But pidio is translated as "ordered" in another phrase in this lesson, "La nina pidio agua." I understand that it is less common to order a dog (as if from a a breeder) than to ask for a dog (as if from one's parents), but without context, I think what's good for the goose is good for the gander.
I suppose so, but I would definitely indicate from where I ordered a dog or it would be confused with ordering a dog to do something. No one would confuse ordering water as meaning ordering water to do something, so it is not exactly the same. Not all meanings given for words in dictionaries apply to every sentence. Often different meanings apply to different sentences. http://lema.rae.es/drae/?val=pidio
I guess it could be confusing, if you don't understand that "order from" or simply "order + noun" (in any context that I can think of) is different from "order around" or "order to." But that's more of an English lesson, not a Spanish lesson. I'll bet if you asked a Spanish speaker to differentiate between the concept of "to ask for" and "to order" they'd have a hard time because they are both covered by pedir (I suspect that most English speakers would have a hard time defining these words without relying on explaining the contexts where they are used). I mean, there's plenty of strange sentences that come up in Duolingo that are absurd but conceivable ("My bear drinks beer"), so I'm not sure even likelihood is a good reason to mark "He ordered a dog" incorrect.
In Spanish you use 'pedir' when ordering food because you're 'asking' them to bring you something. 'Ordering' them to bring you something (ordenar) would be rude in standard Spanish. 'Ordenar' is something you do to slaves, servants, and subservients. Manners matter, and sometimes we're using them by default without being aware of it.
That said, 'ordenar' is creeping into use slowly, especially in places where the Spanish speakers are more heavily influenced by English from the U.S. Native, first-language speakers don't often do it. It's usually people who speak both languages but speak English primarily. It is not proper. It sounds strange and even downright rude to many natives.
TH, I think you've missed the point here. At least as I understood it, it's not which Spanish verb to use (thanks for the social understanding you told us, btw) but whether to translate pedir into English as 'to order' . But maybe this thread covers questions in both directions...?
In that sense, I think it would work, but because "order" in English also means "command" and people are more likely to assume you mean "He commanded a dog (to do something)" rather than "He ordered a dog (from the dog breeder)". Hence it's a confusing translation that I think should be avoided unless the context is extremely clear.
Perhaps, "He requested a dog," might be a better translation.
I think your answer should be accepted. As the sentence hasnt any context. It really is only a small part of a conversation. I suggested that he asked for 'una perra' a common programming error by DL both sexes should be accepted. The female of most animals hasnt been programmed. I often try it knowing that it will be marked wrong so i can point out the oversight. So long as you report it and give a context for when your version should be accepted it is likely theyll email to apologise and thankyou.
This dog is not a pet yet. This is a dog, generally speaking. If you asked for this dog right here with the cute curly tail, as you pick it up and beg your parents. Then, maybe the personal "a" would apply, as you are already considering it almost yours, especially if you say "and I would call it "Spot"." "Él les pidió a Spot a sus padres." which would be "He asked his parents for Spot."
Looks good to me, and for short "Él se lo pidió a su padre." which would be "He asked his father for it." or even shorter. "Él se lo pidió." which would be "He asked him for it." ("le" changes to "se" in front of a direct object that starts with 'l') http://www.studyspanish.com/lessons/iodopro.htm
I was going to say that it's "asked for" instead of "asked" because Pidio means "asked for" but now I see that just "asked" is listed as a possible translation. So now I'm starting to wonder what the difference between asked and asked for is? Maybe it's just assumed in this case since the object is a dog, but I ask my dog "what are you doing?" all the time. Hmm..