What are the 8 basic dog commands

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What are the 8 basic dog commands

What are the 8 basic dog commands

What are the 8 basic dog commands

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Southerners pride themselves on good manners and that goes for pets, as well as humans. In fact, a well-trained dog reflects well on its owner. A well-mannered dog knows when to sit and stay off the furniture, how to wait patiently for dinner, and knows better than to jump on guests when they arrive at the front door.

That said, dog training can be difficult. It takes consistency, time, effort, and discipline for owner and dog alike. And despite all the work, some dogs just don’t quite get it—or just ignore the rules when they see fit – and the couch looks comfy. Then there is my dog Steve, a low-riding moppet that the vet at the shelter claimed was a Corgi Papillon mix, two breeds that are supposedly some of the smartest. Steve adamantly refuses any direction that doesn’t sound conversational. For example, when I say, “Stop!” in a commanding voice, he ignores me. When I say, “Hold up there, rug rat,” he stops in his tracks. A stern, “Fetch!” results in the canine equivalent of an eye roll, while a friendly, “Where’s your ball?” results in a fierce search and retrieval mission of his tiny pink tennis ball. Basically, I think he’s trained me not to bark commands at him.

This is all to say that if you’re not a professional dog trainer or if you’re just content to let your dog be itself, commands may not come naturally. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put in the effort to have a well-mannered dog—or at least a pup that will not jump on guests.

Here are a few commands that every dog should know and how to try and teach them properly. All you’ll need is a handful of treats, a collar and leash, patience, and a commanding alpha dog voice:

How to teach a dog to sit:

According to dog trainer Cesar Milan, a.k.a. The Dog Whisperer, teaching a dog to sit involves a three-step process: Hold a treat close to your dog’s nose; Move your hand up, allowing his head to follow the treat and causing his bottom to lower; Once he’s in sitting position, say “Sit,” give him the treat, and share affection. Repeat until the dog knows the word.

How to teach a dog to walk nicely on a leash:

First, according to the AKC’s website, decide whether you want your puppy to walk on your left or right side, and then stay consistent. Next, arm yourself with treats and “stand next to your puppy with the leash in a loose loop”. Give Fido a treat for sitting or standing nicely and calmly. Then, take one step forward and give the dog a treat if or when he follows. From there, continue giving treats to your puppy as you walk. If, or more likely when, the dog gets in front of you, “simply turn the opposite direction, call him to you, and reward him in place. Then continue.” Gradually, start doling out fewer and fewer treats, rewarding your pup every other step and then every fourth step or so until they just walk nicely.

How to teach a dog not to jump on visitors:

According to the Animal Welfare League of Arlington, the trick is to ignore the bad behavior. When you come home and your dog jumps on you, immediately leave again. “Wait 30 seconds to one minute, then, walk back in to calmly greet your dog. The moment your dog jumps, walk away again and close the door,” they write. “Keep doing this until your dog no longer jumps, at which point you can reward him by not leaving and petting him.” You can also keep treats on hand to reward the pup for not jumping.

How to teach a dog to come:

Per Cesar Milan’s website, put a leash and collar on your dog, lean down to his level, and gently pull his leash while saying, “Come.” If he follows you, give him a treat and a pat on the head.

How to teach a dog to stay:

Have your dog sit and give him a treat. Then, give him another treat for staying in a sit, which could take some practice, according to the AKC’s website. When your dog can sit for several seconds, start adding distance by saying, “stay”, and taking a step back. If the dog manages to stay, give her a treat, and then do it again with a greater distance. Per the AKC, “Continue building in steps, keeping it easy enough that your dog can stay successful.”

How to teach a dog to leave something alone:

According to Dr. Natalie Waggener at the South Boston Animal Hospital, teaching a dog to “leave it” can help keep a pup safe if it gets a little too curious about something dangerous. Start by putting a treat in your hand. Show your puppy the treat and then close your fist around it. If, or rather when, your dog tries to get the treat, don’t give it. Say, “Leave it” and wait until the dog stops. Then give them the treat from the other hand. Start over. This time, wait for your dog to move away from your first fist. Then say, “Leave it” and give your dog the treat when it moves away, making sure to make eye contact with your pet. Repeat until the dog associates “Leave it” with a reward.

How to teach a dog to drop something:

Like the leave it command, drop it can save your dog from eating something that it should not—whether chocolate or your favorite shoe. Like “leave it”, tell your dog to “drop it” and when it does, reward it with a treat. According to The Spruce Pets, “replace what you took from your dog’s mouth with something very rewarding, such as a toy or delicious treat.”

How to teach a dog to lay down:

Grab the best smelling treat you have (like cooked chicken or liver bites), and keep it in your closed fist. Then, according to Cesar Milan’s site, hold your closed hand up to your dog’s face and when the pup sniffs it, move your hand to the floor. The pup should follow the scent downwards. Use your hand to gently encourage the dog to put their whole body on the ground.

Once the dog is laying down, say “Down,” and give him the treat and lovable scratches.

These eight basic training cues will get you off on the right foot.

What are the 8 basic dog commands

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Now that your new dog is home (and staring at you), what’s next? The answer: Training. Dog training is a key element in new dog bonding, and no dog is too old to learn new tricks. It’s true: dogs thrive when their minds are engaged.

To begin, it all starts with a “cue.” In dog training, a cue is a signal to the dog (either verbal or physical, or both) to do a particular behavior. As you and your dog work together, your dog will associate a cue with a new skill or a cool trick.

Remember, dog training is meant to be rewarding and fun for both of you. So keep training brief, just five to ten minutes, at the start, and always end on a positive note. Below you’ll find the top eight most important dog training tricks that, with some gentle teaching, your dog can master. Learning these training cues and behaviors allows your dog to reap the benefits of being a well-mannered member of society.

Basic Training Cues for Dogs

Don’t move forward. Teaching a dog to wait is especially useful at doors. Dogs who wait are easier to take on walks and let in and out of the car because they don’t go through the door until given permission. The wait cue is also a great safety prompt. Teaching this can prevent a dog from running out a door into traffic and reduce some of the chaos inherent in living with dogs. Teaching a dog to wait also allows people to catch up during off-leash walks if the dog has gone ahead.

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Try these free training programs from our friends at Dogo to help with new dog life and basic obedience.


Look at my face. Teaching a dog to watch you helps get a dog’s attention and distract them from problematic situations, such as the unexpected presence of another dog.

Put your butt on the ground. Teaching a dog to sit is one of the easiest things to teach dogs to do. It’s a useful calming cue and — since sitting is incompatible with undesirable behavior — in defusing otherwise touchy situations.

Remain in place until released. Teaching a dog “Stay” helps dogs practice self-control. It also keeps dogs in one spot when necessary. Stay is helpful in many situations ranging from “It’s dinnertime and our guests are not dog people” to “I just broke a glass in the kitchen and you’ll cut your paws if you come in here before I clean it up.”

Run to me. Run directly to me. Do not stop at the dead squirrel. Dogs who reliably come when called can safely be given more freedom. Once your dog masters being able to come reliably in your home, move on to environments with higher stimulation.


You are free to go. Teaching a release cue to a dog like “Okay” or “Free” gives your dog permission to stop doing what you previously asked them to do. Used most commonly with “Wait” and “Stay,” it tells your dog that the behavior no longer needs to be performed. For example, your dog can get up and move around if they’ve been staying or go through the door if they’ve been waiting.


Say hello without jumping. In this case, the appearance of a new person, rather than a word or a hand signal, is the cue to keep all four paws on the ground. Many dogs do the opposite— jump on every new person — and that can make both pet parents and guests uncomfortable. Few behaviors are more appreciated in dogs than the skill of greeting people politely.

A Trick

Performing an endearing trick on cue shows off a dog’s training better than most practical skills. Sure, it may be harder to teach a dog to stay or come when called than to high-five, wave, spin, or roll over, but not many people know that. So, most people will be impressed by the trick and consider your dog more charming as a result.

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Karen B. London, PhD

Karen B. London, Ph.D., is a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist and Certified Professional Dog Trainer who specializes in working with dogs with serious behavioral issues, including aggression, and has also trained other animals including cats, birds, snakes, and insects. She writes the animal column for the Arizona Daily Sun and is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Northern Arizona University. She is the author of six books about training and behavior, including her most recent, Treat Everyone Like a Dog: How a Dog Trainer’s World View Can Improve Your Life.

Teaching a dog to sit, stay or lie down is necessary for everyday life. But how does a dog learn the most important commands? We have some tips for you.

What are the 8 basic dog commands

Updated on 15/04/2022

  • 8 tips to teach your dog commands
  • The most important dog commands
  • If your dog doesn’t listen…

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Teaching a dog to sit, stay or lie down is simply necessary in mastering your everyday life together. It’s best to start when the dog is just a puppy. But as the owner, what should you bear in mind so that your dog hears you perfectly in the future? And how exactly does your new flatmate learn the most important commands?

Read the following tips and concrete instructions for training a dog:

8 tips to teach your dog commands

When your dog has to learn commands, it’s not a one-way street. You’re in the same boat and your dog will always only behave as well as you’ve taught him. But what should you consider when you want to teach your dog to sit, stay or lie down?

Tip 1: Use gestures, facial expressions and your voice!

Dogs may not understand our language, but they can read your face. So, emphasise your commands with appropriate facial expressions, and also to show when it’s especially serious. In addition, you can combine commands with specific hand movements, which make it easier for the dog to understand. The same goes for your tone of voice. Your dog has a fine sense as to whether a “sit” or “stay” is said cheerfully or contains a strict command.

Tip 2: Stick to uniform, short commands!

It’s best to think about which commands you’d like to teach your dog before it moves in with you. Name them clearly for yourself and stick to this choice of words for your dog. Nothing is more confusing than when the sounds are always different to the dog’s ear. Brevity is the spice of life here! Long explanations are just an incomprehensible torrent of words to a dog.

