My Top Ten Basic Training Commands

It’s possible, with time and dedication, to build a large vocabulary of commands with your dog, but before you get too carried away with advanced manoeuvres like loading the dishwasher, there are some basic commands for you and your dog to focus on. Getting these right will lay the foundation for more advanced work – and also ensure that you and your dog are safe and well behaved in every situation.

LOOK

One of the most important parts of training a dog is making sure their attention stays on you. Teach the look or watch me command so that no matter what distractions are present, you can always get your dog to focus on you.

EMERGENCY RECALL

The emergency recall ensures that your dog will come running when you call in any and every situation. It is used only in emergency situations, like when your dog is about to run in front of a moving car. Training a dog to come in an emergency may save his life.

COME

The come command can save you from a lot of aggravation and frustration. You can use it to get your dog to come if he slips out of his leash, to get him to come quickly inside from the yard, or to come over for some cuddle or play time.

WITH ME

With me is the dog training command used to keep your dog from pulling on the leash. A loose leash makes walking your dog much more fun and makes it more likely you’ll get your dog out for the exercise and socialization he needs.

LEAVE IT

Leave it is the basic dog training command you use to tell your dog not to pick up something he’s approaching. It can prevent him from eating something harmful, or help you to save your favorite pair of shoes from being chewed.

DROP IT

Training a dog to drop it ensures that he’ll let go of anything he’s picked up in his mouth. Like the leave it command, drop it can save your dog from ingesting anything poisonous or that may cause injury. It will also keep him from chewing up your possessions.

SIT

The sit command is usually the first command people teach their dogs. It seems pretty basic, but it can play an important role in managing unwanted behaviors. For instance, a dog can’t sit and jump at the same time. By training your dog to sit, you’ve begun the work needed to prevent him from jumping.

LIE DOWN

The lie down command is important for several reasons. First, just like the sit command, it’s incompatible with certain unwanted behaviors. A dog can’t jump up and surf counters while he’s lying down. By teaching him to lie down on command, you have a tool to manage a number of common behavior problems. Lie down also serves as the building block for a number of other behaviors. For instance, before you can train a dog to roll over or go to his place, he needs to know how to lie down.

STAY

The stay command is useful in a number of situations. It can keep your dog out from under your feet, or it can save his life by preventing him from running into dangerous situations.

WAIT

When you give your dog the wait command, it tells him that he can’t move until you give him the okay. It is perfect for keeping a dog from bolting out of a door, his crate, the car, etc.

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