VKC Essentials

Updated 15 July 2013

• Note to translators • When working on this document please do not translate the commands in bold or the expressions in "double quotes" to the target language. These words must be left in English because they are the actual commands that are used with the dogs.

Welcome to the world of VKC® (Virtual Kennel Club), and congratulations on your purchase! The VKC and its products - dogs, cats, wolves, polar bears, polar bear cubs, puppies, rabbits - have grown and evolved over its years in Second Life, and the VKC and its Staff are dedicated to keeping abreast of all new technology as it is introduced into Second Life, thus bringing you the most realistic and lifelike pets that can be found!  This document is intended to teach you the essential things you need to know in order to become acquainted with your dog (or other animal) and start to enjoy playing with him.
Some of the new technology mentioned above that has been brought to Second Life by Linden Lab is called Pathfinding.  Pathfinding is enabled across the entire Second Life grid and is an exciting new feature by which certain "characters" (not avatars) can find their way around obstacles while making their way to a certain point. Those "characters" include a good many of the VKC Dogs (and other animals) and you will be able to see the tremendous improvement in how the dogs find their way around without running into things or getting stuck.  By way of simple introduction, objects on your land must be set to either "Static Obstacle" (something the dogs must navigate around) or "Walkable" (meaning the dogs can walk around on the object).  The VKC has quite a number of VKC Proven Trainers, some of whom are teaching classes on Pathfinding so that you can get the best possible experience from your VKC friend and companion.
VKC dogs obey direct commands (most of the time, anyway) and also act on their own. They are curious and interact with things and people around them. As you train and condition them, they develop their own unique personality. They all start out a little different, and over the course of time, every dog becomes a unique personality.
Now, let's begin!

When you first get your dog, please do NOT open his contents like you would a box of clothing or you'll break him. As soon as you see him, he's ready to go.

The older VKC dogs are no-mod/no-copy/transfer, which means you can give these dogs as a gift after you adopt one in the VKC Dog Park. But — and this is very important — please rez him once before you give him away so he can register himself.

The VKC dogs created since 2011 are no mod/no copy/no transfer. If you wish to give one as a gift, please visit our VKC Marketplace shop or use one of the gift vendors in the VKC Dog Parks

If you ever lose your dog, come to the Clinic at a VKC Dog Park to reclaim him. We will explain this below.

So play with your dog, teach him new tricks, and watch him grow and change as he learns. But, most of all HAVE FUN!

Getting Started

When you first purchase a VKC dog, his name is Pup. So the first thing you will want to do is give him a proper name. The command to use is — pup name <newname>.

For Example:

pup name Fido

For purposes of these instructions, we will assume that your dog is named Fido and that he is a boy.

Basic Commands

Every VKC Dog knows the same basic commands when he is new. A few dogs know some extra commands which are discussed on the pages for the individual breeds. The dogs only understand basic commands in English. This is a list of them with explanations of what they do.

• Note to translators • In the following lines, please leave the bold command in English, but add a translated explanation.

Fido stand stand up
Fido sit sit down
Fido down lie down
Fido bang play dead
Fido beg sit up with front paws in the air, as if begging or praying
Fido bellyup lie on back with paws in the air
Fido shake hold up paw as if to shake hands with someone
Fido rest lie down with head resting on paws or ground
Fido come approach the person who called the dog
Fido wag move tail from side to side as a sign of pleasure
Fido speak bark
Fido sniff put head down, make sniffing noise
Fido fetch if he can see it, Fido will go to the VKC redball and bring it to speaker
Fido howl make a loud, mournful, prolonged cry
Fido wander choose something at random and go look at it
Fido roll lie down, then lie on side, belly, and other side before standing again.
Fido rove repeatedly choose something at random and perform a trick before returning to owner
Fido getbone go to VKC dog bone (the one the dog comes with) and return it
Fido go go to the person or object the speaker names (person or object name must accompany the go command)
For example, Fido go Blu — Fido walks to a person named Blu
Fido run run to the person or object the speaker names (person or object name must accompany the run command)
For example, Fido run chair — Fido runs to an active object named chair
Fido on move slowly and very close to the person or object the speaker names (person or object name required)
For example, Fido on bed — Fido goes to an active object named bed and stands on it
Fido greet go to the person or object the speaker names and sniff politely (person or object name required)
For example, Fido greet Sandry — Fido goes to a person named Sandry and sniffs a polite greeting
Fido heel follow speaker — only the owner or a friend of the dog may use this command
Fido follow follow the person or object named — only the owner or a friend of the dog may use this command (person or object name required)
For example, Fido follow bun — if he can see it, Fido will follow the bunny until you tell him to do something else
Fido get go to toy named and return with it
For example, Fido get buddy — if he can find it, Fido will go to the buddy toy and bring it back, dropping it at the speaker's feet
Fido tp teleport to the person or place named
For example, Fido tp home — Fido immediately teleports to a mark named "home"
Fido itch wiggle on back as though scratching an itch
Fido help list the instincts, tricks and marks that the dog knows in local chat
Fido manual give a link to the VKC Dog Owner's Manual. The full manual is available in English only.