Tip 3: Be consistent!

Of course, you should avoid force when training your dog. After all, you don’t want to frighten him, but ideally learn with him in a playful way. However, he must know who’s boss. That’s why consistency is so important when it comes to commands. A certain action produces a certain reaction. These should always be the same so that your dog always knows what to expect from you.

Tip 4: Entice your dog with rewards!

Instead of punishing your dog, you should reward him for correct behaviour. Treats and toys are the right bait here. However, you should use them in moderation. Repeated rewards will train your dog’s behaviour.

Tip 5: Think about the right timing!

Dogs have a very short reaction time. So, you should immediately reward a correctly executed command. If you wait, your dog won’t understand the connection. Similarly, if you punish him for something that happened, for example, hours or minutes ago, he won’t understand. The reaction must directly follow the behaviour.

Tip 6: Learn the dog’s language!

Your dog is trying to understand you – you should try to do the same. Pay attention to your dog’s physical signals. Is he excited? Is he afraid?

Does he enjoy learning? If you can interpret these signs, then you can adapt teaching the commands accordingly, e.g. praise and reward more when your shelter dog is anxiously waiting for a punishment as a result of a previously learned behaviour.

Tip 7: Adapt the commands to the dog’s age!

Puppies shouldn’t learn too many commands at the same time. With tricks like offering a paw, you should always make sure your dog is physically fit. If he’s still growing, then learning jumps, for example, should be postponed until later.

Tip 8: Find a place with no distractions!

Your dog will learn best if he’s not constantly distracted. The quietest place is probably at home. Outside, there are other dogs, people, animals, noises and other exciting things.

What are the 8 basic dog commands

Many of the problems that occur between dogs and owners are the result of a communication gap. Dogs may be a part of our family but they are of a different species and sometimes communication breaks down. Teaching your dog to understand a vocabulary of basic commands will go a long way towards alleviating misunderstandings.

Teaching your dog what a particular command means requires you to help the dog do what you want him to do, use the command to identify that action, and reward him for doing it. In other words, when your dog’s hips touch the floor, say “Sweetie, sit,” and praise and reward him for sitting. Later, when he understands the word for sitting, and cooperating with you, then you can ask him to sit and expect him to do it. In the beginning, however, help him do it.

The sit command is an easy example, of course, and not all verbal communication will be as easy to teach. The process is basically the same though.

A Basic Vocabulary of Dog Commands

Every dog owner should establish a list of basic commands to train with. These commands can create a foundation of communication and later, when these are understood, then you can add additional commands.

Your vocabulary can vary, obviously, as the relationship between you and your dog is unique. Plus your daily routine will be different. If you participate in any dog sports or activities, you’ll need to teach additional words. However, here are some suggestions:

Sit. The sit command means the dog’s hips are on the ground while the shoulders are upright. The dog should remain in position until released.

Come. The come command in dog training means stop what you’re doing, ignore distractions, and go directly to the owner.

Down. In dog training, the down command means lie down on the floor (or ground) and hold that position until released.

Stay. Remain in position while the owner walks away from the dog and the dog holds still until he’s released.

Release. This is the word that tells the dog he can move from the position he’s been in.

Yes. A verbal marker to let the dog know his actions are correct.

Good dog/good boy/good girl. Verbal praise that can be used after the ‘yes’ marker or after the dog is released.

Leave it. Telling your dog to “leave it” means to ignore what you’re paying attention to; whether it’s food on the floor or the dogs barking next door.

Outside. What is your word or phrase for the dog to go outside to relieve himself?

Go to bed. This sends the dog to his bed or crate.

Dinner. This word, or the phrase, “Are you hungry?”, signals that it’s time to eat.

Go for a walk. It’s time to go for a walk.

Get it. Please get your ball, toy, or the newspaper.

Bring it here. Bring me your ball, toy, or newspaper.

Drop it. Spit out what’s in your mouth.

Keep Commands Consistent

What else is important to you? You might want to tell your dog to get off the furniture and ‘off’ could work. Don’t use ‘down’ as that already has a meaning (lie down) and each word should only have one meaning for your dog. ‘Wait’ can mean don’t dash out open doors or gates.

Think about your daily routine, the games you play, and the work you ask your dog to do. Each of these can increase your dog’s vocabulary.

Tone of Voice

When teaching your dog this vocabulary – or a new command – pay attention to your tone of voice. Don’t yell at your dog; he can hear very well. Plus, a loud unhappy tone of voice isn’t going to teach him anything other than the fact that you are unhappy.

Instead, show him what you want him to do, praise and reward him for cooperation, and then teach him the word. Repeat a few times and then come back later and repeat the exercise. Three to five repetitions are more than enough at one time. Too many repetitions and your dog will get frustrated, bored, or distracted.

A happy tone of voice, a smile, a good treat, patience, and a willingness to teach your dog will go a long way to increase communication.

Teach your dog these basic obedience commands for a well-behaved pup.

What are the 8 basic dog commands

When you get a new dog, whether it’s a puppy or an adult rescue, she probably needs some obedience training. More specifically, a well-behaved pup should respond to seven directions in order to become a good canine citizen: Sit, Down, Stay, Come, Heel, Off, and No. Expert trainer Brandon McMillan, Emmy Award–winning host of Lucky Dog and author of Lucky Dog Lessons: Train Your Dog in 7 Days, calls these the “seven common commands” because they’re the ones most people will use with their pets on a routine basis. He teaches these training lessons to all of his rescue dogs, in order to help them stay safe and well-behaved, whether they spend most of their time in the backyard, at the dog park, or walking the neighborhood with their human companions. With several 10-to-15-minute practice sessions each day, most pets can master these core skills in just a week or two.

What are the 8 basic dog commands

McMillan always teaches Sit first because it’s the most natural concept for most dogs. It’s therefore also one of the easiest for them to learn, so even pets who are new to training can get the hang of it within a few sessions. And because it’s also a transition command, once a dog can sit, you can move on to other directives.

What are the 8 basic dog commands

McMillan compares his favorite dog training technique, Down, to taking the keys out of a car’s ignition. A standing dog could bolt like a running vehicle, because there’s nothing keeping her in place. A sitting dog is like a car in Park, but it’s still easy for her to boogey out of there. But when she’s lying down, you’ve cut the engine. Because the command helps you control your dog, it’s also a great transition to more complicated tricks like rolling over or playing dead.

What are the 8 basic dog commands

A dog who knows how to stay won’t run into the street if she gets loose, so this is one of the most important skills for any dog to learn. McMillan recommends teaching it when your pup is tired and hungry so she won’t get too hyper to focus. And be patient: Most dogs take at least a couple of days to understand Stay and it can take a few weeks to master it. But because it protects your dog from danger, keep a bag of treats or kibble handy and keep practicing until she’s a pro.

What are the 8 basic dog commands

If you plan to take your dog anywhere off-leash, she must know how to come when called. It can keep her safe at the dog park if a scuffle breaks out, get her away from the street if she breaks off the leash, or ensure she stays close when hiking or just fooling around in the backyard. McMillan teaches Come after Stay, since having the Stay skill first makes the process easier.

What are the 8 basic dog commands

Dogs of all sizes should learn to heel, or walk calmly by your side, especially if you exercise your pup in busy urban areas where there’s not much room on the sidewalk. The skill is even more important for large or strong pups who naturally pull on the leash. Once a dog can heel, walks will be easier and more pleasant for your dog and your arm socket.

What are the 8 basic dog commands

Jumping on visitors or furniture is one of the most common dog issues, so if your pooch can’t keep four paws on the floor, don’t despair. Get her to stay off by turning your back when she jumps up, grabbing her paws and shaking a plastic bottle filled with pennies while you say “Off,” suggests McMillan. All of those things discourage jumping, so try a few to see which clicks with your pet.

What are the 8 basic dog commands

Some trainers teach both No and Leave It for slightly different situations, such as using No when a dog shouldn’t do something and Leave it for when you want your pup not to investigate an item or situation. McMillan sticks to No, period, to keep things simple. He says explaining the difference can confuse both people and animals, so No makes a good, all-purpose command for everything you want your pup not to do.

Lizz Schumer Senior Editor Lizz Schumer covers pets, culture, lifestyle, books, entertainment and more as Good Housekeeping’s senior editor; she also contributes to Woman’s Day and Prevention.

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What are the 8 basic dog commands

Are you looking for the best commands to teach your dog? Although having a trained dog isn’t the same as having a balanced dog, teaching your dog basic dog training commands can be helpful when tackling behavior problems despite whether they are existing ones or those that may develop in the future.

So where exactly do you start with teaching your dog commands? While taking a class may be beneficial for you and your pup, there are many dog training commands you can teach your dog right at home. Below, we’ve listed the best list of dog commands you and your pup are guaranteed to enjoy.


Teaching your dog to sit is one of the most basic dog commands to teach your pup, thus making it a great one to start with. A dog who knows the “Sit” command will be much calmer and easier to control than dogs who aren’t taught this simple command. Additionally, the “Sit” command prepares your dog for harder commands such as “Stay” and “Come.”

Here’s how to teach your dog the “Sit” command:

  • Hold a treat close to your dog’s nose.
  • Move your hand up, allowing his head to follow the treat and causing his bottom to lower.
  • Once he’s in sitting position, say “Sit,” give him the treat, and share affection.

Repeat this sequence a few times every day until your dog has it mastered. Then ask your dog to sit before mealtime, when leaving for walks and during other situations when you’d like him calm and seated.


Another important command for your dog to learn is the word “come.” This command is extremely helpful for those times you lose grip on the leash or accidentally leave the front door open. Once again, this command is easy to teach and will help keep your dog out of trouble.

