Your dog should be able to master some basic commands that are used in dog training. They make everyday life easier and can even save lives. Here you can find out which commands your dog needs to know and how you can easily teach them these signals.
The main thing is that the dog behaves and doesn’t break anything? That is surely the wrong motto for responsible dog owners. Because when a dog is ready to call and follows the owner, this makes living in everyday life much easier and ensures greater safety on the road, when meeting other dogs or when the dog encounters dangerous poison baits – to name just a few situations. In addition, joint training is a lot of fun and strengthens the bond between dog and owner. So many reasons to get started right away! With the eight most important basic commands, the dog can easily guide you through everyday life and you can safely guide him through almost any dangerous situation.
The most important basic commands for the dog include:
- Sit down!
- Lay down!
- By foot!
- With me!
How to train the command “Sit down!”
First, choose a distraction-free environment in which your dog feels comfortable. Take a treat and hold it lightly over the dog’s head. Stretch your index finger and slowly raise your hand. In order not to lose sight of the treat, the dog will follow your hand with his gaze and must stretch his head. This automatically forces him to sit. While the dog is sitting, clearly say “sit”. If he shows the desired behavior, then praise and reward him right away. You can now gradually increase the distance between you and your dog. If he approaches you instead of sitting down, start again and only reward him when he has done the exercise correctly. The amount of time your dog has to sit can now also be varied. Always release the “seat” with a release signal, for example an “OK”, which you can underline with a wave of your hand. If the behavior is firm, you can now train the command “Sit!” In an environment with more distraction, for example when going for a walk.
How to train the command “Lay down!”
Guide the dog into the sit down. Then hold a treat in front of him and slowly bring it to the ground with his flat hand in front of his eyes. Most dogs go away on their own. When the chest and buttocks touch the floor, say clearly “Lie down!”, Praise the dog and give him a reward as close to the floor as possible. This exercise is also canceled with a resolution signal of your choice. Only then can the dog get up again. Now train at a greater and greater distance until your dog links the signal (flat hand that is moving towards the floor) and the word “lie down” to the desired behavior of the dog, as with “Sit down””. Later you can increase the length of time you lie down and do it in an environment where the dog is exposed to more and more stimuli.
If the dog is to stay in one place, the command “stay” is suitable. The command can be helpful in many situations in everyday life. For example on walks, when joggers or cyclists are let in. Or with short waiting times in the café and in the supermarket. And also at home when the dog is supposed to stay on its blanket. The command “Stay!” Is usually combined with the commands “Sit!” And “Place!”, Which your dog should therefore master.
How to train the command “Stay!”
For the initial attempts, it’s best to train in a relatively distraction-free environment. In the first step, ask your dog to “sit” or “sit down” and then go back a few steps with the word signal “stay” and an upright flat hand (stop signal). If your dog remains lying down, dissolve the exercise by, for example, calling him to you (release signal). They walk up to him again and reward his behavior. But only if he has persisted until the release signal. In the next step, you can gradually extend the time span and also increase the distance. Do not give the command in a continuous loop, but say the command only once. Tip: Many dogs find it easier to wait if they have a clearly marked place, such as a blanket, basket or towel, on which they feel safe and secure.
The command “No” declares objects or a certain behavior as taboo. The command No is one of the most important commands in dog training and makes everyday life with the dog much easier. After all, there are a number of things the dog is not allowed to do: steal food or gnaw on Fuchen’s favorite shoes. In anti-poison bait training, the command “No!” Even saves lives. Therefore practice the signal sustainably and do not use the command too often so that it does not lose its important signal effect.
How to train the command “No!”
Take a treat in your open hand. If your dog wants to take it up, say “No” clearly and firmly and close your hand. Then open your hand again and repeat the process. Only when your dog no longer impatiently pokes the hand and seeks eye contact, open your hand and allow it to take the treat with the word “take”. In the next step, place the treat on the floor and repeat the exercise.
Giving back prey is not easy for most dogs. But things always get into their mouths that don’t belong there (e.g. Fuchen’s favorite shoes) and can even be life-threatening (e.g. pointed or poisonous). It is also essential for retrieving that the dog releases objects again.
How to train the command “Out!”
Offer him a barter on the command “Out!”, An alternative that your dog cannot refuse – preferably his favorite toy or a treat. As he opens his mouth and drops the prey, say calmly and firmly “Out!” And give him the more interesting exchange object. Later it is enough to simply praise him.
A reliable call back is one of the most important signals that your dog should master. It serves to protect dogs, humans and the environment and is also an entry ticket to the free-wheel. Four-legged friends learn the command “Here!” Very quickly, since they usually offer the behavior on their own. Puppies in particular have a natural tendency to run after their two-legged friends or to revisit them in unknown situations after curious tours of discovery.
How to train the command “Here!”
If the dog comes up to you, say “here” and look forward to it as soon as it arrives. A friendly “here” and an open posture should invite the dog to come to you in any situation. If your dog is with you, he will immediately receive a reward, e.g. Treats, pats or your favorite toy. Every return should always be positively strengthened and made as rewarding as possible, so that the recall is firmly established. The trick is to make yourself more interesting than the environment.
Command “By foot!”
With the command “By foot!” You can ensure that your dog walks by your side with and without a leash. This command is important, for example, if you are walking along a busy road or along a bike path. But even if there is a risk of inconvenience, you can easily distract your dog from it with the command “By foot!”. Because following the command costs the dog a lot of concentration.
How to train the command “By foot!”
Take a treat in your left hand and start in the basic position: your dog is on a leash on her left leg. Start running. In the best case, the dog follows you with the snout on your hand and looks for eye contact here and there. You say “foot!” If he walks loosely next to you, he gets one of the treats slipped in. If your dog pulls and barks impatiently, then stop and only continue when it has calmed down again. In the next step you vary the pace. In a further step you can also practice without a leash, but first on a fenced property. Since this exercise demands a lot of concentration from your dog – regardless of your age – you should only train with it in short exercise blocks.
Command “With me!”
In contrast to the command “At foot!”, With which your dog should walk by your side, when the command “At me!” Your dog is allowed to move a meter around it. He may orbit around her, but may not leave his orbit without your permission. So the dog has a certain freedom, but remains in your direct sphere of influence so that they can intervene at any time if the situation requires it.
How to train the command “With me!”
You can practice this command on foot without a leash or with a towline. Move a few steps away: If your dog is more than a meter away from you, call him back with a clear, but at the same time friendly “with me”. Initially, you can use treats as an attractant. Verbal praise is sufficient later. After a few steps in your area, the dog can go on an exploration tour until you call him again and reward him. In this way, the dog combines coming back with a positive experience. Does he make eye contact with you here and there? Wonderful, then you did everything right. If a dog is fully focused on its people, nothing stands in the way of relaxed walks.
Important for every command
As with any basic command, lay down clearly on one word (eg “Sit down!”, “Lie down!”, “Out!”, “Stay!”, “Foot!”, “Here!”, “With me ! ”), Verbally express yourself clearly and underline the command with a clear hand movement that is only used for this special command. Because if a command has many different meanings or is communicated inconsistently, your dog will not understand what behavior you expect from it. You should avoid such mistakes in dog training – then you will see success soon!