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Training Dogs in French

Lionel is back with his cousin Jean-Pierre, who, in addition to being a wildlife expert, is also a dog expert. With the help of his trusty border collie, Chic, Jean-Pierre gives Lionel some helpful pointers on training dogs.

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In part two of the series, Jean-Pierre gives Chic a number of basic dog commands, which Chic performs perfectly. We'll go over some of those commands in this lesson. You may want to revisit our lessons on the imperative mood before reading on, since most of the commands are in that mood.

 

We'll start with the most basic ones—"come," "look," and "sit": 

 

Viens! Regarde. Viens. Assis!

Come! Look. Come. Sit!

Captions 31-33, Lionel - au club canin - Part 2

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Of the above commands, can you spot the one that isn't in the imperative? If you guessed assis, you're correct! Assis is in fact the past participle of the verb s'asseoir (to sit) and literally means "seated." Jean-Pierre could also have said assieds-toi (sit), which is the true imperative of the verb s'asseoir, but assis is more commonly used as a command for dogs. 

 

Jean-Pierre uses another past participle as a command a few captions later: 

 

Allez, couché.

Go on, lie down.

Caption 39, Lionel - au club canin - Part 2

 Play Caption

 

Couché is the past participle of coucher (to go to bed), but to a well-trained dog, it's a command to "lie down." 

 

After Jean-Pierre throws a ball, he says: 

 

Prends! Voilà. Apporte.

Catch! That's it. Fetch.

Captions 50-52, Lionel - au club canin - Part 2

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Prends and apporte are imperative forms of the verbs prendre (to take) and apporter (to bring). So it makes sense that they also mean "catch" and "fetch."

 

Jean-Pierre uses another word for "catch" at another point in the video: 

 

Tu sais attraper, là?

Can you catch, there?

Caption 35, Lionel - au club canin - Part 2

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Finally, he tells Chic to heel, or, literally, to "come to foot": 

 

Viens au pied, là.

Come to foot [heel], there.

Caption 45, Lionel - au club canin - Part 2

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You'll also find a fair number of races de chiens (dog breeds) mentioned in this video: 

 

un teckel - a dachshund
un dalmatien - a Dalmatian 
un chien de chasse - a hunting dog
un berger allemand - a German shepherd
un chien terrier - a terrier (un terrier also means "a burrow")
un bâtard - a mutt 

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And of course, there's un border collie, like Chic!

Vocabulary

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Sous-titre 45, 35, 52, 51, 50, 39, 33, 32, 31
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