  • Put a leash and collar on your dog.
  • Go down to his level and say, “Come,” while gently pulling on the leash.
  • When he gets to you, reward him with affection and a treat.

Once he’s mastered it with the leash, remove it and continue to practice the command in a safe, enclosed area.


This next command is one of the more difficult dog training commands to teach. The reason it may be hard for your dog to master this command is that it requires him to be in a submissive posture. You can help out your dog by keeping training positive and relaxed, especially if your dog is fearful or anxious. Also keep in mind to always praise your dog once he successfully follows the command.

  • Find a particularly good smelling treat, and hold it in your closed fist.
  • Hold your hand up to your dog’s snout. When he sniffs it, move your hand to the floor, so he follows.
  • Then slide your hand along the ground in front of him to encourage his body to follow his head.
  • Once he’s in the down position, say “Down,” give him the treat, and share affection.

Repeat this training every day. If your dog tries to sit up or lunge toward your hand, say “No” and take your hand away. Don’t push him into a down position, and encourage every step your dog takes toward the right position. After all, he’s working hard to figure it out!


Similar to the “Sit” command, the “Stay” cue will help make your dog easier to control. This command can be helpful in a number of situations such as those times you want your dog out of the way as you tend to household chores or when you don’t want your pup overwhelming guests.

Before attempting to teach your dog this command, make sure your dog is an expert at the “Sit” cue. If he hasn’t quite mastered the “Sit” command, take the time to practice it with him before moving on to the “Stay” cue.

  • First, ask your dog to “Sit.”
  • Then open the palm of your hand in front of you, and say “Stay.”
  • Take a few steps back. Reward him with a treat and affection if he stays.
  • Gradually increase the number of steps you take before giving the treat.
  • Always reward your pup for staying put — even if it’s just for a few seconds.

This is an exercise in self-control for your dog, so don’t be discouraged if it takes a while to master, particularly for puppies and high-energy dogs. After all, most dogs prefer to be on the move rather than just sitting and waiting.

Leave it

This last command can help keep your dog safe when his curiosity gets the better of him such as those times when he smells something intriguing but possibly dangerous on the ground. The goal is to teach your pup that he gets something even better for ignoring the other item.

  • Place a treat in both hands.
  • Show him one enclosed fist with the treat inside and say “Leave it.”
  • Ignore the behaviors as he licks, sniffs, mouths, paws and barks to get the treat.
  • Once he stops trying, give him the treat from the other hand.
  • Repeat until your dog moves away from that first fist when you say “Leave it.”
  • Next, give your dog the treat only when he looks up at you as he moves away from the first fist.

Once your dog consistently moves away from the first treat and gives you eye contact when you say the command, you’re ready to take it up a notch. For this next training method, use two different treats: one that’s good but not super-appealing and one that’s particularly good-smelling and tasty for your pup.

  • Say “Leave it,” place the less-attractive treat on the floor and cover it with your hand.
  • Wait until your dog ignores that treat and looks at you. Then remove that treat from the floor, give him the better treat and share affection immediately.
  • Once he’s got it, place the less-tasty treat on the floor but don’t completely cover it with your hand. Instead, hold your hand a little bit above the treat . Over time, gradually move your hand farther and farther away until your hand is about 6 inches above.
  • Now he’s ready to practice with you standing up! Follow the same steps, but if he tries to snatch the less-tasty treat, cover it with your foot.

Don’t rush the process of teaching your pup any one of these dog training commands. Remember, you’re asking a lot of your dog. If you take it up a notch and he’s really struggling, go back to the previous stage.

This list of dog commands can help protect your dog from dangerous situations as well as improve your communication with him. Taking the time to teach your pup these common dog commands is well worth the investment of your time and effort. Remember, the training process takes time, so start a dog-obedience training session only if you’re in the right mindset to practice calm-assertive energy and patience.

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What are the 8 basic dog commands

Basic obedience is essential for any dog regardless of its breed or age. If you can get a dog to come when it is called, sit patiently and understand to leave things alone, you will have a much easier time. Your relationship with your dog will also improve as they get your love, praise, and attention for being your best friend.

From puppyhood, your dog will learn all kinds of skills, some more complex than others. They are learning all the time, not just when you decide it’s time to train. The important thing is that you start early with a consistent training regime consisting of positive reinforcement in the basic commands.

You can teach these commands from the day your new puppy comes home. If you have rescued a dog, then you can use the same methods below to reinforce your commands and help your rescue dog settle into their new family home.

How to use positive reinforcement to train your dog

There are two fundamental factors in positive reinforcement

Praising your dog is vital for them to understand that they have done a good job. They thrive on this sort of positive interaction which may be because of that innate desire to please their owners, a concept that science has not yet been able to prove one way or the other.

Rewards give the dog additional incentives to act in the way that you desire. These rewards can vary depending on the personality of the dog. Food based rewards are common as they give your pet a tasty treat. But, you need to be careful not to offer too much too often, especially with breeds prone to over-eating. Toy-based rewards can also work. Or, you might get on well with clicker training.

This is where the method differs from negative reinforcement which focuses on

Some dog owners prefer to use a negative form of correction to force their animal into the desired behaviour. This isn’t necessary as you run a bigger risk of mentally scarring or physically hurting the dog. Pulling or forcing a dog into position, swatting them on the nose, and negative speech aren’t the way forward. This used to be the way dog training was taught ( by people like Cesar Milan and Barbara Woodhouse), but is no longer advocated by modern dog trainers.

Our understanding of how dogs learn (Mary Burch & John Bailey ) has come on leaps and bounds over the last 10 years and informed us of a much better way of training and changing canine behaviours.

Two ways that dogs learn are by the immediate consequences of their actions (“operant conditioning”) and by associations (“classical conditioning”).

I have only ever used positive reinforcement methods to successfully train dogs, cats, birds, rodents, cows, horses, alpacas and many other animals.

Using positive reinforcement in the most fun, effective and kindest method to train an animal.

Sarah-Jane White – Trainer

But, it isn’t enough to just provide your dog with praise and rewards. The timing and methods that you choose play their part too. Think about the following.

~ What to say to your dog

~ What sort of treats should you use

~ When to scale back on the rewards

The words that you use when training your pet will play a big part in how they respond. With each of the commands laid out below, you will find guidance on the phrasing to use. Typically, strong one-syllable words are the most effective for helping dogs differentiate between commands. The tone of your voice also helps. You can be sharp and authoritative when offering the command, but without shouting at the dog. When they do a good job, raise your pitch and soften the tone to provide plenty of praise.

Decide on your treats early on and stick with them. It is important that the dog associates the treat with good behaviour and doesn’t get it at random times. Pick something tiny that they can take from your hand with ease. A nice taste of something that has them wanting more. Stay consistent with your approach even if your pet struggles. If you increase the reward after they fail, they might deliberately fail to get more of it as you are rewarding the wrong behaviour ( the fail as opposed to the success).

Over time, you can scale back on the rewards and the praise so that the behaviour becomes normalised. They should eventually get to the point where they respond appropriately without any prospect of a treat. If the dog is only complying because of the reward, you still have a way to go. Start with a treat for each small step, even if that means working with the shaping approach. Then once they know what to do on command, gradually decrease the frequency of the treats until you have a learned behaviour. If you find that you decrease too quickly and your dog loses interest, take a step back.

What are the 8 basic dog commands

We all need help from time to time while training our dogs, and that is okay! Training your dog is not an easy task, but doing so will teach you a lot about your dog and a lot about yourself too.

One of the most rewarding parts of having a dog is learning how to train them and building a strong relationship through clear communication. Sometimes we get comfortable with the progress our dogs have made in their training and forget how to help them when they regress.

Here are 8 ways to improve training your canine and help your dog succeed:

What are the 8 basic dog commands

Markers are our main communication system with dogs. Markers allow your dog to know the exact moment they have done something correct, incorrect, or when they need to sustain a behavior.

We also use markers to guide dogs in the world WE live in. It lets them know when they have completed a given command perfectly, when we want them to keep doing something, or if they’ve done something incorrectly and we need them to try again. It also can indicate to a dog to move away from what they are doing.

Dogs live moment to moment. We use markers as a “snapshot” or a way to bookmark a moment in a dog’s mind.

The Training Markers

We condition 3 easy words (or “markers”) so the dog clearly understands what those words mean. Every dog learns at a different pace, but after you have a clear communication system you can decide if your dog is “stubborn”, or is having trouble understanding you.

Indicates to the dog that they have completed the given command correctly and they are released to come receive their reward. (Food, toys, play, verbal praise, love, freedom)

This word tells the dog they did the behavior correctly, and to keep going!

When our dogs hear “good” it should sustain whatever behavior they are performing. (Sit, down, place, stay, heel, etc.) Randomly reward the “good” marker to keep the dog guessing.

When we’re ready, we will release with a “yes“.

This is a no reward marker. It indicates to the dog they did not complete the behavior correctly, and to try again. It can also mark moments when you need your dog to move away from something.

Your “no” marker can be very powerful, as long as you condition it correctly and add some sort of consequence when your dog hears it (removal of a reward for example).

Note: One of the biggest mistakes people make is that they fail to follow “no” up with anything but yelling. Yelling at your dog will only frighten and confuse them. You might raise your voice for urgency, but no yelling or getting upset. That would be adding emotion to the situation, which is not necessary.

“OK” or “Free Dog”– release without physical reward. The reward becomes freedom from the behavior.

What are the 8 basic dog commands What are the 8 basic dog commands

Teaching your dog hand signals is a great way to improve your communication with your pet. Most pets are able to respond better when an auditory command is paired with a hand signal. Many pet owners introduce this at a young age and it is a great training technique that becomes even more invaluable as your dog grows older. Pets can lose some degree of their hearing as they age, which is why these hand signals can really come in handy! We’ve narrowed it down to the top 5 commands you can teach your dog today.

