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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.