As a dog owner, it’s important to have a foundation of obedience commands that you can fall back on in an emergency. Fortunately, there are only seven basic commands that every dog should know. In this blog post, we’ll go over those commands and how to teach them to your furry friend.
The ‘sit’ command
This is the most important command for a dog to know. Not only is it a great way to get your dog’s attention, but it also has a multitude of practical applications. For example, if you’re at a restaurant and your dog is begging for food, you can tell them to sit and stay until you’re done eating.
Teaching your dog to sit is pretty easy. Start by getting their favorite treat and holding it just out of their reach. When they try to stand up to get the treat, say “sit” in a firm voice and push their hind end down with your other hand. Once they’re sitting, give them the treat and praise them lavishly. With a little practice, they’ll soon be sitting on command!
The ‘stay’ command
The stay command is another crucial one for dogs to know. It’s often used in conjunction with the sit command, but it can also be used when you need your dog to remain calm in a potentially chaotic or dangerous situation. For example, if there’s a thunderstorm outside and your dog is starting to get anxious, telling them to stay will help prevent them from running out the door and getting lost.
To teach your dog the stay command, start by having them sit or lie down. Once they’re in position, put your hand in front of their face and say, “stay.” If they try to move, gently guide them back into position and repeat the command. Once they’ve stayed put for 30 seconds, give them a treat and lots of praise. With patience and practice, your dog will soon stay on command like a pro!
The ‘down’ command
The down command is similar to the sit command in that it requires your dog to get into a specific position – namely, lying down on its stomach with all four paws flat on the ground. This one can be trickier to teach than the others since it requires your dog to be completely relaxed, but it’s well worth the effort.
Once your dog knows how to do it, the down command can be used in situations where you need them to remain calm and still – such as when you have company over or there’s some commotion going on outside.
To teach your dog the down command, start by having them sit or stand next to you. Then hold a treat close to their nose so they can smell it but not see it – this will help keep their focus on you rather than the treat.
Next, say “down” in a firm voice and slowly lower the treat towards the ground while moving your hand backward underneath their chin. When they lie down following the treat with their eyes still locked on yours, give them the treat along with plenty of praise! With time and patience, teaching this one will become second nature for both you and your pup.
The ‘come’ command
This is another vital command for dogs, especially if they tend to wander off or get excited and run away when they see something interesting. The come command will help you recall your dog in a safe and controlled manner, no matter what the situation may be.
Teaching your dog the come command is pretty simple. Start by putting a leash on them and standing a few feet away. Then, say their name in an excited voice followed by the command “come.” As they walk toward you, give the leash a little slack, so they know they’re doing the right thing.
When they reach you, praise them lavishly and give them a treat. With a little practice, your dog will soon come to you on command – no matter where they are or what’s happening around them!
The ‘heel’ command
This is another important command for dogs, especially if you like to take them on walks or runs. The heel command will help keep them by your side rather than pulling ahead or lagging, making the experience much more enjoyable for both of you.
To teach your dog the heel command, start by putting a leash on them and standing next to them. Then, say “heel” in a firm voice and start walking. If they try to pull ahead, stop and wait for them to catch up.
Give the leash a little slack when they’re back by your side, and continue walking. If they lag behind, stop and wait for them to catch up again. With patience and practice, your dog will eventually get the hang of walking by your side – no matter where you go!
The ‘off’ command
This is a great command to teach your dog if they tend to jump up on people or get excited and put their paws on things they’re not supposed to. The off command will help teach them to keep their paws on the ground – literally!
To teach your dog the off command, start by having them sit or stand next to you. Then, say “off” in a firm voice and place your hand on their chest. If they try to jump up, push them back down and repeat the command.
Once they’ve mastered the “off” command, you can start using it in different situations – such as when they’re jumping up on people or furniture. With a little practice, your dog will eventually learn to keep their paws on the ground – no matter how excited they get!
The ‘no’ command
This is a great command to teach your dog if they tend to do things that you don’t want them to – such as jump on people or furniture, chew on something they’re not supposed to, or bark excessively.
The no command will help teach them that there are certain things they’re not supposed to do – and it’s important to listen to you when you say “no.”
To teach your dog the no command, start by showing them what you don’t want them to do – such as jumping on people or furniture. Then, say “no” in a firm voice and make sure they see you looking at them.
If they continue trying to do the forbidden behavior, say “no” again and turn your back on them. With a little practice, your dog will eventually get the message that certain behaviors are not allowed – and they’ll be less likely to do them in the future.
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7 basic dog commands every owner should know – final thoughts
There you have it – seven essential commands that every dog should know! While some may take more time than others to master, each one provides an invaluable tool you can use in everyday life or during an emergency. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start training!