How to Train:

Your pet needs to learn the association between the verbal command and hand signals. The most effective way to teach your dog is to follow these 2 steps:

  1. Keep your hand signal simple, and
  2. Reinforce behavior with rewards (treats and praise).

Once your dog is accurately responding to your commands, slowly fade out the reward. If your dog already is familiar with the standard commands: sit, stay etc., then making the transition to hand signals is fairly straight-forward. Training is best when you work with your pet daily. If you make it a priority, your dog will pick up the hand signals quickly!


If you want to completely shift from auditory commands to only nonverbal cues this is an extremely important first step. To allow your pet to learn they first need to ‘look’ to be able to watch what command you want them to do. Whenever they look attentively at you, reward with a treat. It helps to keep a small treat in your hand when first teaching-your dog’s eyes will be on the prize!


The most widely used command for any dog. This is often the first training your dog receives. The gesture is simple, have your hand palm facing the sky at your chest and move your hand in an upward motion. When you first start training be sure to pair the verbal command “sit” with the hand signal.

3. FINGER POINT DOWN – Lie down.

Another great signal to help settle your dog is lay down. The action for this command is to hold your finger pointed up at your chest and do a sweeping diagonal motion down. Have a treat in your hand while training and your dog’s nose is sure to follow!


Teaching your dog to stay or wait is one of the most important commands. This nonverbal command is great for safety if you are out in public places or by busy streets. Train your dog with both your auditory command and hand signals, test by walking backwards with your palm facing outward at the level of your chest. Make sure your pet stays until you ask them to come.


Another meaningful command is to call your dog to come. Start with your hand open at your side and diagonally bring it to your opposite shoulder. This is a must when you are out in areas where your dog is off leash.

It is always important to positively reinforce your dog with verbal praise and treats during the training process. And our Primal Treats make a great training tool to reward your pet! Remember to be patient and have fun with the training process. Use these five training tips as an opportunity to form an even deeper bond with your pet!

What are the 8 basic dog commands

January marks the official start of National Train Your Dog Month, but you can teach your dog new things at any time of year.

We all love our pets, but sometimes it can feel like your dog is incapable of learning any tricks. While it may feel impossible at times, with the right techniques and proper amount of practice, just about any dog can learn.

You should try this clicker to help train your pooch with clicker training!

Committing yourself to teaching your dog some tricks is a great New Year’s resolution, but it’s also a fun bonding experience for you and your dog throughout the year. Watch the following videos to learn some simple techniques that make it possible for any dog to learn tricks.

1. Kiss

Yes, your dog may already shower you with kisses on a daily basis, but now you can actually teach them to kiss you on command.

The video above walks you through the training process step by step, showing you how to eventually work up to the final kiss. For this trick you’ll need something sticky like tape or a post-it, treats, and a clicker.

The dog in this training video not only learned how to kiss his human, but he even learned to kiss his cat friend!

2. Bark On Command

This trick might be for more advanced dogs and takes some extra patience, as it’s one of the tougher tricks. As the video above shows, you have to be diligent in waiting for your dog to bark by themselves first, and then reward them as they continually do it.

The dog in the video doesn’t bark immediately even though the trainer is a professional, so make sure you remember that it won’t happen right away. However, if you can master it, barking on command is a very unique trick that will definitely impress your fellow dog parents.

3. Shake Hands

The “Shake Hands” trick is definitely one of the cuter tricks your pup can learn. It’s quite simple and is actually one of the easiest tricks to teach.

The secret is that your dog will already naturally paw at you if they want something. When you present a closed fistful of treats, your dog will likely be compelled to paw at your hand since they can’t get the treats with their mouth.

Once they continue to paw, begin to use the command “Shake,” and after repeating it several times, your dog is sure to learn a brand new trick. Follow the instructions in the video above for more details.

4. Fetch

While fetch is a classic game, it’s a trick that doesn’t come naturally for some dogs.

It can become pretty frustrating when your dog won’t cooperate at play time. Some dogs are uninterested in the toy and don’t even want to try, some will go fetch the toy but not bring it back, and then there are the stubborn dogs who bring the toy back but then won’t let go.

Watch the tutorial above to see how you can get your dog interested in fetch in the first place, and then actually learn how to play fetch properly.

5. Roll Over

At first “Roll Over” may seem like a difficult trick to attempt, but in the long run, it’s very straightforward.

All this trick demands is repetition. The more you do it, the better your dog will get.

The video above explains that the secret of “Roll Over” is doing it in three steps. Make sure you precisely lead your dog through each step, and before you know it, your friends will be asking you to teach their dogs for them!

6. Play Dead

“Play Dead” is a great party trick that will most definitely impress your friends and family. Unlike simpler commands like sitting or shaking hands, playing dead takes a bit more time and persistence to master.

The tutorial above uses a backwards method approach, teaching the last part of the trick first in order for the dog to learn easier. Take your time and remember to reinforce with a clicker and treats to make the process faster.

If your dog already knows the trick “Roll Over” it will be much easier for them to learn this trick.

7. Spin

Getting your dog to spin on command is a staple dog trick. While seemingly complicated, making your dog spin when directed can be done very easily with the right technique.

The instructor in the video above shows you how to begin with treats and eventually get to a verbal command only. However, getting your dog to spin with a verbal command only can be pretty difficult for beginners, so even if you get your dog to spin with a hand cue or treats, it’s still an accomplishment to be celebrated.

8. Stand On Hind Legs

While this trick may seem like something to leave to the professionals, if you’re a persistent dog parent with patience and high determination, it’s definitely doable.

In comparison to tricks like “Shake Hands” or “Spin,” this trick may seem complex, but really it’s just as easy to achieve if you put the work and effort in.

Big or small, any dog is capable of learning this if their human is just as determined. Watch the video above for details on how to pull it off.

9. Sit Pretty

Making your dog “Sit Pretty” isn’t just fun because it gives you the chance to take cute pictures of your pup to post to Instagram, but it’s also a great exercise for your dog.

Making your dog strike an adorable pose helps with your dog’s balance and can build core muscles. However, make sure your dog is healthy for this trick because it can strain dogs with pre-existing conditions.

Watch the video above to learn how it’s done.

10. Hug

While you can always just give your dog a hug, this trick is neat because your dog will actually put their paws around you and hug you back. Who wouldn’t want to learn this adorable trick?

If you want to master this heartwarming hug, just remember to be understanding of the pace at which your dog learns. Also, keep in mind that it is a bit simpler for your dog to learn this trick if they already know “Sit Pretty,” but otherwise it is still very manageable.

Take a look at the video above and follow along. Your dog will get lots of “awws” from all your friends!

What fun tricks does your dog know? Are you planning to teach your pup any new tricks? Let us know and leave a comment below!

Most people love their furry companions. However, not every moment is enjoyable when your dog isn’t trained to behave in specific ways or avoid unwanted behaviors.

There are many techniques passed on from unknown sources that tell you the best ways to get your dog not to do something. But what is the best method, and how do you use these techniques?

Learn the most common methods for how to train your dog, as well as what techniques not to use.

How Should You Train Your Dog?

There are two common methods of training a dog.

The first is the aversive-based method. The second is the reward-based method. Aversive-based (discipline) training is when you use positive punishment and negative reinforcement techniques with your dog. Reward-based methods use rewards only for the behaviors that you want your dog to follow.

Aversive-based training uses techniques like loud, unpleasant noises, physical corrections, and harsh scoldings to get your dog to act the way you want. On the other hand, reward-based training uses rewards whenever your dog does something you want it to do. Treats, belly rubs, or other dog-pleasing actions are used to reinforce that a behavior was good.

Different experts prefer one method over the other. The one that you use is completely up to you.

Some people believe that a rewards-based method sets up an “event sequence” for your dog where they associate you with happy feelings when they do what they’re told. Aversive-based methods do just the opposite, where they fear you. That fear means that your dog does what they are told to avoid unpleasant feelings.

Understand How Your Dog Learns

Dogs learn a lot like little kids. They are close in intelligence to human two-year-olds. Immediate consequences are all that they care about. As they grow, they begin to understand our words. Some intelligent breeds will respond to as many as 250! Yet every dog responds to the tone of our voice more than the actual words.

There are three types of dog intelligence recognized by scientists:

  • Instinctive
  • Adaptive
  • Working and obedience

Instinctive learning is when your dog learns the behaviors they were bred. Adaptive learning is how well your dog learns from their surroundings and the environment around them to solve problems. Working and obedience are how well they learn the tasks and commands that you teach them.

To get your dog to be obedient, you should focus on training that uses obedience techniques and the specific behaviors you want from them. Both aversive- and reward-based training have been proven to work. However, if you’re training your dog to be a loving pet, you should consider reward-based obedience training. This method doesn’t develop fear-based responses in your dog. It actually reinforces your loving relationship with them.

Obedience Training Rewards

Dogs are smart enough to learn the behaviors that you want them to have. They are also smart enough to learn what they can get away with.

If you’re wondering how to train a dog with a specific behavior, one of the most effective methods is to give them treats, praise, or affection. Most importantly, the best reward to give them is the one that they want the most. If they are food motivated, treats might work better than praise. If they crave attention from you, then affection might be the best reward.

The main point to focus on is to consistently give your dog rewards for the behavior that you want. Do not reward the behavior you don’t want. When your dog performs the behavior, they should get their reward. If you ask them to lie down and don’t give them a treat until they stand back up, they become confused. They won’t know which behavior the reward was for.

Control Consequences Effectively

When you are using reward-based training, your dog needs to understand that there are consequences for behaving in a way you don’t like. Here the consequences are to withhold their reward when they do something bad.

For instance, a dog that likes to jump up to greet their humans when they come in the house can be dangerous for an older adult. To train them not to jump up at you, do not greet them or give them attention if they jump up. You should turn around, walk back out the door, and continue doing this until the dog doesn’t jump up. Keep a treat in your hand while you do this.

