Below we’ve gathered the `10 most essential dog commands to teach your furry best friend first. First there are basic commands, and then we jump into more advanced tricks.

Aim to practice all of them with your dog two to three times a day for 10-15 minutes at a time. It should take a couple of weeks for your dog to catch on, but once they do you’ll be set for a lifetime.

1. SIT

The quintessential demand, “sit,” will come in handy on a daily basis. Whether company is coming over or your pup is getting a treat, “sit” is a go-to.

To teach your dog “sit”, hold a treat in your fist and put it above your dog’s head. Slowly move it behind their head and when they crouch, say “sit” and reward them.

2. WATCH ME

A less-known yet important command is “watch me.” This direction will come in handy should you bring your dog to a busy area. As you get to know your dog more, you’ll know when to use this command — some dogs need it when cars pass by, squirrels run in front of them, etc.

Simply hold a treat and put it near your dog’s nose to begin training for “watch me.” Then, slowly bring the treat towards your face and stop when the treat is near your nose. Say “watch me” and reward your pup.

3.Down

“Down” is a tricky command to teach, but a great one for your dog to know. Not only does it look cute, but it is important for when your dog gets a little too excited.
Hold a strong-smelling treat in front of your pup and wait for them to smell it. Once they do, bring the treat down to the floor and your dog will eventually follow. When their belly is on the floor say “down” and give them the treat.

4.STAY

Arguably the most important command to teach your dog, “stay” will come in handy daily. For their safety and the safety of others, “stay” needs to be taught at an early age.

To teach it, have your dog start by sitting. Then slowly back away from your dog. If he or she moves toward you, say “no” and have them sit. When they stop, say “stay.” Then reward and say “come.”

5.WAIT

Similar to “stay,” “wait” is used specifically for when people enter the door of your home. No matter how well behaved your dog is, they’ll most likely get excited when someone enters your house, but it’s important they don’t barrel into you or your guests.

To teach “wait,” it’s best to have two people train your pup. Have one go outside the door to your house and the other stay inside with your dog. The person outside should open the door. When your dog starts moving toward the door the person inside should say “wait” as the person outside closes the door.

Repeat this multiple times and reward your dog when they don’t move towards the door.

6.COME

For your dog’s safety, “come” should be one of the first commands you teach them. It can save their life if they start to run off or get into an unsafe area.

For “come,” simply put your dog on a leash and say the command while you tug lightly on their leash. When he or she comes to you, reward them with a treat. This direction will take consecutive days of training, so be patient.

7.OFF

If you want to keep your furniture hair-free, “off” can be a useful command. Even if you don’t mind a lounging pooch, others may if you bring your dog to their home. For this reason, “off” is a courtesy command.
Hold a treat in a fist and put it in front of your dog’s nose. They will try to get it, but keep your fist closed. When they eventually back down, say “off” and give them the treat. Practice in an area with furniture to help with association.

8.DROP IT

An essential command, “drop it” helps prevent your dog from hurting themselves and your valuables. Especially for young puppies, this command can help save many household items.
To teach this command, you’ll need two identical dog toys. Give your pup one toy and let them play with it. Then, call them over and hold up the new toy. Say “drop it” and give them the new toy once they drop the other. This can also be done with a toy and treat.

9.LEAVE IT

“Leave it” is a go-to command while on walks. Dogs are curious creatures and can sometimes get into things they shouldn’t — this is where “leave it” comes into play.
Hold two treats, one in each hand. Show your dog one of the treats and then close your hand — the other treat should be hidden behind your back. Keep the treat you showed him or her in a fist and wait for them to lose interest, all the while saying “leave it.”
Once they back away from the original treat, give them the treat you were hiding.

10.NO

A versatile command, “no” will keep your dog out of trouble. Use this command in any instance where you can see your pup starting to get into mischief.

To teach this command, have your dog on a leash and place a treat on the floor. Walk your dog towards the treat and once they go to sniff it, say “no” and slightly pull the leash towards you. Give your pup a treat and repeat it frequently.