April Denton

April & Jax
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I am a rural trail/MTB trail builder with a 2yo Collie x Kelpie pup, living on a Scottish farm.

Contrast button to ALL DONE? Modelling 2-word phrases

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My learner Jax has had his buttons for about two weeks, and he picked up two of his three buttons on the second day - 'outside' and 'play'. He started using them as a request (as I modelled them), then yesterday he used the 'outside' button immediately after coming back inside and walked away to lie down. When he did the same thing today I agreed and modelled 'Yes, we went outside, outside all done' - he sat and listened to me and then got up on the couch to lie down. He has also used 'play' 'outside' together 5 or 6 times. I'm not 100% definite yet that he meant to join them as a concept, but his non-verbal cues seemed to confirm he did want to go outside and play.

I think I want to start modelling 2-word sentences. For no, I say 'Outside/play not-right-now', or 'Outside/play all done'. When I say yes to a request e.g. for outside I normally say 'Jax want outside? Okay, let's go outside' - this is how I phrase a lot of our communication and have since he was a puppy.

I am happy to model 'all done' next - he definitely knows what 'all done' means so I'd love to start modelling it as well as saying it! There are lots of modelling opportunities - when he figured out what the 'outside' button was he pressed it about 3-5 times an hour for the first two days - he's the kind of guy who gets done with a 5km run and immediately asks to go play tug, or who gets pets for an hour then grumbles when you get up to go to the loo!

I'm unsure if I would like to add 'want' as a contrast to 'all done' - we have used it since he was a puppy so I know he is familiar with it. I've never said 'now' or 'more' before, which I know others use with 'all done'. Does this sound like a good idea, or is 'want' too abstract? Did you find it more useful/engaging to start adding nouns first?

For context, Jax already knows lots of nouns/proper nouns - my name and my partner's name, a few of his favourite toys, his best dog friend, squirrel etc. and a fair number of commands, including more abstract things like help, careful, search and look.