trainer during obedience training

5 Basic Commands to Teach Your Dog

As dog owners, it is essential to consider breaking the barrier of communication between dogs and owners. This can be done through focused training and command teaching. There is a wide selection of commands your dog can learn, but let’s start with the five most essential ones!

1. Sit

One of the most basic obedience commands to train your dog with would be teaching them how to sit with a simple gesture or word. This simple sequence should be done multiple times a day, every day until the dog has mastered it.

  1. Place a treat close to your dog’s nose to ensure he can smell it and recognize it as a reward.
  2. Raise your hand up, allowing his head to follow the treat’s movement and lowering his bottom as a result into a sitting position. 
  3. Once the dog is sitting, simply say “Sit” and reward him with the treat. 

2. Come 

When you want to bring your dog back to you, whether It’s to keep him out of trouble or after accidentally leave the front door open, this command will help you. Once he has mastered it with the leash, it can be removed and practiced in an enclosed area. 

  1. Put a leash/collar on your dog.
  2. Lower yourself to his level and gently pull on the leash while saying “Come.”
  3. Once he has returned to you, reward him with affection or a treat.

3. Down

Although difficult to execute, this command is essential when dealing with fearful, anxious, or aggressive dogs. Using this rewarding, relaxed training technique will ensure a successful outcome.

  1. Hold a delicious-scented treat in your closed fist.
  2. Hold your hand up to your dog’s snout and move it to the floor when he sniffs it, ensuring that he follows it.
  3. Continue sliding your hand along the ground in front of him while his head follows, to encourage his body to follow as well. 
  4. Once he is in a down position, simply say “Down” and reward him with the treat and some affection.

4. Stay

This command can be taught once your dog has mastered the “Sit” command. It is a self-control exercise for your dog, meaning it will take some time for your dog to master it, especially if it’s a puppy or high-energy dog. 

  1. Ask your dog to “Sit”
  2. Open the palm of your hand in front of you and say “Stay”
  3. If you take a few steps back and he stays, reward him with a treat.
  4. Slowly and gradually, increase the number of steps you take back before rewarding him with the treat.
  5. Remember to always reward your dog for staying put, regardless of the duration that they stay still for.

5. Leave It

This training command is important to ensure your dog’s safety from dangerous objects on the ground he may be curious about. 

  1. Hold a treat in both hands.
  2. Show him one enclosed fist with the treat inside and say “Leave it.”
  3. Allow him to bark, sniff, lick, etc to try to get it while ignoring these behaviors.
  4. Once he stops trying, give him the treat from the other hand.
  5. Repeat these steps until your dog stays away from the first fist holding the treat when you say “Leave it”
  6. Once he has stayed away and looks up at you, you can reward him with the treat!

Your Trusted Dog Trainer 

Having trouble teaching your new dog the 5 basic commands? Wolfen1 is here to help! We have certified dog trainers and provide programs including basic obedience training, puppy training, and in-home dog training. Interested in learning more about our training programs? Call us today at (203) 788-6148.