When the dog doesn’t jump, give them the treat, and repeat the task until your dog doesn’t jump up when you come in. You should try this with all of the people that your dog gets excited to see when they come in your house. This ensures that they give your dog the treat for the correct behavior.

Training New Skills

When you’re teaching your dog something new, remember that they have the attention span and intelligence of a two-year-old. Your training sessions should be short and to the point. Limit them to 15 minutes. Focus on one task or behavior so that they do not become confused.

Make sure that you’re using the same commands for the behaviors that you want. If you use the same word but insert it into sentences differently every time you say it, your dog may not understand. For instance, if you want to train your dog to lie down, you will confuse them if you say “Lie down” one session and then say “Fido, lie down or no treat” later in the day. They might not know what to do.

Basic Obedience Dog Training

The American Kennel Club recognizes five basic commands that every dog should know. They are:

Finding Help and More Information

If you’re looking for help training your dog, you could try taking a class at your local American Kennel Club (AKC). Local pet associations can also help you with behavioral problems or with fundamentals. The AKC has over 5,000 clubs around the country.

Show Sources

AKC: “Clubs & Delegates,” “4 Tips for Training Your Dog With Rewards,” “”The Five Commands Every Dog Should Know.”

AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION: Smarter Than You Think: Renowned Canine Researcher Puts Dogs’ Intelligence on Par with 2-Year-old Human.”

Humane Society of the United States: “Stop your dog from jumping up.”

Journal of Veterinary Behavior: “The effects of using aversive training methods in dogs—A review.”

PloS One: “Does training method matter? Evidence for the negative impact of aversive-based methods on companion dog welfare.”

Psychology Today: “Canine Intelligence—Breed Does Matter,” “Reward Training vs. Discipline-Based Dog Training.”

Teaching a dog to lie down on command can be tricky and it is made even harder when we make simple mistakes in HOW we teach it to our dogs. We might not even realise we are making these mistakes and simply struggle to understand why our dogs are just not getting it. For the most part, it’s because we have not made what we want clear or we have confused them in some way.

Here I have detailed the 8 most common mistakes and simple ways to avoid making them.

What are the 8 basic dog commands

Common mistakes & how to avoid them
Mistake #1 – Bad timing.
Dogs learn best when they can focus in a familiar, low distraction environment plus, laying down is a calm, relaxing activity which makes it a difficult activity to teach if the dog is highly energetic and just wants to run and play. To set yourself and your dog up for success, choose wisely when you teach and practice this activity so your dog is calm enough to be able to focus on the down activity. You may want to wait until after your daily walk and avoid your dogs most playful times until you have established a training routine. And you definitely want to avoid situations when your dog is stressed or anxious as they can’t focus then either.

Mistake #2 – Wrong environment.
Your dog is less likely to want to lay down if they have to do so on wet grass, cold pavers or a hard floor. Your dog may understand the down activity but just not want to do it, and I wouldn’t want to lay down on the cold, wet ground either. So instead, practice somewhere comfy like a carpeted area in your home or even on their dog bed. The soft landing will be a much better incentive for your dog to practise the down activity.

What are the 8 basic dog commands

Mistake #3 – Down from a sit.
It might seem easier to teach your dog to lay down from a sit position, but it will make this activity much harder in the long term. A dog can naturally and easily fold down into the down or drop position from standing. If you teach them to sit first, this is a more awkward movement for the dog to lay down, plus you will have to give them two commands, one to sit and the second to down.

Mistake #4 – Giving up too soon.
Learning how to lay down on command is not easy for many dogs. Sometimes they don’t know what you are wanting them to do and for energetic dogs and puppies, they may not initially want to lay down. So don’t give up! Stick with it. Once your dog understands that they can be rewarded for laying down and that this is an activity that leads to other fun things or is what you want from them, they will be happier to offer this behaviour to you.

Mistake #5 – Using the wrong command.
What is your command? Drop or down? And did you use the right one? Using the wrong command can confuse your dog and they might not follow through with laying down if they are not sure if that was actually what you asked them to do. Choose the command you are most likely to use and be consistent!

Mistake #6 – Forgetting the hand signal.
Most people, when training their dog to lay down on command will incorporate some kind of hand signal or gesture along with the verbal command. This is often completely unintentional and most of the time people are not even aware that they have done so but your dog will definitely notice. Dog’s are masters of body language and find it easy to pick up our body language cues. Be aware of the gestures you are making like pointing to the floor and use these as a command for your dog to go into the down position.

Mistake #7 – Not using a release cue.
Your dog won’t know how long to remain in the down position unless you tell them when to stop. If you leave it up to your dog, they will likely have a very different time frame in mind than you do. A release cue is a signal you can give your dog to let them know the activity is over. This means they can get up out of the down position.

Mistake #8 – High expectations.
Just because your dog understands the action required when given the down command, doesn’t mean that they can stay in that position for long periods of time or in different situations. You need to work on building up the time they spend in the down position before you expect them to remain in position, especially if you are walking around or doing other things. ​



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What are the 8 basic dog commands

Hyde Flippo taught the German language for 28 years at high school and college levels and published several books on the German language and culture.

Training your canine with dog commands in German is just like training it in any language. You need to establish command, become the pack leader, and guide your dog’s behavior through a combination of reinforcement and redirection. But, if you want to be able to say Er gehorcht auf Kommando (He obeys [German] commands), you need to learn the correct dog commands in German. The essential commands that German dog trainers and owners use are presented first in Deutsch (German) and then in English. A phonetically spelled pronunciation for the commands is listed directly under each German word or phrase. Study and learn these few, simple commands and soon you’ll be saying Hier! (Come!) and Sitz! (Sit!) with authority and style.

German “Hundekommandos” (Dog Commands)

You can find detailed information about training a dog in German on websites such as Hunde-Aktuell (Dog News), which offers plenty of tips and tricks about Ausbildung (dog training), but you’ll need to understand German fluently to access the information. Until your German reaches that level, you’ll find the basic dog commands in German in the table.

Hier! / Komm!
here / komm
Braver Hund!
braffer hoont
Good dog!
Nein! / Pfui!
nyne / pfoo-ee
No! / Bad dog!
Bleib! / Stopp!
blype / shtopp
Bring! / Hol!
brink / hohll
Aus! / Gib!
owss / gipp
Let loose! / Give!
Gib Fuß!
gipp foos
Shake hands!

Using “Platz!” and “Nein!”

Two of the most important German dog commands are Platz! (Down!) and Nein! (No!). The website, hunde-welpen.de (dog-puppy) offers a few tips about how and when to use these commands. The German-language site says the command Platz! is an important one to teach to puppies that are three or four months old. When using this command, hunde-welpen.de suggests:

  • If your young dog’s basket or crate is comfortable, and if Fido feels like the basket or crate is his own, personal safe space, he’ll view the command Platz! as a positive stimulus, rather than a negative command.
  • Lure your young dog to his basket or crate with a favored treat. As soon as he is in the basket or crate, repeat the word Platz!
  • Later, try again to send your dog to its crate or basket by repeating the command Platz! If he goes, heap on the praise—but only if he stays in the crate or basket.

The website also stresses that from an early age, your dog needs to know that Nein! means Nein! Always use a firm, slightly loud voice with a “deep, dark tone” when saying the command.

German Dog Commands Are Popular

Interestingly, German is the most popular foreign language to use for dog commands, says Dog Training Excellence.

“This may be due to the fact that in the early 1900s, in Germany, there were great efforts to train dogs for police work and also to be used during the war. And many of those projects were very successful, so much that even today we want to keep using that language to communicate with our pet dogs.”

Nevertheless, the language doesn’t actually matter to your dog, says the website. You can choose any foreign language, not just German dog commands. What matters is that you use sounds that are unique and appear only when you’re talking to your best friend.

What are the 8 basic dog commands

Training your puppy begins as soon as you welcome the new fur ball into your home. Everything is new to your puppy. New routines, new people, new rules! I have created The Crafty Pup to help Dog Mom’s all over the world properly train their own pup! Developing good habits from the get go are essential. Teaching your puppy that potty happens outside and not on your new rug or that nipping you or the kids is not allowed!

What usually happens it you welcome the new pup home and the first few days are great and everyone is excited! Once all of the excitement settles down is when the “puppy problems” are born. I have taken my puppy training program that I run at my brick and mortar dog training business, Carriage Hill Kennels and I have created this one of a kind online video based Puppy Training course! This course is a must have if your new puppy is between the ages of 8-15 weeks old. If your dog is older than I will direct you to my basic obedience course for dogs 4 months and older. You can access that by clicking here! Anyway, back to what I was saying. I have developed a training course that teaches YOU and your puppy everything you need to know about puppy hood.

Maybe you are a first time dog owner? Or you have not had a puppy for years? No matter your skill level this course was designed to fast track you to success. Training dog’s is really very basic yet so many people make it complicated. Everything I do is concise and there is no weird philosophy behind it. With puppies this young I do use a mixture of praise and treats. However, once your dog is 4 months or older I never use any food again. At that point everything I do is done via praise!

Are you sick of your puppy jumping on everyone? Nipping at your or the kids? Not coming when called? Not listening?

Now, I want you to imagine in 5 days from now that your puppy comes when called, sits when asked to sit, NO MORE PUPPY BITING or MOUTHING! With my help you can achieve all of this plus more if you put in 5-10 minutes of practice each day!

I am not kidding! I am so confident that this will help you out as it has done for thousands of other people that I offer a 30 day satisfaction guarantee.

In my online course you will see me on camera training a variety of puppies while explaining everything to you. I teach you everything that I deem important in puppy hood and the videos are just a few minutes long! Each video also has written out instructions for you as well!

What you and your puppy will learn:

Recall- Calling your dog to you.

