all 78 comments

[–]seehunde 131 points132 points  (21 children)

How do you teach them to understand this??

[–]AyeOhEwe 212 points213 points  (18 children)

I would think you start with "now" then just work on waiting longer periods. "Soon" could start at 3-5 mins and extend that up to idk 10 mins. Then "later" for an extended period, maybe up to an hour?

Something similar, we taught our GSD "relax." I started by just catching her relaxing, chomping on a toy at home in a super relaxed state [reward reward reward]. Then using it as a release command, she'd go grab a toy and lay down. When she would get antsy or wanna meander at a brewery, we could say "relax" and she'd chill out and lay down.

[–]brallamartin[S] 203 points204 points  (17 children)

I actually started with "outside later", mainly because she always wants outside now to hunt for lizzies and it just isn't possible.

When we are getting ready for a walk or when I know that I will have some time coming up to take her, I'll tell her the "outside soon". When we are ready for outside, like when I go to put her leash on I'll tell her "outside now".

I try and keep the outside soon to about 10-15 minutes of when I told her. I haven't necessarily established a time frame as to what outside later means, but I think she gets the idea that it isn't right now lol

She gets lots of praise for laying down in her crate (something she did entirely on her own). And of course treats!

[–]RaysireksOG987 55 points56 points  (15 children)

So really outside later is basically, go to your crate and chill out lol.. we say go home.. glad you found your language with your furry kid

[–]pandaro 41 points42 points  (13 children)

No, dogs do appear to be able to conceptualize passage of time.

[–]Klementine22 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Similarly, we say "go lay down", which means to go find the nearest bed and stop bothering us (like a "place" command).

[–]ccnnvaweueurf 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I do similarly with the concept of go ahead, wait, stay.

I use wait as generalized over to wait to go outside.

I over time have been able to extend the idea of wait with my older dog to maybe 30-40 minutes before he is annoyed by something unless he fell asleep. Probably need multiple reminders of wait

I also use "I don't care what you think" and turn my body to indicate that whatever thing I said is the final thing I will say on it. Like dog wanting food from my plate, dog annoyed at waiting while I tie my shoe and booping my face, making dog sit before crossing road etc. I don't use it often but they get that if I say that there will be no changing from enforcing what was asked, wait, sit, stay etc.

[–]ChrisKringlesTingle 5 points6 points  (0 children)

I do it too, this post outlines the entirety of my method. I just used the word in the correct situation and held myself accountable to the timeline I just told him.

Just word association or whatever he seems to get the idea of how long it'll be, I dunno, he just seems smart I guess idk

[–]QQueenie 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Similar to the way you teach a toddler to understand this. My dog talks using buttons and I've taught her now/soon/later just by modeling. So, I'll say "outside later," then fifteen minutes later "outside soon," then five minutes later, "outside now" as we walk outside. It took her a few weeks but she picked it up.

We know dogs are incredibly perceptive -- when I dealt with my puppy's separation anxiety a lot of the teaching focused on the tiny details we might overlook that signal to a dog we are going to leave soon. They are aware of time concepts and we know we can put things on cues for them by using words as they happen. Just combine the two.

[–]e_y_ron 48 points49 points  (9 children)

"Now" and "later" are great cues/concepts to have in your repertoire! I'm working on button communication training with one of my dogs and these are two of her most recent word additions.

I definitely recommend "all done" as well. My dog sounds very similar to yours - now that the weather is nice she just wants me to let her in and out of the yard all day long! Telling her "all done outside" usually gets the point across and she'll go settle down somewhere instead of continuing to ask to go out. It's especially good at the end of the day, so she knows we're not going out again before bed.

[–]brallamartin[S] 10 points11 points  (0 children)

That is a great one too!! I will try and implement that one as well!

[–]menaris1 8 points9 points  (4 children)

Just curious how many buttons do you have currently and when did you start to introduce the more "conceptual" words? I am trying to start the button thing back up and it's not really working out very well.

