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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.

 

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!
Cap. 31-33, Lionel: au club canin - Part 2

 

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.
Cap. 39, Lionel: au club canin - Part 2

 

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
Cap. 50-52, Lionel: au club canin - Part 2

 

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? 
Cap. 35, Lionel: au club canin - Part 2

 

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

 

Viens au pied, là.
Come to foot [heel], there.
Cap. 45, Lionel: au club canin - Part 2

 

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 

 

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

Vocabulary

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Caption 31, 32, 33, 35, 39, 45, 50, 51, 52
Intermediate

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