Happy Dog, Happy Life: The 5 Commands Your Dog Should Know

The world has gone to the dogs – in a good way. Dogs are a national treasure, and they sure do know it. They have stolen our hearts and have become our top priorities, with vet bills to prove it. Regardless of how much you spoil your dog, if you don’t take the time to train them, you’re missing out on creating a tremendous bond with man’s best friend. Dogs thrive being trained, irrespective of breed, and enjoy learning to communicate with their owners. This relationship benefits daily activity and can be life-saving in dangerous situations. All it takes is 15-30 minutes of daily training practice.

1. Sit

Sit is the most significant and straightforward starting point to practice with your dog. 

Grab a treat and tell your dog to “sit.” There is no need to push on your dog’s back, you hold the treat above their head, and they will naturally go into the sit position. Once they do, excitedly say, “Good dog,” praising them while giving them the treat. Once your dog learns the connection between the command and the position, all future training will become easier.

2. Lie Down

Teaching your dog to lie down is terrific, especially when taking your pup out in public. This command is also excellent during meal times or long car journeys. 

For this, you grab a treat and tell them to “lie down” while moving it to the ground and covering it entirely with your hand. They will try to nudge your hand with their nose to reach the treat but hold firm, and once they lie down, praise your dog and immediately give them the treat. Do this repeatedly until you notice it’s taking less and less time for your pup to figure out how to move in the manner you want. You may even see your dog making the connection and getting excited when realizing they know what you want!

3. Stay

This command can be a lifesaver. Teaching your dog to stay is essential for a whole host of reasons. For example, your dog running away from you can be complicated and dangerous, depending on where you live. 

You do this with simple steps and by starting with a short distance from you. Have your dog sit, lie down, and tell them to “stay.” Once they are in position, you may begin to move away slowly. Then, praise your puppy for staying in place until you tell them to “come.” Increase the distance between you and your dog as they are learning, but do not give them a treat if they come to you before told. Instead, they have to learn the connection between you telling them to “come” and the “stay” command.

4. Leave It and Take

Do you have a squirrel-obsessed dog? Many dog owners do! Or is your dog reactive to other dogs? This behavior can complicate walks, adding stress to a wonderful experience. Teaching the “leave it” command is crucial.

“Leave it” is a simple command to keep your dog safe and out of potentially dangerous situations. You can teach this by putting a favorite toy in front of your dog or something they love, like a treat, and telling them to “leave it.” Then, pick up the toy or treat when they try to go for it. This command is similar to” stay,” starting with a short time in which they hold the position and slowly increasing the time as they learn. You will see your dog make the connection and get excited, waiting for you to give them the “take” command. This training is suitable for practice and can be used in the future when they aren’t allowed something.

5. Recall

Recall, recall, recall. This is every dog trainer’s top training tool! What is recall? Recall is when your dog comes to you with commands like come, here, and back and is able to recognize and respond to their name. The worst situation dog owners face is no recall or bad recall with their dog. You have zero control if a loose dog attacks or your pup wriggles out of its leash. Recall with your dog is vital; simple steps will keep you and your dog safe.

Practice makes perfect, and starting with short distances is key. You can get a “recall leash,” a long leash you can use in public. Start by calling their name; when they come, you praise them and provide them with a treat. Build trust, and give greater distances over time. Do not assume that because your dog is “dog friendly,” they don’t need to know recall because while your furry friend may be sweet, other dogs may not.

The best dog trainers in the world maintain their bond and relationship with their dogs by going over these simple techniques, and now you can too. Training is a great way to build a meaningful bond with your puppy and create everlasting memories. Do you have any dog training techniques that have worked well? Tell us in the comments.

About the Author

Shannah Lauren

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