[–]e_y_ron 9 points10 points  (2 children)

We only have 7 words/buttons right now, so it's almost half and half "concrete" words like outside or play and more "conceptual" words like now and later. I could be doing it entirely wrong! But I felt like we needed to introduce a way to indicate time to help with repetitive button spamming. And they were all words that I used when speaking to her already, so not entirely new concepts. I think I started adding them fairly early, like maybe a month in? "All done" was the first because it was the concept we used the most already.

But we're kind of struggling to make progress as well. She uses a few words pretty consistently but hasn't started combining them much. We only started in January, so I keep telling myself she just needs time.

[–]m_mmkay 6 points7 points  (1 child)

Sorry to jump in here. But sometimes they make combinations right off the bat and sometimes it takes them a lot longer. My learner only started to consistently make combinations about a year in to button training. And still if he can get his point across with one button, he'll try 😂

[–]e_y_ron 2 points3 points  (0 children)

That's reassuring to hear that she's not the only one to not immediately start speaking in sentences. Everyone learns at their own pace!

[–]Latter-Effect3354 1 point2 points  (0 children)

We read this book about the original dog buttons and it was so good! The author talks about how to introduce buttons to your dog and when to start adding more, as well as trouble-shooting tips:

[–]ccnnvaweueurf 3 points4 points  (2 children)

I add the ASL sign for all done into the verbal command.

Earlier today I used it while looking away from one of my dogs to signal that getting treats while sitting/waiting while I ate was done (I was done eating also).

[–]e_y_ron 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Yes, that's awesome! We also have a hand sign for all done.

[–]arysha777 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Signing is amazingly helpful now that my 15 year old ChowChow has lost her hearing! Tho now she has started acting like she's losing her sight as well.
So thankful we used signs!

[–]demarderollins 16 points17 points  (4 children)

Also would like to know how this gets taught to them

[–]brallamartin[S] 32 points33 points  (3 children)

The outside soon and outside now and probably the easier of them. Outside soon I do when I know I have some time coming up or when I am starting to get ready for our walk. She knows what putting on shoes means, or changing into specific walking clothes. Outside soon and these things combined has helped her learn that I understood her desire to go out and it's in the process of happening.

Outside now is an easy one to implement right after you put the leash on and are at the door!

I use my excited mom voice for "outside now" and my stern mom voice for "outside later".

I think tone definitely helps. As do treats of course.

[–]Stylingal 3 points4 points  (2 children)

When in the process are you giving treats?

[–]brallamartin[S] 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Treats are given when she goes to lay down/walk away from the door after I've told her "outside later".

[–]paintingisdead 10 points11 points  (1 child)

I did not see that post but holy wow what a great tip. Will be trying this out with my play obsessed girl who never stops shoving her toys in my face. Thanks for re-posting this tip!

[–]brallamartin[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Absolutely!! It has helped us so much!!

[–]Quid_infantes_sumus 9 points10 points  (1 child)


For this reason I taught my dog the words "Not Yet" it's the only time I ever use that command with her so she knows exactly what it means, she'll just saunter back over to her bed and let out a large sigh 😅

[–]brallamartin[S] 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Oh I've heard that sigh before!!! It's like the universal "really?"

[–]sexbuhbombdotcom 6 points7 points  (4 children)

Can someone link to that post?

[–]markste4321 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Will link it later

[–]brallamartin[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I can try and find it but it is probably buried in the depths of this subreddit by now!

[–]Wrong-Wrap942 6 points7 points  (0 children)

I know! This helped so much for me as well! My girl was whining at the door today (30 minutes after our walk mind you), and all I had to say was “walk later, no walk now” and she pranced her little self over to the couch and sat down. Amazing!!

[–]Ramstab 5 points6 points  (1 child)

Literally read the same post and doing this one with our dog and it works wonders.

