbors just make strange and sudden off-site noises and are to be ignored.
Dobby also knows about his co-pets:
- Norman (the goose and flock manager)
Dobby is learning some tricks, which include:
- Stand up
- Turn around
- Lie down
- Come here
Unfortunately, he prefers to do the trick first, and then have me guess which one he did!
Dobby is also learning the parts of his body:
This was very useful when the Veterinarian had to examine his eye, and later when I had to put ointment in every day. When I would tell him I had medicine for his eyeball, he would sit quietly and let me put goop in his eye!
Finally, there are some activities and places he understands:
- Front Yard
- Don’t Let the Chickens Out! - This one when he’s going through aviary gates
- Careful! - Opening gates near his feet, going down stairs
- Up the Ramp! - Training him to use a ramp to get in and out of the car
Dobby has taught me to communicate, capybara-style, too! He taught me to tip my head to point at things, or point with my head to tell him to come. He wiggles his ears to approve and head butts me to make me stop dead in my tracks! He motions with his mouth to tell me he wants something, and makes a low cluck for approval. He squeaks with anticipation and keeps up a conversation with his purrs. He barks to alert me to danger. It’s his Doofus Dance that tells the biggest story, though. He twirls and spins and runs back and forth, then spins again, and I know he’s a happy capy!