10 Commands to Teach Your Dog

According to the latest statistics from the RSPCA – 38% of households in Australia own a dog. In total, there are 4.8 million dogs in Australia, accounting for roughly $7 billion of the pet industry expenditures.

We love our dogs so much – we are willing to spend money on grooming, vet check-ups, food and everything else to keep our pups happy and healthy.

However, apart from these must-haves, pet owners need to train their dogs and teach them the basic commands properly. Dog training creates mental stimulation and encourages discipline and obedience to make your dog more active and well-behaved. Not to mention it is a rewarding way to strengthen the human-pet relationship even more.

There are various dog obedience training facts you need to understand – but here are some of the essential commands you can teach to your pooch

Name Recognition 

Purpose: to address your dog properly while teaching commands.

Description: before you train your dog any activities, teach your dog to recognise their name. This should be the very first step to instil discipline. It is easier to teach your pup commands and exercises if you address them appropriately. An obvious sign that your dog responds well is if they stare or look at you upon calling their name. Don’t forget to provide a reward or affection when they get it right.

Leave it or No

Purpose: to tell your dog not to grab or pick up something they are approaching or about to ingest.

Description: you may not want your dog eating whatever is unnecessary to digest. This is the reason why a ‘No’ or ‘Leave It’ command is helpful. Begin by holding treats on both hands. Gradually move the first hand or treat to your pooches’ face to trigger them to lick or sniff at the treat, then say the ‘leave it’ or ‘no’ command. Whenever your dog is trying to grab the first treat from your hand, do not give it to them. Give the second treat from the other hand when your dog finds no interest in the first treat anymore. This action signals that they followed the desired behaviour. Make sure to practice the exercise until your dog masters it.

Come

Purpose: to signal your dog to come back to you, keeping your pup out of trouble.

Description: this command should start by putting a collar and leash on your dog. With a certain distance away from your dog, gently pull the dog’s leash towards you then say ‘come’. As your dog manages to move towards you, make sure to give them a treat, praise or affection. Repeat this activity until your dog learns it properly.

Watch me or Look

Purpose: to guarantee that your dog’s attention stays or focuses on you.

Description: this command is executed by offering your dog a treat in your closed hand. Carefully move your hand closer to the dog’s nose then towards the face. Once you get your dog’s full attention while establishing eye contact, say the ‘watch me’ or ‘look’ command. As a reward, give your dog a treat or praise.

Down or Lie Down

Purpose: to calm down an excited dog and address some dog’s behavioural issues.

Description: this activity is a little challenging as it requires your dog to be in a passive position. Execute this command by offering a treat for your dog. Hold the treat with your closed fist then gently move it closer towards your dog’s nose and face. Let your dog sniff at the object then allow them to follow by gradually moving your hand to the floor. Continue to slide your hand along the floor until your dog assumes a lying position. Once they are down, that is the perfect time to give the ‘down’ command. Offer your dog a treat or praise them for their behaviour. Repeat this exercise until they master it.

Take it and Drop it

Purpose: to train your dog to drop the object they have taken.

Description: to execute this command, start by giving the ‘take it’ command when your dog opens their mouth and is willing to grab or catch the object. Give them time to play with the object then gradually introduce another object which is completely the same as the first one. Creating an impression that it provides the same value to your dog, it will trigger your dog to move towards the second object and grab it. Once your Dog dropped the first one, give the ‘drop it’ command. Say the ‘take it’ command when your dog catches or grabs the second object. Reward your dog and practice this activity until they learn it properly.

Sit-Stay

Purpose: to calm your dog down and keep them self-controlled.

Description: this activity is a combination of two commands: sit and stay. Train your dog with ‘sit’ command first. To execute this exercise, begin by offering your dog a treat. Hold the treat and position it closer to your dog’s nose then gradually move your hand up, so your dog will also move their head and follow the direction of your hand. When the dog assumes the natural sitting position, give the ‘sit’ command. Give your dog a treat or praise and repeat this activity until they master it.

By the time your dog has perfected the ‘sit’ command, teach them the ‘stay’ command. When your dog is in a natural sitting position, open the palm of your hand facing your dog then give the ‘stay’ command. Continue the exercise by gradually moving further away from your dog, then say the ‘stay’ command. Give your dog a treat or praise by doing a great job. Repeat until they have perfected the exercise.

Stand

Purpose: to easily position the dog in cases where standing is required such as brushing the dog or being examined by the veterinarian.

Description: start by giving the ‘sit’ command. With a treat in your hand, move it towards your dog’s nose forward then down. Following the direction of your hand holding the treat, move your hand forward until your dog assumes a standing position. Say the ‘stand’ command and reward your dog with praise or a treat.

Wait

Purpose: to train your dog not to move or wander.

Description: execute this task by giving the command ‘sit’ when your dog is outside your car or just in front of a closed door. Open the palm of your hand then say the ‘wait’ command. Repeat this activity until your dog learns it properly.

Heel

Purpose: to teach the dog to be well-behaved when you are beside them.

Description: start this command by holding the dog’s leash with your right hand. Let your dog stay on your left side. Using your left hand, hold the treat and guide your Dog while walking or instructing them to sit. Give the ‘heel’ command. Make a few steps while guiding your dog at your side. Praise your dog or give him or her a treat.

Final Thoughts

We always want to have enjoyable relationship with our canine companions wherever we go. Teach your pooch these basic commands to address any behavioural problems and ensure a healthy and happy companion.

Article Credit: Vet-Organics.com

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