Sit- You will learn how I teach new puppies to sit.

Down- You will learn how to teach your puppy to lay down.

House breaking your puppy

Crate Training your New Puppy- I teach you how to train your puppy to go into it’s crate without whining/barking.

How to STOP puppy biting!

How to Train your Puppy not to Jump on Everyone!

What are the 8 basic dog commands

included in course:

Video chapters with step-by-step instructions on everything you need to know

Each chapter has a homework sheet that is written out to ensure you fully comprehend the material.

What are the 8 basic dog commands

Dog commands help you to control your dog to a certain degree, especially when you are out in public. However, you might ask, why would anyone want to know Norwegian dog commands? Well, English is a common language, and almost every dog owner can command your pup in this language. If you don’t want that to happen, an uncommon language, like Norwegian, is the way to go.

Norwegian Dog Commands

We know that dogs don’t understand human words. They simply associate specific tones with particular actions. Therefore, every language is equally foreign to them and it’s all down to your training. Let’s look at the most popular Norwegian dog commands and the proper methods to teach them to your dog.

NOTE: These commands are in no particular order.

What are the 8 basic dog commands

“Sitt” is the Norwegian word for ‘sit’. It makes your dog sit whenever the instruction is given. Start the training of this command with your dog in a standing position (next to you). Then, hold a tasty treat in your hand and bring it near your dog’s nose. Allow him/her to sniff.

After that, keep raising the treat over his/her head. When the dog will raise his/her head for the treat, his/her bottom will naturally go on the ground. The instant your dog sits, say the command, and give him/her the treat. Keep repeating this until your dog learns this behavior.

What are the 8 basic dog commands

This Norwegian dog command is the equivalent of the ‘heel’ instruction. It is used to make your dog walk beside you. Get some treats and start walking with your dog in a spacious room. Then, call your dog’s name and point to the side you want him/her to walk. When the pooch follows you, use a clicker and reward him/her with a treat. Repeat this a few times, then command your pup to heel, and he/she should obey you.


What are the 8 basic dog commands

As the word suggests, “Stopp” is the Norwegian word for ‘stop’. This is one of the most important Norwegian dog commands that every dog owner needs to know. It allows you to stop your dog from doing any inappropriate action.

For teaching this command, start by getting some treats. They will help you grab your dog’s full attention. Then, make your dog perform random actions, like sitting or walking. Suddenly, say “stopp” and wait for your dog to stop. Once he/she does that, give him/her the treat. Repeat this exercise regularly and your dog will learn this command.

What are the 8 basic dog commands

As the word sounds, Kom is the Norwegian word for come. This command can be used to call your dog towards you. Start your training in a slow, low distracting environment, like in your house. Show your dog a toy (or a treat) and when he/she comes to you, give him/her the toy. After a few repetitions, whenever your dog looks at you and starts to move towards you, add a verbal clue like “Kom”. Now, your dog should come towards you whenever you use this command.

What are the 8 basic dog commands

The ‘Down’ command is called “Ned” in Norwegian. It is used to make your dog lie down. For teaching this command, start by holding a treat in your hand. Take your hand close to your dog’s nose to allow him/her to sniff the treat.

Now, slowly bring the treat (and your hand) down to the floor and your pup will follow. Give the treat to the dog and say “Ned” when his/her elbows touch the ground. After a few practices, begin bringing your empty hand to the floor and give the treat after he/she lies down. When your pooch can reliably follow your hand signal, begin saying “down” as you move your hand.

Gi Labb

What are the 8 basic dog commands

“Gi labb” is the Norwegian word for ‘shaking hands’. Although it can take a while to train your pup, this classic dog trick is worth the effort.

Hold your hand out to your dog. He/she may get confused in the beginning and will try to figure out what you want by licking and sniffing your hand. The key is to wait it out and don’t saying anything while your pooch is experimenting.

As soon as your dog paws at your hand, give him/her a treat. Repeat this exercise several times until your canine friend is consistently pawing at your hand. After that, you can start increasing the difficulty and add the cue “Gi Labb”. Continue this training and your dog will ultimately perfect this trick.

What are the 8 basic dog commands

Gå is the Norwegian dog command for ‘walk’. It is used to teach your pup how to walk on a leash. Begin the training by attaching a leash (10-15 feet) to your dog. Say the cue “Gå” and reward your canine as soon as he/she looks at you.

After a few repetitions, your dog will start coming over to you for the treat. Now, take a few steps back and let him/her come to you. When he/she reaches you, give him/her a treat. After some practice, the dog should start following you on command.

What are the 8 basic dog commands

“Bli” is the Norwegian word for ‘stay’. This command is used when you want your dog to stay where he/she is. Start by using the “Sitt” command and giving a treat for staying in that position. Gradually increase the time between the treats.

Once your dog can stay in the sit position for several seconds, you can begin adding distance. Take one step back, then step back to the pup, and give him/her a treat. Continue increasing the distance and duration between treats, and your dog will learn how to stay.

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The key to teaching your dog to walk nicely on the lead is to teach them that not pulling is the fastest way to get to where they want to go. Teaching your dog not to pull takes time, patience and consistency, but the benefits can be huge.

Teach your dog to walk without pulling

Follow these steps to teach your dog to walk nicely on the lead.

  1. Start by standing still and quiet. Allow your dog the full length of their lead. Remain still and quiet when your dog is ignoring you, but the split second he pays attention to you, praise him and give him a treat.
  2. Once you have your dog’s attention, you can move off – use your voice and treats to encourage your dog to stay close to you when walking. Always reward your dog when they’re walking on a loose lead.
  3. If your dog moves too far away from you, before the lead goes tight, stop and be still and quiet until they pay attention and move closer to you. Reward and move off again. This must happen every single time your dog moves away.
  4. Practise this in short and regular sessions.
  5. Walking around distractions can cause dogs to pull. Place something on the floor that your dog would really like to get to, such as a toy. If your dog pulls on the lead to get towards the toy, stop and call them towards you. Their reward for walking on a loose lead is getting to the toy. This way, the dog learns that pulling just slows things down.

Extra tip

Make the area around you fun and rewarding so that your dog enjoys being closer to you. Lots of encouragement through praise and treats will stop him racing towards his destination.

What are the 8 basic dog commands

Puppies are constantly learning, whether it’s from their environment, from socializing with people or other animals, or from direct training.

This creates a critical foundation that will set the stage for their adulthood. Providing puppies with the appropriate socialization and basic puppy training allows them to grow into confident adult dogs.

Follow this step-by-step puppy training guide to set you and your puppy up for success!

When Can You Start Training Your Puppy?

Training a puppy starts as soon as you bring them home, which is typically about 8 weeks of age. At this young age, they can learn basic puppy training cues such as sit, stay, and come.

Tips for Training Your Puppy

Here are some basic puppy training tips to get you started.

Use Positive Reinforcement

There are many different methods of training your puppy that you might have heard about or even seen in person with a dog trainer. However, there is only one acceptable and scientifically backed method of training, and that’s the use of positive reinforcement.

Positive reinforcement is the process of giving a reward to encourage a behavior you want. The use of punishment—including harsh corrections; correcting devices such as shock, choke, and prong collars; and dominance-based handling techniques—should be avoided, because these can produce long-term consequences that result in various forms of fear and anxiety for your dog as an adult dog.

To apply this, first find out which rewards work best for your puppy. Some puppies might find something as simple as a piece of their normal kibble exciting enough to train with, while others might need something tastier, like a special training treat.

Then there are the puppies that are not motivated by food at all! For those puppies, try to find a toy they enjoy that they can get when they do a good job. Praise is also a way to positively reinforce a puppy. Petting or showing excitement and saying, “good job!” may be all you need for basic puppy training.

Keep Training Sessions Short

When training a basic cue, keep the sessions short, about 5 minutes each, and try to average a total of 15 minutes per day. Puppies have short attention spans, so end your session on a positive note so that they are excited for the next session!

Use Consistency When Training Your Puppy

It is important to be consistent in your approach to cues and training. Use the same word and/or hand signal when you teach your puppy basic cues such as sit, stay, and come.

It is also important to reinforce desired behaviors consistently, even when it’s not convenient. So if your puppy is at the door needing to go outside to go to the bathroom, stop what you are doing, let them out, and reward them for going to the bathroom outside.

Practice in Different Environments

Taking a puppy to a new environment like a park or the beach and asking for a cue is vastly different than training at your house. This is due to the variety of new sights and smells they will encounter outside the home.

Make attempts to practice in different settings to set your dog up to be confident no matter what their situation. Please keep in mind that puppies should not go to areas where there are a lot of dogs until they have finished their puppy vaccination series!

Be Patient

Puppies are growing and learning, just like young children. They will make mistakes and may not always understand what you are asking.

All puppies learn at different speeds, so stick with it and don’t get frustrated. Maintaining a consistent routine with feeding, potty breaks, naps, and playtime will make your puppy feel secure—and a secure puppy is ready and able to learn!

Basic Puppy Training Timeline

So when do you teach your dog the different cues? When does house-training start? Here’s a puppy training timeline that you can use.

7-8 Weeks Old

Basic Cues (Sit, Stay, Come)

You can start with basic cues as early as 7 weeks old:

Say a cue such as “sit” once.

Use a treat to position your dog into a sitting position.

Once sitting, give your puppy the treat and some praise.

Leash Training

You can start leash training indoors at this age. Because puppies don’t have their full vaccinations at this point, it is unsafe for them to be walking around where other dogs walk.

Start by letting them wear the collar/harness for short amounts of time while providing treats. Increase this duration slowly. Once your puppy knows how to come to you, you can walk around inside on the leash with no distractions. You can move the training outside once your puppy has all their vaccinations.

General Handling

Get your puppy used to being touched. Gently rub their ears and paws while rewarding them. This will get them used to having those areas touched and will make veterinary visits and nail trims less stressful when they are older!

