Today I was sitting on my deck and Lyric, my Doberman brought a hunk of bark to gnaw on. I didn't want him to mess up my deck and was too lazy to get up and really show him that I wanted him to take it onto the lawn instead, so I gave a half attemp (not thinking it would really work) at telling him to take it off the deck. I said, "Lyric, take the toy off the deck." (duh.....like he's really going to understand a whole English sentence) He's never been taught to do this. He does know what "toy" means and I thought he might see the bark as a toy. He also knows what "off" means in connection with him getting off of the couch or counter (when he was a pup) etc. But he's never been really taught how to apply that to other things. I was quite suprised when I said again, "Lyric....toy off. Toy off deck," (he doesn't know what deck is either I don't think) he picked up the bark and went off the deck onto the grass. A minute later, he again came on the deck with the bark and set it down. And again, I said the same thing, "Toy off deck." He grabbed it up and again went and lay down on the grass with it, at which time I told him how wonderful he was. LOL. Isn't that something how he took some components of things he understood and made a new connection and applied them to something entirely different on his own? That's a smart dog I think. LOL.