You can also string the basic commands together. For example:

Fido go Blu speak sit Fido goes to a person by the name of Blu, barks, and sits down
Fido come wag sit Fido comes to you, wags his tail, and sits down

Active, Passive, Settle, and Roam

These are important and useful commands that help to make your dog's behavior more interesting and helps to keep him safe from getting lost.

Fido active

Active means that Fido will choose things to do at random from the list of instincts and tricks that he knows. It also means that he will look for interesting people or things to greet or sniff. Sometimes he will see something that is a long way off, or a long way up, and he will run off to greet it. (This can cause problems if Fido runs into a neighboring parcel where scripts are not allowed because he will not be able to do anything and, even if you shout for him to come back, he will not be able to respond.  We'll talk more about preventing this under settle.)

When Fido is active, you can use the commands good and bad to show him which of his behaviors that you like and dislike. For example, if Fido comes running up to you when you log in or when you come home, say, “Fido good,” and he will learn that you like him to do this. Alternatively, if Fido sits and howls all night and keeps you awake, you can say, “Fido bad” right after he howls, and he will learn that it is not such a smart thing to do. "Good" and "bad" take a little while for him to learn, so do not be surprised if you have to say it a few times before he starts to realize!

Fido passive

Passive means that Fido will be very quiet and he will not do anything until you tell him what to do. Passive is the opposite of active.

Fido settle

Settle means that Fido will stay on the same parcel of land that he is on when you give the command. With a combination of active and settle Fido will be able to run around on your parcel and enjoy himself, but will not be able to stray very far.

Fido roam

This releases the settle command.

Teaching New Tricks

Simple Example

One of the joys of owning a VKC Dog is to be able to teach new, custom tricks. Here is a very simple example to get you started:

Fido learn wave stand wait .2 sit wait .2 shake wait .2 beg wait .2 shake wait .2 sit

Now we'll explain what this means. Learn is a special command. When you say Fido learn <name> <sequence>, he knows that the very first thing that you say after the word learn is going to be the name of a new trick, and that everything that comes after that — the <sequence> part — is a list of commands that makes up the new trick.

So, in the example, wave is the name of the new trick and everything from the word stand onward are commands that Fido will do when he performs this trick.

You will notice the wait commands in the trick. These make a slight pause between the other actions. Wait needs an amount of time to go with it — the time in seconds to wait before moving to the next action. In the example, it is "wait .2". That means the dog will pause for 0.2 of a second. You can use whole seconds or fractions of a second in the wait commands to fine tune the pauses that you want in your tricks.


A mark is like a SL landmark (LM), but for dogs. If Fido is standing in a particular place, perhaps by the fireplace in your house, you could say:

Fido mark fire

Fido would then make a mark (create an LM in his memory), and whenever you said something like this:

Fido go fire down

Fido would go over near to the fire and lie down.

Tricks with Marks

Many people make beds for the VKC Dogs, and many owners ask how to make the dog go to bed. This is how we do it.

Put the bed where you want it to go. It is important to do this now and get it right because if you change it later, you may have to redo all of the following steps again!

Put Fido on the bed. When teaching tricks to your dog, it is always best to put your dog in passive first, so that he doesn't get excited and start running around. It is easiest to put Fido onto the bed using the SL Edit tools. Just right click on your dog and choose Edit. Then use the arrows to position him where he should be. Close the Edit window when he is in place. Now say:

Fido mark bed (This makes Fido's mark at the position of his bed.)

Call Fido to you and say:

Fido on bed sniff wag down

Fido will move slowly onto the bed, sniff it, wag his tail and lie down. As with any trick you teach, it is worth practicing the complete string of commands a few times, and you may want to add a wait command between some of the actions. When you have your trick perfected, you can teach it as a custom trick:

Fido learn sleep on bed sniff wait .2 wag wait .3 down

The VKC Dog Clinic

Sometimes, despite our best efforts, things go wrong. The VKC Dogs get damaged and stop working, or they get lost and you simply cannot find them. When this happens, all is not lost! Come to one of our many VKC Dog Clinics and claim your dog. This is how it works. Walk up to the Dog Clinic and say "claim." For example:

claim Fido

Your dog will appear in your inventory in the Objects folder as the name of its breed. When you first rez him, your dog will automatically change to his proper name and recall all of his tricks, marks, and memories. Afterwards, when you return your dog to inventory, he will go into the Objects folder with his name.

When you reclaim your dog from the Dog Clinic, it is not the same as buying a new dog. It is your dog that comes back to you — with his memories and all the tricks and marks that you've taught him!

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