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Dog Commands in French

The week before last I shared that I was venturing into the body-based grammar of cat language, and while I can’t say that I’ve achieved the fluency of even a blind three-day old kitten, I can say that I’ve had some success. Take this morning. I was doing yoga in a spot of sun when Nandi FluffyPants wandered into the room and tossed herself onto the carpet beside me. When she glanced up, I took the opportunity to blink an adoring “I love you” at her. She responded by flicking just the tip of her tail, which I took to mean “I know.”

Today’s post is for dog lovers. The tenor will be a bit different. Rather than sharing ways to whisper sweet nothings, I’ll be towing a stricter line: commandes pour les chiens.

My friends Di and Mr. Di have a seven-month-old Golden Retriever puppy-monster, Sebastian. Because the Dis are good dog owners, Sebastian is being trained to obey commands, which he sometimes does. And because Sebastian is a Canadian dog, I’ve taken it upon myself to teach him French. Should you, too, wish your dog (or gerbil or guppy) to be bilingual, the following are some handy commands.

No!   Non! (no)

Down.   Couché (coo-shay)

Off.  Degage (deh-gah-zheh)

Leave it.   Laisse-le (lass-aye lay)

Quiet.   Silence (see-lahns)

Sit.   S’assis  (sah-see)

Stay.   Reste (rest)

Okay.   D’accord (dah-core) or D’ac (dak)

Good boy.   Garçon sage (gar-sown sawzh)

Kiss.   Baisé (beh-zay)

Come.   Viens (vee-eh)

Go inside.   Entré (ahn-tray)

Go outside.   Dehors (due-or)

Heel.   Au pied (oh-pee-aye)

Fetch.   Rapporte (a-port)

Jump.   Saute (soot)

E-mail me your favorite commands, and I’ll add them to the list.