Mastering a handful of commands is an important step to having a well-trained dog. These commands are more than just “tricks” you teach your dog –they are important tools to keep your animal safe and out of trouble. Here is a list of the most important commands for you and your dog to work on.
Sit “Sit” is one of the first commands many owners teach their dog- and for good reason! The “sit” command is relatively easy to teach and serves a variety of purposes. Having the ability to call your dog to attention while sitting is useful as a starting point to teach further commands. Sitting brings your dog to a calmer stance that allows you to take control of a situation and reign in your dog’s energy.
Come The “come” command can be difficult to teach to energetic and curious dogs, but it is important for the safety of you and your canine. With knowledge of this command, you will be able to call in your dog when it is loose, gets out of the house, or is simply getting into trouble out of your reach. The “come” command is an essential tool that all owners need to have to keep their dog safe.
Down One of the most common behavioral complaints about dogs involves jumping up and excitedly pushing or knocking people around. The “down” command is useful in stopping this bad habit and can also be adapted to other situations where your pup’s manners could use some improving. “Down” is a natural command to teach after your dog learns to sit. Practice getting into the sitting posture first before then getting into the “down” posture. Reinforce and continue working on it until it’s one of your dog’s best known commands. It will be useful in keeping them from jumping up on strangers and company. Try to adapt the command to be used when you want your dog off of furniture or out of the car.
Stay “Stay” is another command that should be worked on after your dog has learned to sit. Having your dog be an expert at staying is useful when you are needing to keep them from following you into an undesirable area. Don’t get discouraged if this command takes longer to teach –many energetic dogs have a hard time sitting still at all, let alone when told to do it on command!
Leave It When your dog lets his nose and curiosity get the best of him it’s valuable to have a tool to gain their attention and remove the distraction. The “leave it” command helps you accomplish this by reinforcing a reward in exchange for leaving an object or situation. This is a more advanced technique to teach as the goal of the command is to get a dog to leave a situation that they are already focused on and interested in. The trick to teaching this command is to use a good enough reward during the initial training to entice them away from their distraction. After working on this long enough, the command should be reinforced enough that no treat or reward is needed. This is another command that can help protect your dog from getting into something dangerous that could harm them or from destroying something valuable to you.