10 Basic Commands Your Dog Should Know

basic dog commands

Everyone loves dogs who can impress people with their behavior and perform cool tricks. This feeling also goes for the dog owners when they see the thrill of their dog learning a new command and performing it for the first time.

If you're already in this position, then you'll be aware of how rewarding it is, especially when your excellent parenting style is seen by the rest of the world.

If you're not already there with your dog, don't worry, you can be. All it takes is some basic dog commands, patience, and consistency, and you'll be on your way to showing off your dog and having more fun with them.

To help you, we've curated a list of 10 dog commands that your dog must know.

1. Sit

dog sitting command

Teaching your canine to sit is one of the most important and easiest tricks they should know. This is a trick you will regularly need to use daily, whether it's before feeding the dog, getting them to stay calm, or just getting them to wait; it's good to know.

How to teach your dog this trick? The best way to teach your dog this command is by holding a treat above their head. Then, move the treat just behind their head and as they lower down, say “sit” and give them the treat. Keep repeating this trick, and eventually, they won't need the treat to do it.

2. Drop it

dog command drop it

Have you ever had your dog pick up something that you own in their mouth? Maybe it was a sock, a piece of clothing, or a valuable item?

Either way, it can become a bit of a game for them to let go. Ideally, the sooner you do this, the better, so they don't damage any items of yours and don't hurt themselves in the process.

How to teach your dog this trick? To teach your dog to drop it, you should use two of the same toys. Then, keep one toy and let your dog play with the other. Following this, call their name and hold up the toy you have, and ask them to “drop it.” Once they do this, reward them with the other toy. Keep repeating this trick until they don't need another toy.

3. Stay

dog training commands

Sometimes as a dog owner, you can be rushed off your feet. This means you might have multiple things to do, and the last thing you want is your dog getting in the way. Take, for example, cooking dinner in your kitchen; you will want your dog to stay out of the way. One good way of doing this is teaching them the stay dog command.

How to teach your dog this trick? To do this, your dog will first need to know how to sit. Once done, you can teach the sit command and treat them near their nose. Next, say “stay” and then move a few steps backward from your dog. If your dog stays, reward them with a treat. However, if they do not, say “no” and move further back. This will help them realize if they're doing the command right or not.

4. Come

dog come command

If you're out with your dog and it is off the leash in the park, you will want them to come back to you when they go too far, or when it's time to go home. The best way to do this is by teaching them to “come”.

How to teach your dog this trick? To do this, you will need your dog's leash and collar and use them till a certain distance. Then you will need to say “come” and pull your dog on the leash towards you. If your dog comes to you at this moment, you must reward it with a treat. Keep doing this so the behavior is conditioned.

5. No

dog no command weimaraner

Many dogs can be prone to mischief. Sometimes they can't help their naughty nature from getting in the way. As a dog owner, you need to realize when they're being naughty and learn how to stop this. The best way is by telling them no.

How to teach your dog this trick? To teach your dog this, you need to put them on a leash and put a treat on the floor. Then, walk your dog using the leash to the treat. As soon as they sniff it, say “no.” At the same time, pull the leash towards you. If your dog behaves, reward them and repeat this trick.

6. Heel

heel dog command

If you're walking your dog, sometimes it's good to get them to walk beside you as opposed to in front or behind you. This is known as the heel command.

How to teach your dog this trick? To teach your dog this, you must walk them and then command them to “sit”. Next, get a treat, show it to your dog and then begin walking. Make sure your dog is held tight on the leash, and the treat is held above them. Keep practicing and telling them to heel and then give the dog treat.

7. Bed

dog in bed command

When it comes to the nighttime, you will want to be able to put your dog to bed. With the right practice and training, all it takes is a basic dog command to get them to sleep. This trick must be used as a reward and not a punishment.

How to teach your dog this trick? To do this, you will want to put your dog on a leash and move them towards the area that's ‘the bed'. This will be an area where they can relax and unwind. When your dog eventually gets into the bed, tell them “bed” and give them a treat. Keep repeating this dog command until this becomes normal to them.

8. Down

dog down command

The “down” command is essential for ensuring your dog can remain calm and stay in one place when needed. This command is particularly useful in various situations, such as when guests arrive or during meal times. Teaching your dog to lie down on command can also serve as a foundation for other advanced training exercises.

How to teach your dog this trick? To teach your dog the down command, you will want to make sure they have a passive stance. It's best to do this with a treat that smells good and put it to their nose. As soon as they smell it, drop your hand to the floor and your dog should follow your hand. Keep moving your hand along the floor so they move along the floor lying down. As soon as your dog is fully lying down, say “down” and give them the treat.

9. Stand

dog standing command

The “stand” command is a valuable tool for grooming, vet visits, or any situation where your dog needs to be still on their feet. It helps in making sure your dog can stay steady and balanced when required, which can be particularly useful for inspections or when adjusting their harness.

How to teach your dog this trick? To teach your dog to stand, you will want to put a treat in your hand, next to your dog's nose. Then move the treat up and down. If done well, your dog should follow the treat and eventually stand. As soon as they stand, say “stand” and then give them a treat.

10. Off

dog off command

The “off” command is crucial for teaching your dog boundaries and preventing unwanted behaviors, such as jumping on people or furniture. This command helps ensure your dog knows when to disengage and step back, making interactions safer and more controlled. Mastering the “off” command can significantly improve your dog's manners and overall behavior.

How to teach your dog this trick? To move your dog or get them away from the treat, you will need to have closed hands, with one hand holding it tight. You should put one of your closed hands next to your dog's face so they can smell and lick your hand. Your dog won't be able to get the treat, and after some time of persistence, they will back off. When you do this, use the command “off” and give them the treat. Then keep doing it till it becomes normal.

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