Dog Training: How to Teach Basic Commands?

Dog training is an important part of raising a pet, allowing the owner and his ward to understand each other, as well as having fun and interesting time together. This kind of communication with a pet brings not only pleasure from spending time together, but also a mutual benefit. Using different commands for dogs, the owner is able to teach the pet to behavior that is safe for himself and those around him, improve his motor and voice abilities, speed, reaction, the ability to distinguish situations and react to them correctly.

Why Train a Dog?

“An obedient dog is a contented owner.” Many dog ​​owners will agree with this statement. After deciding to let a pet into our lives, we want to see it as a friend, a source of joy and pride. However, if the pet constantly behaves as it pleases and does not obey at all, then it becomes a source of stress for the owner. When the relationship between the dog and its owner does not work out, both are unhappy. Therefore, it is very important not to miss the moment and start training on time.

A properly trained dog is the responsibility of each owner, not only for the well-being of the one he has tamed but also for his own peace of mind. A little training will benefit any dog, regardless of age, breed, or temperament. For the owner himself, regular activities with the animal will help to better understand the needs of the latter, become an excellent reason for training and open up new opportunities: the better the pet behaves, the easier it is to take it with you wherever you go.

Independent and Professional Training

Proper training is one of the basic needs of your pet. The sooner he learns to understand you and respond to basic commands for dogs, the higher your level of understanding will be in the future. And this, in turn, is the key to a long and happy coexistence.

Dog training should be regular, so make your own training plan before you start. It is worth starting training for a four-legged friend at the age of two to three months during home quarantine after vaccination. First, teach him to respond to the nickname, then to the collar and leash. One of the advantages of home workouts is simplicity and affordability, you don’t even need to leave the house or use complex devices.

Teaching a dog commands at home is quite possible if you have sufficient knowledge. But here the owners may have difficulties. Unlike a dog handler, an amateur does not know for sure how to properly train a dog, and therefore may not achieve the desired result. Also, the owner, who does not have the necessary knowledge, is unlikely to be able to reveal all the talents of his pet, and therefore, to make him truly happy. This is the minus of home training.

Therefore, it is still recommended to contact a specialist who will tell you what commands the dog should know and why. If we are talking about a puppy, then, having taught him the basic commands for dogs, at the age of four months, you should undergo a course of educational training. It is never too late to ask a dog handler for help: he will select the optimal program and help you realize the full potential of your pet. Among the disadvantages for the owner is the need to find time, effort, and money for paid classes, which is not always available to everyone. It is also important to find a good training center and proven specialists so as not to waste money and harm the dog.

Remember: professional training does not replace his own participation in the upbringing of a pet, the owner must establish a personal, trusting relationship with him. The relationship between owner and ward can only be reinforced through professional courses.

Basic Rules of Training

Any dog needs not only feeding, walking, and affection, but also education. Whether you decide to hire a professional to train your pet or do it yourself, in any case, you need to know what you can and cannot do and why.

Anytime and Anywhere

Training cannot begin and end only on the dog’s playground or on the street. This is a permanent job of the owner. You interact with your dog in different situations, and they are all great opportunities to teach him something.

Start with a Simple

“Sit”, “to me”, “lie down” – are three obligatory commands for dogs that they must know and follow. As soon as the pet masters them, you can move on.

Be Realistic

Do not demand the impossible from the dog. Somersaults and unquestioning obedience are the results of the long and painstaking work of the owner. Set realistic goals for your pet. After all, your task is to make living together comfortable and safe, and not to bring up a circus star.

Have Patience

Yes, not all breeds are easy to train. For some (for example, Chow Chow) training is contraindicated, since the peculiarity of this breed is independence. These dogs make decisions based on their own assessment of the situation. Pay attention to the characteristics of the breed before starting training. This will make life easier for you and your dog and save time.

Who is Guilty

If something goes wrong, the dog does something wrong, then the one who gives the commands is always to blame.

Remember, “Any order that can be misunderstood will be misunderstood.” This military proverb also applies to dogs.

Once and For All

If you prohibit something, the prohibition must always apply. With no exceptions.

Clear Command Execution

If you want your dog to execute a certain command only in this way, and not otherwise, immediately put this task in front of him (and for yourself). By making mistakes or inaccurate execution in the hope that you will fix it later, you are actually taking a lot of time for yourself and for the dog. Teach right away. Then it will be much more difficult to retrain.

Proceed in Stages

If you have given a command to the dog, allow time to complete it. Don’t give another command – it will only confuse the animal.

Only Truth

Animals cannot forgive deception. Once you lose the trust of your pet, you will have to work very, very hard to get it back. And it’s not a fact that you will succeed. Therefore, build a relationship of trust with your dog from the beginning. Without trust, there is no respect, and without respect, there will be no submission.

Take Care of Your Dog

The appearance of anxiety, aggression, inappropriate behavior on the part of the dog – for the owner all this is a reason to assess the situation and try to understand what is wrong.