8-10 Weeks Old

Crate Training

Your puppy should see their crate as a safe and calm place. Start by bringing them to their crate for 10- minute intervals while they are nice and calm. Reward them for going in their crate. You can even feed them in their crate to create a positive environment.

10-12 Weeks Old

Learning Not to Bite

Puppies become mouthy at this age. Putting things in their mouths is how they explore their world, but it is important to teach them not to bite your hands or ankles. When they start biting at you, redirect them to a more appropriate object to bite, such as a toy.

12-16 Weeks Old

Potty Training

Maintaining a schedule is important for potty training. Make sure to take your puppy out first thing in the morning, after eating, and after playtime and naps throughout the day. At this point they should start having enough bladder control to learn to hold it. Reward your puppy with a treat every time they go to the bathroom outside.

6 Months Old

Puppies are entering the adolescence stage by this point, and it is the most difficult stage to start training at. That is why it is important to start training them as young as possible! At this stage you will continue training to solidify and strengthen their skills in more public and distracting settings such as dog parks.

What are the 8 basic dog commands

Why does my dog ignore me?Does your dog ignore you when you call him to come or give him a command? “Why does my dog ignore me?” is one of the most common questions I hear from week 1 students in my dog obedience training classes. Some of them take being ignored as a challenge to their authority. Others get their feelings hurt and worry that their dog doesn’t love them. In reality, most people whose dogs ignore them have unwittingly trained them to do so.
Dog training comes down to one simple principle: The behavior that is rewarded gets repeated. Set your dog’s life up so that behavior you want leads to Good Things for Dogs and behavior you don’t want doesn’t, and you will have a well-behaved dog. Simple, right? It can be, but first you have to understand how to make your dog connect rewards with the right behavior. To do that, you must understand 3 key differences between our brains and dogs’ brains.

Silence is golden

Your dog thinks you talk too much. Trust me. He does. Friends and family may hang on your every word, but not your dog. Dogs have their own natural “language,”, but it doesn’t have words. Dog language is visual. They communicate volumes with their posture, their tails, their eyes, and their ears. For this reason, their first instinct when trying to figure out what we want is to watch us; not to listen to us. Our constant talking is just noise to them.

Try following this simple rule. If you tell your dog to do something 5 times and he doesn’t do it 4 of those times, stop telling him to do it. Training happens every time we interact with our dogs, whether we notice it or not. If you keep calling your dog or telling him to get off the counter and he doesn’t listen, then you are actively training him to ignore you. We need to make our words count in dog training. So what do you do if you can’t repeat a command to a dog who is ignoring you? You change your focus, which leads to our second big difference between how dogs and humans experience the world. Learn more.

Timing is everything

When we get hung up on what we can do or say to prompt our dogs to behave, we have it backwards. Remember the first principle of dog training? The behavior that is rewarded gets repeated. The consequences of a dog’s behavior determine how much of that behavior we’ll see in the future. If good things tend to follow a behavior, a dog will do more of it. If they don’t, he’ll do less of it. We create motivation by controlling what follows behavior. Once we motivate a dog to do something, putting it on cue is the easy part.

Proximity in time matters almost as much as order. Dogs are truly creatures of the moment. Our own brains stay busy analyzing past events and contemplating the future. Not our dogs. They live completely in the now. To communicate effectively with them, we must learn to do the same. Our feedback on their behavior must always be about what they are doing RIGHT NOW. When your dog does something, you have about 2 seconds to weigh in on it, and that’s if you’re lucky. If, for example, your dog sits when you ask him to, but then jumps up on you before you’ve had a chance to deliver a reward, you’ve lost your chance.

The hardest time to follow the rule that our feedback must always be about the dog is doing right now is when our dogs make us angry. When you displease us, we humans want to tell you about it … and tell you about it … and then make sure you really understand. A dog’s reprimands, on the other hand, stop when the offending behavior stops. If you want to make sense to your dog, you must learn to change direction on a dime. If your dog strands you at the dog park for an extra hour by refusing to come when called, for example, you’re going to be really frustrated. No matter how angry you are, you must praise and reward that dog when he finally comes. Because he associates your behavior with what he is doing right now, scolding will only make him less likely to come next time.

It all depends

I only ban one phrase in my dog training classes, “He knows this. He does it at home.” People are almost always wrong when they say this. It’s a natural thing to assume. If my dog lies down whenever I ask him to at home, but won’t do it in class, then he must be ignoring me or challenging my authority, right? Wrong.

Humans excel at abstraction and generalization. The gift of language allows us to effortlessly understand that the word “sit” applies to planting our rear ends on the ground, on the couch, on a bar stool, etc. Dogs don’t think that way. For them, everything is context specific. Just because that funny “sit” sound that you make predicts Good Things for Dogs who plant their butts at home doesn’t mean that it applies in other venues. When our dogs fail to comply with commands in new situations, it’s not defiance. They honestly don’t get it. I prefer to think of mistakes as questions. Do I have to sit when you make that noise in class? What about when the doorbell rings? What about when…Squirrel.

For this reason, I also like to think of training as more like exercise than like teaching commands. In weight lifting, you start with a weight that’s a bit of a struggle and lift it repeatedly until it’s easy. Then you add more weight. In dog training, we break our ultimate goal down into little pieces, start with something slightly challenging, and do repetitions until it’s easy. Then we make it a little harder. Asking my dog to sit when we’re alone in the kitchen is like asking him to lift 5 pounds. Asking him to sit when the pizza delivery guy rings the doorbell, gets everyone barking, and stands outside smelling amazing is like asking him to lift 500 pounds. You don’t get from 5 pounds to 500 pounds overnight. You have to do lots of repetitions at ever-increasing levels of difficulty to get there.

You’ll learn numerous training techniques in obedience class, but you will apply them more effectively if you remember 3 things: every word counts, timing is everything, and it all depends (on the context). Happy training!

In many cultures around the world, a dog is known as “man’s best friend”. Dog’s are known for their loyalty and friendliness and many people value them as not only a friend but also a family member.

Dog-lovers abound in Spain and other Spanish-speaking countries. If you want to transform a Spanish acquaintance into a lifelong friend, one of the best small talk questions you can ask is: ¿Tienes alguna mascota?

If they say, “si, perro”, you can be sure you’ve found a topic of conversation that they can really warm up to.

If you are thinking of getting a dog yourself, or if you want to make your Spanish language lessons a little more interesting, you might want to think about learning some Spanish dog commands.

Even if you don’t have a dog, it might be a good idea as well to know how to “talk” to your Spanish-speaking friend’s beloved furry friend. Being nice to animals, especially to a person’s beloved pet is a sure-fire way to make a good impression.

5 Basic Spanish Dog Commands You MUST Know

The “Dog Whisperer” Cesar Millan believes that there are five essential dog commands that every dog should learn. Though most of Millan’s shows and books are in English (or translated into another language), he actually learned Mexican Spanish as his first language as he was born and raised in Mexico.

Millan believes that teaching your dog basic dog training commands can help tackle behavior problems. Dog owners would do well to train their dogs to recognize and respond to: sit, come, down, stay, leave it.

Let’s take a look at what these basic dog commands are in Spanish.

1. Siéntate

English equivalent: Sit

Pronunciation guide: sehn-tah-te

This command comes from the Spanish verb “sentar” which means “to sit”. So, when you use this Spanish dog command, your dog should stop what it is doing and take a sitting position.

This command is useful because it is a way to make your dog stop and pay attention to you. If it is being unruly, you can use this to tell it to calm down. It also often serves as the starting point by which you give your dog other commands.

For example, if you want your dog to stay still while you fetch and attach his leash, say “siéntate” then follow it up with “stay”. Your dog will eventually realize that “siéntate” comes before other commands and he should then stay sitting and alert to hear the next command.

2. Ven

English equivalent: Come

Pronunciation guide: behn

This command comes from the Spanish verb “venir” which means “to come”. You use it when you want to call your dog over to you.

This is another important Spanish dog command as it can prevent your dog from getting into mischief or keep him from situations that will harm them.

For example, if your dog is off the leash and overly curious about a pile of garbage or a possibly dangerous wild animal like a porcupine or skunk, a quick firm “ven” should make your dog change its course and come over to you – instead of getting into harm’s way.

3. Abajo

English equivalent: Down

Pronunciation guide: ah-bah-hoh

This is one of those Spanish dog commands that is meant to stop unwanted behavior. There are two common reasons why you want your dog to recognize and respond to “abajo”.

The first would be because you want your dog to calm down and stop a certain behavior. It’s similar to “siéntate” that way, except when you say “abajo” want you want to do is for your dog to stop what he’s doing and lie down on the ground.

Another reason you want your dog to recognize what “abajo” means is because you want to correct a negative behavior. In this case, you want to keep your dog from climbing up on the furniture. You want your dog to recognize that he isn’t allowed up on the couch so when you see him say “abajo”.

A very well-trained dog won’t just get down from a couch at a sharp “abajo”, he might even assume the position and lie on the ground till your next command.

4. Quieto

English equivalent: Stay

Pronunciation guide: kyeh-toh

While the other Spanish dog commands we’ve listed so far are pretty straightforward, this command has a different meaning when you’re not talking to a dog.

“Quieto” is actually an adjective used to describe someone or something as still, calm, or peaceful. When you use “quieto” as a dog command, however, you’re telling your dog what you want it to do and that is to stay in place.

Let’s go back to the scenario we discussed when we were talking about “siéntate”. “Siéntate” and “quieto” are often used in tandem. You want your dog to sit and stay in place, usually because you need to do something.

Back to the previous example, if you are about to take your dog for a walk but you left his leash in another room, you can tell him “siéntate” first, then add “quieto”. Your dog should remain sitting in place, even if you leave the room, while you look for and then put on his leash.

