5 Commands That Your Dog Should Know
When you begin training, whether you use simple commands or aim for adding in fun tricks, you should begin with the basics. After all, these fine skills are the building blocks which your dog will use for the rest of their life in their communication with you.
Another good reason to train your dog is to keep him/her and others safe. If a bad situation arises and your dog is in danger, you should be able to call them back towards a controlled environment. Training your dog is not just beneficial to you, but it can also be the difference in saving and protecting your dog’s life.
Dog Training Tactics
There are various methods you can go with for training your dog. For instance:
- You can use a handheld clicker that will teach your dog to give you their full attention when the sound arises.
- There is also the simple command and reward tactic, which is simple but extremely effective.
- Another option would be to take a class, or have your dog make a social friend and let them watch the other dog respond to commands.
Keep in mind: if at any time your dog is struggling with a simple command, you should move onto something different. You don’t want to stress Fido to the point of fear or to open up a window for stress that has the possibility of impairing your dog mental state when it comes to trusting you.
Each dog is different, and like people, they will learn differently and at different paces. Be patient with your dog and work not only to train them, but also find a way to connect on a deeper level to understand them.
The Five Commands an Educated Dog Should Know
Just like you would teach a child, it is recommended to start with simple commands before you try to teach your dog to play dead (or any other complicated tricks). Most tricks will actually start with a simple command, such as sit or stay, so they need to be mastered first and at a younger age for best comprehension and growth.
Sit is usually one of the commands that owners and trainers begin with. A simple way to teach your dog to sit is to hold a treat in front of their noses. Start by raising the treat up and at an angle that makes the dog raise his nose back. This will naturally make a dog sit. Make sure that you are saying the command sit, and when their bottom is on the floor, give them the treat and praise them.
This command is also one of the first a dog should learn. If a dog can stay, then it will be able to refrain from running into danger or running away if something could be a potential distraction.
When you are teaching your dog to stay, you should start with a leash. Take the dog to an area and have him sit. While facing him, hold your hand out and say stay. Then take a step back, repeating the command. After a few rounds of staying, reward your dog with a treat and praise then repeat.
Place is an unfamiliar command, but it gained popularity in the recent years. This command teaches the dog to stay in a marked safe zone. This is usually a dog bed or mat. To teach this trick, you will take your dog to the designated area.
Once all four paws are on the surface you say the command and add a follow-up instruction such as lay down. If your dog gets off, gently put them back on it, say the command and walk away again. This trick should be practiced for at least half an hour each day until Fido starts to get it.
The place command is beneficial to give your dog a safe space to rest, and comes in handy if you need to be out somewhere with your dog where they cannot roam. Bring the mat along and have them stay in their place as needed.
#4: Leave it
When it comes to your dog’s curiosity, there are no real boundaries. They need you to help tell them when it’s okay and when they need to leave it alone.
There are a few ways to teach this command and one way is to have two treats. Put one in each hand and hold out one hand, close-fisted to your dog. Let him smell it once and then command him to leave it.
Let him sniff and lick at your hand the first few times, while repeating the command every so often. When your dog stops and looks up at you, bring around the other hand and give him the treat.
This command is essential for your dog to know if you want to have a relaxed leash habit. It is also helpful when you’re out together without a leash and need to keep your dog safe from external factors. It is helpful if your dog already knows sit and stay. If they do, have your dog sit and stay still while you distance yourself.
When you’re ready, say the command and have your dog come directly at you. Hold out your hand so they can rub their nose in it and when the thick is complete, reward and repeat.
While it is difficult to choose just five tricks to teach Fido, these five will be an excellent place to start with your canine companion’s training. However, always remember to have fun when training your dog! Make them want to learn by giving treats and pats for doing a good job.
Anna Smith resides in beautiful Santa Monica, CA, where she works as a Pet Nutrition Expert in a leading retail pet store. She is responsible for nutritional strategies for different breeds and development of new products on the market in compliance with Association of American Feed Control Officials. Anna’s passions are education about proven methods and best practices in the industry and her dog Max, who is always well-fed. She also helps curate contents for DogsAholic.com