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Frankie
When she's not studying a second language she makes an important contribution to the family business with her well honed shredding skills. She has yet to show any recognition of waiho (leave it) or maybe she knows perfectly well what we are talking about in both languages. 

Teach your dog te reo is the brainchild of a whānau of four that this year became five, with the addition of new Labrador puppy, Frankie. 

It had been fifteen years since we had had a new puppy, and just a few months since the passing of our beloved dog, Sam. 

There were a whole lot of new pet parent experiences to be had when Frankie came into our lives: pet insurance, Kong toys and crates were just the beginning. Then there was Doggy Day Care - apparently essential for her socialisation and ongoing development.

We soon discovered that you don't just drop your puppy at daycare: just like preschool, there's a whole admissions process. One of the forms we filled out even asked us if our Frankie was bilingual. We hung our heads in shame: the reality is, she's not even proficient in one language. Either that, or she has very selective hearing. 

 

We came to realise that this new generation of dog owners had high expectations for their canine companions - and that we had better grow some ambition for Frankie, fast. Once we got over feeling inadequate, we got serious about what we would choose for a second language if we were to catch her up to her more worldly peers. 

We didn't get past te reo Māori - it made perfect sense. As a family and as professionals we are working hard to expand our understanding and knowledge of te ao e te reo Māori. Bringing it into Frankie's world seemed like a great way to extend its place in ours. Working with early childhood centres, we had seen first hand the positive impact that children have on families when they bring te reo home, and how it can spark a whole new world of interest. So why not pets?

We hope that you and your whānau get as much fun and new learning out of introducing your dog to te reo as we do, and we'd love to hear about your successes - get in touch via our Facebook page.