Who is Stronger?

Attempts to teach a dog anything using brute physical force will not lead to anything good. Even if you achieve obedience, the chances are high that sooner or later the dog will take revenge on you. And, believe me, she will choose the right moment for this.

A pet is a companion and friend. Remember this every time you feel the urge to punish your dog.

Difference Between Training Adult Dogs and Puppies

Depending on the age, dogs require a special approach, including when it comes to training. It is important to understand how to train a dog depending on its breed, talents, and fitness. Of course, an adult dog has a certain life experience and, in one way or another, understands and is more oriented in what is happening around, while a puppy is actually a blank sheet with a set of instincts, it should be approached especially carefully to his upbringing.

The main difference is the use of force by a person. So, in no case should it be used to train a baby, it is necessary to focus on the interest and curiosity shown by a young pet, as well as a food target. He will definitely react to a delicacy. At the same time, adult dogs can show dominant behavior, for them treats are not always an incentive to fulfill the command, therefore, there is interference from the owner. We are talking about methods that are harmless to the animal, such as pressing on the sacrum when landing or holding on the side. Also, training that somehow contributes to the development of aggression is not suitable for young pets.

Regardless of the age of your pet, before starting classes, find out how to properly train a dog at home, familiarize yourself with the key rules and principles.

Basic Dog Training Commands

Not all owners consider it necessary to attend specialized dog training courses, within which they usually provide basic knowledge of the principles of training. But this does not mean that self-training with the dog will be ineffective.

Everything Has Its Time

Everyone understands that it is pointless to demand from a six-month-old baby the same as from a 5-year-old child. It’s the same with dogs. If the puppy is not yet ready to perceive the material, then you will only waste time. It does not make sense to start any classes before 2-3 months. Therefore, before you do anything, make sure the dog is ready for it.

A Complex Approach

Do not train your dog only on weekends or once every two weeks. This is an ongoing process of communication with an animal that should not be interrupted. Start with 10 minutes of daily activities. Then gradually increase the time.

Focus on how quickly your dog learns the material. This will be the best signal for you – is it time to move on or is it better to repeat everything again.

What Do You Need?

The owner should understand that in order to successfully train the dog, he will have to stock up on patience and treats to positively reinforce the animal’s behavior. Actually, these are the basic necessary things, without which you are unlikely to succeed.

How It Works

  1. Say the command;
  2. Support your words with gestures that demonstrate what you want from the animal. For example, suppose you want the dog to lie down. Then you say “Lie down” and crouch next to the dog, pressing your fist with the treat to the ground;
  3. Repeat until automatic. Begin each new activity by repeating the previous commands. The task for you is to make the dog automatically respond to your commands;
  4. Gradually refuse reinforcements, treats;
  5. Have fun with your dog. Training is great. The dog is your friend and family member, and you both should enjoy the activity. Otherwise, what’s the point?

What to Look For

The first time you need to establish contact with the animal. Do not worry that the dog will only follow your commands and ignore the rest of the family. In the beginning, of course, it is advisable to deal with the animal without other pets. But this is only necessary in order not to confuse the dog – it must clearly understand who is in charge of the pack. If she obeys you, then other family members will not have problems.

It is Categorically Impossible

Never use negative reinforcements. Punishment for disobedience, hitting, screaming may help you quickly develop a conditioned reflex in the dog, but you risk breaking the psyche of the animal and getting a completely uncontrollable animal. Love, patience, and affection – these are the three pillars of any training. If you think otherwise, then think, why do you, in fact, a dog?

Necessary Equipment

For self-study with a pet, you will definitely need a collar and leash – for control and manipulation, a stick or toy – for retrieving, as well as a pre-prepared treat. These simple things may be sufficient for the dog to execute basic commands.

If you plan to prepare your dog for more serious exercises, such as running with obstacles, climbing a wall, descending and ascending, you need to equip the site in advance, prepare barriers and other devices. You should read the necessary literature in advance and choose the right equipment depending on the age, height and weight, breed, and physical abilities of your dog. It is best to start this kind of activity in a canine school, and then follow the example to continue at home.

10 Basic Training Dog Commands

Here is a list of the ten most common commands for dogs and a quick guide on how to teach your animal to execute them.

How to Train Dog Sit – “Sit”

This is perhaps the most popular and simplest command. Landing skill is an integral part of any training course and is a basic skill for many other dog teams.

An easy way to teach:

  1. Wave the treat at the dog’s nose and put your hand behind its head.
  2. Raise your hand higher (the dog will sit down to see the treat).
  3. Give the sat-down pet to taste what it wants, praise, and say the key “Sit”.

How to Teach a Dog to Lay Down – “Down”

One of the main, following after the callback and landing is an important skill. Useful for calming the dog, medical examination, endurance training.