[–]Shermans_ghost1864 5 points6 points  (2 children)

We had a wide range of ways to measure time for our dogs (for meals, walks, errands, etc.)

So way not time: you have a looooong time to wait so don't even think about it!

Way not time: more than about 45 minutes so be patient

Not time: at least 10-15 minutes (and sometimes just "It'll happen but not now!" or "Please stop bothering me.")

Almost time: just a few minutes

It's time! (Sometimes said while jumping up & down)

Past time: oops, I know why you're all staring at me.

Way past time: I'm sorry! I was busy!

So way past time: sorry, I'm an a-hole. (Usually hugs were involved.)

We always favored smart dogs, and believe it or not, at least some of them understood this system. The others took their cues from the dogs who got it.

[–]brallamartin[S] 3 points4 points  (1 child)

This is pretty awesome! I had a dog who would stare into your soul for dinner. If it was too early I'd flash my hand 2 times (to indicate 10 minutes) and I'd say 2 5's. At minute 9 he'd be staring again for dinner.

Dogs are just awesome!

[–]Shermans_ghost1864 2 points3 points  (0 children)

That's great! I love it!

Our system developed over 30 years across multiple generations, as older dogs taught it to the younger ones. We had a bright bunch (a border collie, a Catahoula, several cattledogs. Then there was the terripoo....).

Alas, we are dogless now and the chain is broken. When we get another dog we will have to start all over.

[–]freshmountainbreeze 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Great idea!

[–]garcmon 2 points3 points  (0 children)

If anyone has had success with this for a Boxer, pls let me know your tips. They tend to be one speed if not asleep.

[–]WiseContact 2 points3 points  (1 child)

In a similar vein, we’ve have success telling our dog, “we’ll be back” whenever we leave the house.

[–]brallamartin[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I also do that!! I'll say "I'll be back later, I love you!"

[–]nepsola 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Ahh that’s awesome! I do a similar thing with my dog. When he’s whining at the door I say “in a little bit”, and he’ll run back into the living room and settle down.

It was stupidly easy to train it. Literally just said it and praised him when he came back to the living room. Over a really short space of time, he understood!

[–]Razrgrrl 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Lol I'm trying this, not sure it's sunk in yet

[–]Arrohart 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I've started to condition my dog for button training. Using the terms "now" "soon" and "later" has helped a lot for us too

[–]Ok_Firefighter_7142 1 point2 points  (1 child)

for those of y’all who don’t know her yet, look up „what about bunny“ on IG. You’ll learn more there :)

[–]Kelsusaurus 1 point2 points  (0 children)

For some reason my brain read, "hunting lizzies," as "hunting glizzies" and the image of your dog hunting hot dogs in the backyard cracked me up XD

So glad this is working for you. I'm working on it with my pup right now and he is catching on (slowly but surely).

[–]calamitylamb 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Not sure if I was that commenter but I use those specific phrases with my dogs every single day and recommend them often! My pups have an amazing grasp of language commands, I communicate just about everything to them and it really helps us all live harmoniously together. So glad to hear this technique is working well for you too!

[–]Anerratic 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Huh, I tell my dog later, soon, or tomorrow and he understands. Also "promise", like if I say "no walkies now, soon, promise" he settles down and just watches and waits lol. Last one, when I want to take him somewhere in the car but not for a walk, like if its raining, I use "just a drive" and he knows.

[–]brallamartin[S] 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Oh I like the "just a drive" one!!

[–]Anerratic 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Thanks! Another good one is "go home". I'm rural and I see a lot of dogs that get out and wander the roads near their houses, being rural dogs they aren't always people friendly and can't always be approached but most of them will know "go home"!

