Dogs are very intelligent creatures. Yes, we complain when they don't listen, but I'm quite convinced that my boys don't listen because they choose not to, not because they don't understand what I'm telling them.
During the winter, I would occasionally say "Boys...do you want to go to the country?" These little guys go goofy jumping up and down and running to the door. At first I thought perhaps it was my tone of voice that excited them, so I used the same tone and said "Boys...do you want to have a bath?" (a most hated activity) and I did not get the same reaction.
Anytime we went to visit family in the country, we would always say "Boys...do you want to go to the country?" and I guess they associated "country" with that wonderful green space where they run free, experience many new scents, chase birds, meet cats and other dogs, and how can we forget the numerous trees to mark?
So I wonder if the boys dream of the country when they're sound asleep and making those sweet little yipping sounds. I wonder if they understand what "going to the country" really means? All I know is when I say that word, they are excited and happy. Maybe they truly are a lot smarter than we sometimes give them credit for.