Did you recently bring a new dog into your family? One of the most rewarding things about being a pet owner is seeing them grow to be happy, healthy and properly trained. It’s especially rewarding when you are the one to successfully train your dog. When training is done correctly, your dog will be set up for a more successful and less stressful life. Even simple commands like sit, stay, and down can help to turn your dog into a great dog, not only at home, but outside of your home too. Read on to learn about some basic dog training commands that every dog should learn.
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Basic dog training commands
Dog training is an important aspect of being a responsible pet owner. Teaching your dog basic commands not only improves their obedience, but also helps to strengthen the bond between you and your furry companion. Here are some of the most common dog training commands and tips on how to teach them to your dog. The key to success is to have lots of treats or praise for your dog and be patient. You want training to be fun, so start by breaking each action into small steps. You also want to start slowly so that you and your dog doesn’t get frustrated. And always end on a positive note.
You should also be aware that training will need to be done in different places and situations. If your dog knows sit, for instance, once you try it outside they may not understand. So, always start training in quiet places with little distractions then realize that you need to replicate training with added distractions or in different areas both inside and outside of your home.
Plan to practice these basic dog training commands with your dog 3 to 4 times per day, roughly 15 minutes each time. Also, avoid repeating the commands more than once. You don’t want your dog to learn to wait until you say “off” five times before they react. You want them to learn to do something after you say the word once. After a few weeks of your schedule, your dog should be all caught up on training and ready to use his newfound skills to have a happy, playful life.
Sit and down
Sit should be one of the first commands you teach your dog. This is one of the most basic and essential commands for your dog to learn. To teach your dog to sit, hold a treat in front of their nose and move your hand up and back, so that their head follows the treat and their hind end sinks down into a sitting position. As soon as their hind end touches the ground, say “Sit” and give them the treat. Repeat this process several times a day until your dog can sit on command without the need for a treat.
If you want to get more advanced, teach them Down. When they are in the sit position, use a treat and bring it down to the floor from their nose. Then slowly bring it away from them staying on the floor until they are in the down position. Down is important especially if you have a dog that tends to be a jumper. It’s harder for a dog to jump when they are laying down.
Stay and place
Teaching your dog to stay in one place can be helpful in many situations, such as when you need them to stay put while you answer the door or when they are off-leash in an open area. To teach this command, start by having your dog sit or lie down. Hold your hand out in front of you, palm facing your dog, and say “Stay.” If your dog stays put, give them a treat and praise. If they move, gently guide them back to the spot where they were and start again. Over time you can start walking backwards and adding distance. Your dog should be able to stay in that place until walk back to them and release them. You can eventually add the come command so they learn to stay put until you call them over.
I’ve often had the front door open and was doing stuff outside and told Dylan and Rainey to stay and they just wait patiently, even up to 30 minutes, waiting to be signaled that they can come.
Once you master stay, you can teach them place. Place will be a special spot that you can send them to by pointing. This is very useful to teach inside and outside. With place, you can point to where you want your dog to go and as soon as they step on that spot, you give praise or a treat. They don’t have to sit to get a reward. But to master, they should be able to go to place and either sit or lay down. Place is wonderful if you have people coming into the home or even trying to clean or something where you don’t need your dogs “helping” you.
Teaching your dog to come when called is crucial for their safety and well-being. Start by standing a few feet away from your dog and calling their name. If they come to you, give them a treat and praise. Gradually increase the distance between you and your dog as they get better at coming when called. It’s always a good idea to introduce a secondary word or sound. Dylan and Rainey have also learned to come when they hear us whistle.
Teaching your dog to leave something alone is important for preventing them from ingesting something harmful or getting into mischief. To teach this command, place a treat on the ground and tell your dog “Leave it.” If they try to take the treat, cover it with your hand and say “Leave it” again. Once they stop trying to take the treat, give them a different treat and praise. Repeat this process with different objects until your dog can leave anything alone on command. Note: you shouldn’t allow them to have the same treat that you are asking them to leave. So, have another treat in your hand to give to them while the “leave it” object is left on the floor.
If you want to get advanced, teach them “drop it.” For this you will need to have very high-value treats so it’s more of an incentive to drop whatever they have. For this, you wait until they have something in their mouths and then tell them to drop it and show them the high value treat. Give them the treat if they drop it.
Teaching your dog to walk on a leash without pulling is important for both your safety and theirs. To teach this command, start by having your dog sit or stand next to you. Hold a treat in front of their nose and begin walking. If your dog pulls, stop walking and say “Heel.” Once your dog is walking next to you again, give them the treat and praise. Repeat this process until your dog can heel on command.
One very important command that is much less common than it should be is “watch me.” This is a command that will come in handy, especially when you are out in a busy environment where they may be tempted or frightened by stimuli such as cars, people, wildlife, etc. If your dog is often tempted by such things, this command can help keep him safe and help keep you from being too stressed out. To train this command, hold a treat and put it close to your dog’s nose. Slowly bring the treat towards your face while saying “watch me.” Reward your pup for following directions.
If you want to make sure your dog stays off of your furniture, teaching them the “off” command is imperative. Even if you do allow your dog to be on your furniture, they need to know this command to keep them off of other people’s furniture or other areas that they are not allowed to be. If your dog gets onto the furniture, hold a treat in your fist and place it in front of the dog’s nose. They will likely try to get it, but don’t let them. Eventually they will get down from the furniture, this is when you should reward them with the treat.
One of the absolute best commands that you can teach your dog is “no.” This versatile command will help to keep your pup out of trouble in many different circumstances. It can keep them safe and can keep them from getting into trouble. Trust me, if your dog knows the word no, your life will be less stressful. Teach this command by leashing your dog and placing a treat on the floor. Walk the dog toward the treat. When they start to sniff it, say “no” and pull the leash toward you. Reward the dog with the treat and repeat.
In conclusion, basic dog training commands are essential for a well-behaved and safe pet. With patience, consistency and positive reinforcement, your dog can learn these basic commands and many more. Remember to be patient with your dog and never use physical punishment, instead reward them when they do well. With regular training and practice, you and your dog will have a happy and strong bond. If you are interested in muzzle training your dog, you can learn how we made muzzle training fun for Dylan.