Eight Dog Commands Every Dog Should Learn As a Pup

Basic Dog Commands

teaching dog commands
aye_shamus / Foter / CC BY-NC-NDThe Basic Dog Commands

Some of the basic dog commands that could save your dogs life as well as make both of your lives more enjoyable. Most dog commands are relatively easy to teach. Most dogs are also relatively easy to teach as long as you reward good behavior and don’t try and punish bad behavior. Use the carrot and not the stick and you will see that dog training is easy. A dog that gets rewarded during training will love learning new commands.

Here are what I consider the most important commands that every dog should be trained for. The exact words you use doesn’t have to be what I have here, as long as you always use the same words.

The Come Command

The Come Dog Command
ViaMoi / Foter / CC BY-NC-NDThe Come Command

Of all the dog commands to have your dog know, this is one of the most important if not the most important. It can keep your dog out of trouble from a lot of different sources whether it be traffic, other dogs or maybe really young kids. You want “Spot” to come each and every time you call so you have to make coming to you more fun than that pile of dog poo or another dog in the area.

To do that you have to give “Spot” a treat each and every time he comes to you. It should be a special treat too, not just some of his dry dog food, but a treat he really, really likes. You should always have some of this treat in your pocket or hidden around so that you can always reward we he does come.  Of course that is the secret to teaching any of the dog commands.

The Sit Command

The Sit Dog Command
faith goble / Foter / CC BYThe Sit Command

This is also one of the easiest dog commands to teach. It is used to control your dog when it gets over exited. A dog that will sit on command is much easier to manage. When you teach you dog to sit, it should sit and focus on you until you give it another command.

The Down Command

Bright Eyes
tipiro / Foter / CC BY

Similar to the sit command, it also is used to control your dog. Instead of sitting you have your dog lie on it’s stomach. It is more comfortable that the sit command and can be used when you want your dog to be still for more than a couple of minutes. Again when in the “down” position the dog should be focused on you until the next command.

The Stay Command

The cast of my non-stop entertainment
Xanboozled / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

This is used along with either the “sit” or “down” command and is used to keep you dog still even after you leave sight. It is also one of the hardest to teach. Should only be used for less than just a few minutes.

The Walk (Heel) Command

This is used to keep your dog at your side, usually the left side , either when off or when on a leash. It keeps the dog from pulling on the leash or lagging behind. An absolute necessity if you have a large dog like a Great Dane, not so much if you have a “Yorkie”.

No Bark Command

Probably the hardest to teach because dogs naturally just bark. They may be barking to warn you of something or they may be excited to see the squirrel in the yard or just excited to see you. Some dogs just bark to get attention.  Some dogs bark out of boredom.  A “no bark” command is very handy but hard to teach.

The Leave it Command

If your walking your dog and he happens on a dead bird or that pile of poo the “leave it” command is very handy. This command lets the dog know that whatever is in front of it is “off limits” for the time being, even people or other dogs. It is also the basis of the trick of balancing a dog biscuit on his nose until you “free” him.

The Drop it Command

stringberd / Foter / CC BY-NC

This is the command to use if you didn’t use the “leave it” command in time and your dog has picked up that dead bird. When you use this command the dog knows that whatever is in its mouth must be dropped immediately. This is a hard one to teach and will require lots of treats. The dog must know that when it drops something it is going to get a replacement.

There are many more dog commands that can be taught like “roll over” and “fetch”, but they are not as important as the ones above and should only be taught after the dog learns these basic dog commands.  Both pet and owner will be happier.

Visit the Online Dog Trainer for more in depth details on dog training.