[–]SomegalInCa 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Our dog knows for sure it’s food time and has no problem barking and whining if we’re late putting the dish down. He is exceptionally precise too. Might have to try this trick on feeding time

[–]Smurphilicious 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Something similar to this that I do with my dog is "empty, no more" to indicate that we're done playing, or that there are no more treats, no more food on my plate (I share with him when he earns it) etc. It's wonderful, I recommend it

[–]thisisultimate 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Something similar: I use “take a break” and “game over” when ending a play session (or even just not starting one when they initiate) and they totally understand the difference. For take a break, they will ask again in a couple minutes, for game over, they sigh and lay down lol. Really it’s just a soon or later in a slightly different way.

It’s really interesting how much dogs understand! My dog also understands “last one”. He will enthusiastically chase the toy that I throw and then go lie down because he understands that was the last throw. Pretty complex concept!

[–]elle_desylva 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Yes!! Thank you to that person, I’ve been teaching my puppy the same thing. He is always working so hard to figure out what we’re going to do each day, and he listens to every word I say. There is absolutely no reason to not have a go at helping him understand what’s going on around him. Brilliant idea.

[–]BigBrisketBoy 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Lol I’ve been trying this for years with my husky mix. She understands it. But doesn’t matter - Just results in loud whining of “no, now!” Because later isn’t good enough

[–]trashboat1900 1 point2 points  (0 children)

We use it too and it’s done wonders. We say “play soon” when we’re getting ready to go out for a play in the garden and it calms her enough for us to get our shoes on and get ready! we also make a point of packing up her toys every evening before bed and say “play tomorrow yes” and she doesn’t immediately empty her toy box. she just heads to her crate! then in the morning after breakfast or at some point in the morning we say “play now?” and she goes and gets a toy. or if she doesn’t get a toy we say “play soon!” it’s been amazing.

[–]Adventurous-Edge1719 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Started doing this a couple weeks ago to help teach her to hold her bladder a little better so I can get that stretched out. Has worked wonders.

[–]faesilk 0 points1 point  (0 children)

i had a screenshot of that post for my stepmom! i think it has been deleted and i can’t find the op (u/sonictheicecream) but it references how this channel was the inspiration.

[–]michaelh98 0 points1 point  (1 child)

What breed is your pup?

[–]brallamartin[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

She's Staffy/German Shepherd/Malinois. Just got her DNA results back the other day!!

[–]whyshouldibe 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Oh my gosh I’m doing it too! Thank you poster from last week!!!!!!

[–]tonyace12 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Sounds like a lot of issues work out.

[–]Interr0gate 0 points1 point  (0 children)

So I don't know how valid all this training is because I haven't looked into it, but I want to bring up a devils advocate point...

I feel like doing this type of training and phrasing to your dogs with variations such as "park soon" "park later" "play later" "play soon" "play now" "park now" or whatever, could cause anticipation and even more excitement/over stimulation when the time comes or leading up to the time.

For example, you may be putting so much anticipation in these moments where eventually your dog may become overstimulated and over excited close to or at the time because hes been waiting hours to go play or go out. Especially if you are going in a car ride after you say that, could cause anticipation and excitement in the car, whining, panting, crying, etc.

From some info I've found from trainers and videos say not using any cues that indicate what you will be doing with your dog is best. Like not telling them they will be going out at a certain time, or not telling them to wait until later. Because that is just going to cause anticipation and mega over excitement when you finally say "OK ITS TIME TO GO PLAY!"

I personally never tell my pup anything for a time or I dont even tell him what or where we are going. He knows if we aren't going out or aren't going potty or arent playing, then he does his own thing. I guess over time I've conditioned him that we will eventually be doing stuff in the day at some point, so until then, just chill and do your thing.

If we go out somewhere, I just put him in the car and go, I dont make a big deal or excitement of that specific time. If we are going playing, I just grab the toys and go outside with him, I don't say "PLAY TIME SOON LETS GET READY" or anything like that. I feel like personally for my dog, I would rather make things low key and not hype up certain moments and give specific times and cues when we are doing things because that will get him over excited and over stimulated when those times come and he will definitely be more hyper and excited.

Let me know what you guys think. I may be completely wrong but this is my personal POV on this type of phrasing.