7 Basic Dog Commands Your Dog Should Know

by Felesha Scott

You love your dog because he is your best friend, but how do other family members and neighbors feel about him? You might think, why should I bother that? But, the fact of the matter is that you have to.

Obviously, you want to have a well-civilized dog that does not bring shame when you accompany him. For a dog to behave well, he must be well mannered and should be able to understand varieties of commands.

Your dog should be friendly, controlled, and socialized. It is great fun and a rewarding experience for both you and your dog if you teach him some basic training commands and enjoy seeing him learning these cues.

Corgi Pembroke sitting outside

You must start training your dog early because you need to build his foundation well in time before he grows into an adult. Training your puppy is a great way to help you spend a lot of time with your pet.

Dogs learn quickly, and your guidance can make them learn many commands within days. Why train your dog? Well, that is a million-dollar question. Do you want your dog to return to you when you allow him to walk off-leash? That is what he will do if you train him to do so.

When Should You Start Training Your Dog?

You should start training your puppy as low as three months of age but start with light training sessions. First of all, try to make the dog learn the basic household practices like potty training and rules like where he should do the “business,” where to stay during mealtimes, where to sleep, where should the dog stay the whole day, if he can sit on the couch or not and many other like that.

You can start training your dog on basic cues like sit, stay, and socialization at about 7-8 weeks of age. Training your dog will let them know that you are the leader, and it is also a great way to build a strong bond with your pet.

Before you start, bring all the essential training tools like a leash and a collar according to your dog’s weight and size, and remember to be patient. You can ask a veterinarian to ask which tools are best for your dog. You will need a pack of treats to reward your pet if he obeys during the process.

Let Us First See What The Rules of Dog Training Are

Before you jump into training your dog, you must know some basic rules to ensure the sessions go enjoyable for you and your dog.

  1. Keep the training sessions as sweet as possible and short too. Young puppies can quickly lose concentration, so it is advisable to do short sessions multiple times. You can do six sessions of 5 minutes each and one session of half an hour.
  1. Try to train your dog when your mood is right and not overwhelming. Dogs can easily sense your moods, so if you are grumpy or stressed, your dog will pick up on that, which may affect their training.
  1. Finish the sessions of your dog training on a high, including a moderate exercise, so that he can perform it with ease and your training sessions ends with success.
Dog on the shoulder of its owner
  1. No distractions should be there when you start training sessions initially. Quietly pour in the basics initially in your dog, then later try adding distractions to make your dog perform even in an unstable environment. This is to help them deal with different things in their surroundings when they are outside.
  1. Reward-based training does very well, so include a lot of toys, treats, and cuddles. Do not try to punish your dog; that is cruel, a negative approach, and it doesn’t work. Don’t even think to use a choke chain; else, you can injure your furry friend’s neck.
  1. If your dog gets into a hang of exercise, replace the treats of food into toys to ensure they don’t gain extra weight. You can also cut down your dog’s treat from meals to ensure he does not get obese as obesity can lead to other health issues like diabetes etc.

Seven Basic Commands Should You Teach Your Dog

Every dog, whether an adult or a puppy, should get obedience training to become a good canine citizen. To be more specific, a well-mannered dog should listen to seven basic commands, which are;

  1. Sit
  2. Down
  3. Stay
  4. Come
  5. Heel
  6. Off
  7. No
Cute dog laying on his back

A famous expert dog trainer Brandon McMillan, the author of Lucky Dog Lessons: Train your dog in 7 days, calls these commands with the title “seven common commands” because these are taught by most people to their pets routinely.

He uses these commands on his rescue dogs to make them behave well and stay safe when his dogs spend their time in the dog park or pass by the neighborhood.

Some pets could master these commands in a few weeks if daily a 10-15 minute practice session is carried out. Please scroll below to read more about these seven basic commands and learn how important they are for every dog.

Sit

Sit command is the easiest to teach a dog, and mostly it is the first command to which a dog or a pup is introduced. When a dog learns this command, he also learns how he should respond to training sessions. Use only positive and humane methods to train your dog.

To make your dog have a greater interest in learning and training sessions and To inculcate motivation, reward him with treats when he responds appropriately. You can use chewable treats, like Zuke’s Mini Naturals Training Dog Treats and Hemp Naturals Calming Dog Chews or Rachael Ray Nutrish Soup Bones Longer Lasting Dog Treat Chews.

Down

The second most important command is down, which means instructing the dog to lay down. It is particularly useful for large dogs but is also great for all dogs. When your dog learns this down command, you can comfortably take the dog to a sidewalk cafe or a park.

You can enjoy a good catch up with your friends or even read a good book if your dog is relaxed in public places and does not harm or threaten other pets and people.

Stay

Of course, you need this command in pair with down and sit. In a puppy training class, you can cover the down stay and sit-stay commands for only a few minutes, but a dog can stay for even half an hour if adequately trained.  Stay command can help you when you suddenly have to answer the doorbell and you are doing a task like gift wrapping, so your dog does not create a mess.

Brown dog sitting on hill outside

Come

“Come” is a command that every dog owner and the dog must master because it can be life-saving for the dog. Your dog can anytime escape from the front door of your house and slip out of the leash; in that case, the “come” command can save him from encounters with other dogs, neighbors, and traffic.

Off

People can confuse “off” with down.  The “off” command instructs the dog to stop climbing on the furniture and jumping on people. It makes the dog learn that these acts are not appropriate. Through this command, dogs learn that they have to be calm on greetings and gatherings and keep their feet on the ground.

Heel

Heel command makes your dog learn how to walk calmly beside you when you both are on a walk. You don’t have to pull the leash or say “no” continuously during that time. I think dogs should learn to heel during the early stage of their life when they are puppies. It will help you, make them learn new commands when they become adults. For instance, if a dog knows heels, you can teach him the “pivot” command at an adult age.

No

No, in other words, is “leave it.” You can use “no” when you see your dog doing something he should not. In other words, you can say “leave it”; both have the same meanings. You can use this command when you see the dog trying to eat something that can harm or trying to grab a thing that does not belong to him, like a toy in the park that is someone else’s.

Training your cute little puppy is just a matter of days if you have healthy nerves and a polite temperament. Have patience and practice the above rules.

Happy dog laying in grass

With positivity and a rewarding attitude, soon you will get a well mannered, well civilized, and right canine citizen. You can then enjoy his company and will not be embarrassed by your friends and neighbors. So what are you waiting for; let’s get started and have fun.

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