5. Déjalo

English equivalent: Leave it

Pronunciation guide: deh-ha-loh

This is another of those Spanish dog commands that you can use to prevent your dog from hurting itself or getting in a bad situation.

If you tell your dog to “déjalo” when you think it is about to pick up a piece of trash or approach an animal that could hurt it, like a fierce cat or a skunk, your dog should stop in its approach.

You might then want to follow it up with a “ven” and a well-trained dog should come over to you, completely detaching itself from a situation that could have ended up causing it harm.

Other Spanish Dog Commands You And Your Dog Should Learn

The five basic dog commands are mostly ways to ensure that your dog behaves themselves. Learning them will help you keep better control of your dog and keep him from situations that might be harmful to you, your dog, or other people and creatures.

There are other Spanish dog commands that you can learn, however, and here are a few fun and interesting ones. These commands are often the cue for more advanced behaviors or even tricks that you can teach your dog after he’s learned to “sit” and “stay”.

Having control of your dog is essential. You must have seen many people who just struggle with their dog’s behavior. A well trained dog id worth all the effort that goes into training the dog.

As a new puppy owner, I also went to through that phase and it times I would tend to lose patience.

This article is about the training commands that we should be teaching our retriever dogs. These commands are specifically tailored towards the retriever dog breeds like Golden and Labrador retriever dogs.

Why Retriever Dogs Need Commands?

Commands for retrievers are essential for a successful hunt. They guide your dog into performing the correct actions in different situations. It can take some time and lots of practice for your pet to master these commands.

There will be lots of trial and error when you first start training them. After enough time, they’ll be experienced enough to follow your commands, sometimes without having to be told.

Essential Retriever Dog Commands

1) Leave It

About Leave It Command

The Leave It command is one of the first commands that your dog should learn. It will not only help with your hunt, but it can also protect health by using this command to avoid foods and other items that could cause a choking hazard or would otherwise be harmful to their health.

Step By Step How To Train For Leave It Command

1. Start by sitting on the floor with your dog. You should have something good for them on one hand, such as dog treats or one of their favorite toys. Make a fist and present the fist holding the items out towards your retriever. Odds are they will be very curious about what you have.

They may sniff at your hand or raise a paw to try to open your fist. Whatever they try to do, make sure that you keep your fist closed. This will help your dog to learn that the items you’re holding are off-limits. After they’ve learned this behavior, you can add the “leave it” command before holding out your fist to them.

2. The next step is to expand upon this command. Hold the items in your fist as you present your hand to your dog. Open your palm while giving the “leave it” command. Your retriever may be curious and move toward you to see what you have.

When they do, close your fist quickly. You can reward your dog with a treat if they leave your closed palm alone. Just make sure not to feed them a treat from the items you kept from them in your fist.

3. Now it’s time to increase the difficulty. This time, put the treats or dog toy on the floor and place your hand over them. Give the “leave it” command and observe your dog’s behavior. If they leave your hand alone, feel free to reward them again if you’d like.

Next, leave the treats on the floor and place your hand over them. Give the “leave it” command as you remove your hand. Be prepared to cover the treats with your hand if your retriever rushes toward them. If they don’t, they are one step closer to mastering this command. Only one more exercise remains.

4. For the final step, you’ll have to leash your dog. Place a treat or favorite toy out of their reach. Hold on to the leash firmly. Your dog will probably want to run towards the item, but it’s important to keep them restrained as you give the “leave it” command.

Once they’ve learned to stop struggling and leave the item alone, give them an appropriate award. They’ve now mastered the “leave it” command!

2) Hunt ‘Em Up

What are the 8 basic dog commands

About Hunt ‘Em Up Command

The Hunt ‘Em Up command is a kind of pep talk for your dog. It helps to get them motivated to find any birds that you have hit or wounded during your day in the field. Once they’re motivated, they’ll know what to look for and bring back to you.

Step By Step How To Train For Hunt ‘Em Up Command

1. Take the bird out in the field. Your dog should be a safe distance away while you do this. Place the bird somewhere that’s out of the dog’s sight range but isn’t too far away for them to find.

2. Let your dog start wandering towards the spot where you hid the bird. Bring a whistle so that you can give a few quick hoots if they’re searching in the wrong place. Your retriever should be out ahead of you while looking, to simulate real hunting conditions.

3. Start giving the “hunt ’em up” command. You should be giving the command in an excited voice. Before long, your dog will pick up the bird’s scent. Keep giving the command until they’ve located the bird.

4. Repeat the process. Take your retriever back to the starting point and hide the bird in a different spot. Feel free to vary your lengths of distance. This helps your dog to get more accustomed to the command and search more than one spot for birds in the field.

3) Find the Bird

About Find The Bird Command

This command should be used when you want your dog to retrieve a bird that you’ve shot during your hunt. It’s especially helpful on days where you’re dealing with inclement weather or adverse field conditions. When you’re not sure where the bird landed, using this command will help your dog retrieve the bird successfully.

Step By Step How To Train For Find The Bird Command

1.For this command, you’ll need a couple of friends to help. Have one friend take the bird out about 20-30 yards away from you. Another friend should be standing a few yards away from you and have a shooting stick. Keep your dog leashed and next to you to start.

2. Signal the first friend to throw the bird in the air. The second person will point the shooting stick in the opposite direction and fire a shot. Keep your dog leashed and by your side. Once the bird has landed on the ground, give the “find the bird” command and release the leash.

3. The noise should excite your dog enough to want to find the bird out in the field. Their ears may perk up when they hear the shot and they may be anxious to run before your release the leash. Feel free to use your whistle if your retriever is searching in the wrong area. You can also repeat this process as many times as you’d like after your dog has found the bird the first time.

What are the 8 basic dog commands

I volunteered for a couple of years at the Kentucky Humane Society (KHS) before I adopted my dog, Parker. I met a few people who worked as animal behavioral specialists during my time at KHS. So when Parker came home with me, I enrolled him in an obedience training class as soon as I could, because I understood how essential it is. Here’s how it could help you and your dog, too.

1. It socializes your dog and teaches them manners.

Like human babies, puppies don’t know how to behave around others. They do whatever they want without thinking about the consequences. However, socialization teaches young dogs how to behave in ways that humans, and other dogs, find acceptable.

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What are the 8 basic dog commands

You should start socializing your dog when they’re about 7 weeks old, according the American Kennel Club (AKC). Socialization involves introducing your new dog to people, places, and animals. Obedience school checks all of those boxes.

A good obedience school does more than teach your dog to follow commands. It improves your pup’s manners so they can get along with other dogs and humans in a variety of situations. Over a few weeks of training, you can watch your wild puppy transform into a well-mannered dog that feels at home in the world.

2. It helps you develop a better relationship with your dog.

Kat Rooks, the Behavior Manager at KHS, told me early on that obedience school focuses on owners as much as it does dogs. “I spend a lot of time training owners,” she says. “Part of my job is teaching people how to teach their dogs.”

That’s because the average person doesn’t understand dog behavior. And when you don’t understand your dog, you can’t train them well. Instead, you might get angry when your dog misbehaves, but yelling will only teach your dog to fear or ignore you.

Positive reinforcement fosters a closer relationship between people and dogs, according to the AKC. Parker’s obedience course used a method called clicker training. When I gave a command (“sit”), I would wait for him to make a sitting motion. Anything that resembled a sit got a click and a reward. Eventually, he figured out that he would get a treat for sitting on command.

Today, Parker sits when I ask him to (unless it’s really cold outside — then he gives me a look that says, “Would you put your butt on this freezing ground?”). He can also lie down, fetch, drop it, and high five.

Thanks to proper training, Parker and I understand what we want from each other. In addition, I learned how to teach Parker new commands. It’s good mental exercise for him, and it gives us a reason to get off the couch and interact.

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What are the 8 basic dog commands

3. It protects your dog from potential danger.

Two of the most important commands Parker knows are “sit” and “drop it,” because they protect him from doing dangerous things. When I see him gnawing at something in the yard, I can yell “drop it” from the deck. There’s no way of knowing how many stomachaches the “drop it” command has prevented.

“Sit” has saved Parker’s life. Once, while walking on a path in Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, Parker managed to get off-leash and run toward traffic. I screamed “sit!” as loudly as I could. To my surprise, he stopped, sat, and looked back at me for his reward. Obedience training that teaches dogs to stop when they unknowingly run toward danger, which gives you one of the most effective tools to keep your furry pal safe.

4. It can prevent your dog from biting.

In most cases, a well-socialized dog doesn’t feel as much anxiety and fear as a dog that hasn’t been socialized. With less anxiety, dogs can approach new people and situations without feeling that fear that makes them bite (which is good news for your mailman!).

A study published in 2018 in Animal Behavior and Cognition found that dogs with anxiety exhibited more signs of fear when they encounter dog-like robots compared to dogs without anxiety.

The study even explains that taking your puppy to an obedience school and socializing them can help reduce the anxiety that leads to biting as an adult dog.

What are the 8 basic dog commands

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What are the 8 basic dog commands

5. It protects your home — and keeps you together.

A dog’s bad behavior can destroy a home. Untrained dogs may chew on furniture, scratch doors, and go to the bathroom inside.

In fact, one of the main reasons people choose to rehome their dog is bad behavior, according to survey findings published in October 2015 in the Open Journal of Animal Sciences. And nearly 35 percent of survey respondents reported that low-cost or free access to training could have helped them keep their dogs.

Obedience school can help you train your dog to be a quality member of your family — not a nuisance — so you can enjoy each other’s company for years to come.

Sign Your Dog Up!

Dogs need people to teach them how to behave. Obedience school is a good option for training, especially if you have never trained a dog before. Without obedience school, it’s unlikely that Parker and I would have such a close relationship that lets us travel together peacefully and safely.

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