As a dog owner, it’s essential to train your dog to follow basic commands to make them well-behaved and well-adjusted in various situations. Not only do these commands make life with your furry friend easier, but they also ensure their safety and help them become more social. In this article, we’ll discuss 12 essential commands that every dog should know.
1. Why is it important to train your dog?
Training your dog is vital for several reasons. Firstly, it ensures their safety. If your dog knows basic commands like “come” and “stay,” you can prevent them from running into dangerous situations. Additionally, a well-trained dog is less likely to exhibit problematic behaviors like aggression, excessive barking, or destructive chewing. Furthermore, training your dog helps to build a strong bond between you and your furry friend.
2. The 12 essential commands
Teaching your dog to sit is one of the most basic commands that they should learn. This command can be helpful in various situations like when putting on a leash or when you need to calm your dog down. To teach your dog to sit, hold a treat above their head, and say “sit.” Once they sit, give them the treat and praise them.
The “stay” command is essential for keeping your dog in one place when necessary. This command is useful when you’re opening the door or when your dog is about to jump on someone. To teach your dog to stay, ask them to sit, and then put your hand out in front of them. Say “stay” and take a step back. If your dog stays in place, give them a treat and praise them.
The “come” command is critical for ensuring your dog’s safety. It’s also helpful when you need to call your dog back to you. To teach your dog to come, start by saying “come” in a cheerful tone while backing away from them. When your dog comes to you, reward them with a treat and praise.
The “heel” command is useful for taking your dog on walks. It means that your dog should walk alongside you, not pulling on the leash. To teach your dog to heel, hold the leash close to your body and say “heel.” When your dog walks next to you, give them a treat and praise.
The “down” command is essential for getting your dog to lie down. This command can be helpful when you need to keep your dog calm or when they’re in the way. To teach your dog to lie down, start by asking them to sit. Then, hold a treat in front of their nose and slowly lower it to the ground while saying “down.” When your dog lies down, give them the treat and praise.
The “off” command is helpful for getting your dog to stop jumping on people or furniture. To teach your dog to get “off,” say the command in a firm voice while gently pushing them off. When your dog gets “off,” reward them with a treat and praise.
7. Leave it
The “leave it” command is critical for preventing your dog from eating something they shouldn’t. To teach your dog to “leave it,” start by placing a treat on the ground and covering it with your hand. Say “leave it” and remove your hand when your dog stops trying to get the treat. Reward your dog with a different treat and praise.
The “wait” command is useful for getting your dog to stay in one place momentarily. This command can be helpful when you’re opening the door or when your dog is about to get into something they shouldn’t. To teach your dog to wait, ask them to sit, and then hold your hand up in front of them while saying “wait.” When you give the release command, reward your dog with a treat and praise.
9. Drop it
The “drop it” command is critical for preventing your dog from chewing on something they shouldn’t. To teach your dog to “drop it,” start by playing tug of war with a toy. When your dog has the toy in their mouth, say “drop it” and stop playing. When your dog drops the toy, reward them with a treat and praise.
The “no” command is useful for getting your dog to stop doing something they shouldn’t. This command should be used sparingly and only when necessary. To teach your dog “no,” say the command in a firm voice while stopping the unwanted behavior. When your dog stops, reward them with a treat and praise.
11. Watch me
The “watch me” command is helpful for getting your dog to focus on you. This command can be useful when you’re trying to teach them a new trick or when you want to get their attention. To teach your dog to “watch me,” say the command while holding a treat up to your face. When your dog looks at you, reward them with the treat and praise.
The “place” command is helpful for getting your dog to go to a specific spot. This command can be useful when you need your dog to stay in one place or when you want to get them out of the way. To teach your dog to “place,” start by using a specific spot like a mat or a bed. Say “place” while pointing to the spot, and reward your dog with a treat when they go there.
3. How to train your dog
Now that you know the essential commands, let’s discuss how to train your dog effectively.
1. Positive reinforcement
Positive reinforcement is one of the most effective ways to train your dog. This means rewarding your dog when they exhibit the desired behavior. You can use treats, praise, or toys to reward your dog.
Consistency is essential when training your dog. Use the same commands and rewards every time, so your dog knows what to expect.
3. Start with simple commands
Start by teaching your dog the basic commands like “sit,” “stay,” and “come.” Once they’ve mastered those, move on to the more advanced commands.
4. Short training sessions
Training sessions should be short and focused. Aim for 10-15 minutes at a time, and be sure to end on a positive note.
5. Avoid punishment
Punishing your dog for not obeying a command can be counterproductive. Instead, try to figure out why they’re not obeying and adjust your training approach accordingly.
6. Be patient
Training your dog takes time and patience. Don’t expect them to master a new command overnight. Be consistent, and keep practicing.
7. Seek professional help
If you’re having trouble training your dog or they’re exhibiting problematic behavior, consider seeking professional help from a certified dog trainer.
Teaching your dog essential commands is essential for their safety and well-being. By mastering these 12 commands, you’ll have a well-behaved and obedient companion. Remember to use positive reinforcement, be consistent, and be patient when training your dog. Don’t forget to check tricks to teach your dog.
How long does it take to train a dog?
Training a dog can take several weeks to several months, depending on the dog’s breed, age, and temperament.
Can you teach an old dog new tricks?
Yes, you can teach an old dog new tricks. Dogs can continue to learn throughout their lives.
What should I do if my dog doesn’t obey a command?
If your dog doesn’t obey a command, try to figure out why and adjust your training approach accordingly. Punishing your dog is not effective.
Should I use treats to train my dog?
Yes, using treats can be an effective way to train your dog through positive reinforcement.