What to do:

  1. Show and give a sniff of the treat, lower the hand holding the food down, and stretch a little forward so that the dog reaches for it.
  2. Press lightly on the withers of the animal so that it is in the prone position.
  3. Treat your pet and say the command “Down”. Repeat the exercise.

How to Teach Your Dog to Speak – “Speak/Bark”

Today, this command for dogs is trained only for work in special services – for example, search, rescue, drug control. In ordinary life, the owner can use it as an element of the game, having first taught the dog the command “Sit”.

  1. Demonstrate a tasty treat to a hungry pet that the dog must see to sit down. Give him a treat.
  2. Show the second tidbit to vote for. Give the command “Speak” clearly.
  3. Only give the treat if the dog barks. It is worth repeating the exercise until it barks clearly.

How to Teach a Dog to Die When Shot – “Die”

Most often it is used for entertainment, care, and treatment: when the owner wants to play and fool around with the dog, show his skills to others, brush his fur, as well as at a doctor’s appointment so that he can examine the animal. It is worth starting to study when the pet has already mastered the “Lie down” command.

  1. Lay the dog down, let him smell the treat.
  2. Gradually place your hand behind the animal’s back, encouraging it to reach for what you want and roll over on its side.
  3. Say the command “Die” and when the dog stiffens, lying on its side, treat it and stroke it, gently pressing on the entire side to secure the pose.

How to Train Dog Heel – “Heel”

Having mastered this command, the dog is considered to be really educated. The pet should go to the left of the owner, the right shoulder blade of the animal is flush with the owner’s leg, the space between them is not wider than the dog’s croup. The dog should accelerate/decelerate, like the owner, and sit down unquestioningly.

  1. Putting on the dog a short leash and commanding “Heel”, make the dog sit on your left.
  2. Walk away and repeat the command – the dog should not only come up but also sit on the left side.
  3. For successful completion, treat your pet to delicious. Repeat the exercise, each time moving away from the animal at a greater distance.

How to Teach a Dog to Give Paw – “Give Paw”

Among dog commands, this one is pretty simple. You just need to stock up on a treat.

  1. Place the animal in front of you, say “Give a paw!” and substitute your right hand, keeping it suspended.
  2. Release your hand, take the dog’s left paw with it, lift and release. Then, after praising your pet, feed him some treats.
  3. Do the same with the other hand (relative to the other paw). Repeat the exercise, changing hands, until you have fed all the tasty morsels. From now on, hold the paw in your hand longer, you can knock the paw a little if the dog is in no hurry to give it himself.

How to Teach Your Dog to Stand – “Stand”

Usually, this skill involves getting the dog up from a sitting position. A dog on a leash should sit on your left.

  1. Command “Stand”, bringing the treat to the pet’s nose, and gently move your hand so that he has to stand up.
  2. Pet the dog that has risen and reward it with a well-deserved treat (it should be standing all this time).
  3. Repeat the exercise several times regularly, then increase the standing time, giving more treats at increased intervals – so that the dog understands: you need not only to get up but also to stay in the standing position longer. The same principle applies to training the “Stand” command from a lying position.

How to Train Your Dog to Come – “Come”

An important skill for dogs walking without a leash, the essence of which is that the dog goes to the owner on command. It is worth training with a hungry pet so that he does not definitely give up the treat.

  1. Take a leash that was previously set to a medium length in your left hand, and a treat in your right hand.
  2. Standing close to the dog, command “Come”, sit it down and feed the reward. Repeat what was done and again treat with a treat.
  3. From now on, give a command, moving away from a distance. Realizing that a delicious piece is waiting for him, the pet will come up and sit down next to him in anticipation of the coveted treat.

“Don’t Do That”

This is a signal for the animal, symbolizing impending troubles, and for the owner – a way to avoid unwanted behavior or actions on the part of the pet. Used if:

  1. The dog is trying to eat something on the ground (or the ground itself).
  2. Picks up garbage, drags it along.
  3. Is aggressive towards other people and animals.

It is not necessary to command “Don’t Do That” all the time, in different situations it is worth resorting to other commands.

How to Train Your Dog to Be a Guard Dog at Home – “Guard”

It is better to entrust training to this team to a professional. An experienced dog handler knows how to train a dog without negatively affecting its psyche and behavior. A dog is allowed to do such activities at the age of one year and older, and also if it already has experience in disciplinary training, quickly and resignedly responds to the instructions of the owner, who knows how to manage the ward in various situations. It is important to understand that after the course, the pet can change its attitude towards others and behave differently, including with neighbors.

All of these commands can be taught at home, the main thing is to set a goal and regularly practice, repeating the exercises.

Alice White

Written by Alice White

Alice White, a devoted pet lover and writer, has turned her boundless affection for animals into a fulfilling career. Originally dreaming of wildlife, her limited scientific background led her to specialize in animal literature. Now she happily spends her days researching and writing about various creatures, living her dream.

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