A well-trained dog makes for a good and happy pet. Teaching your pup to respond to dog commands makes being a pet owner easier. With obedience training, you can keep your furry friend safe and out of trouble. The act of learning and performing commands also provides your dog with mental stimulation, potentially reducing its anxiety and enriching its quality of life. Dogs are capable of learning a number of commands. With time and patience, you and your dog can become a close team. Below are 7 commands you can teach your dog at home.
You can’t teach your dog any other commands if you can’t first get its attention. Teach it to focus on you regardless of other environmental factors competing for its gaze. Make eye contact and hold a treat next to your eyes to encourage your canine to keep its gaze trained on you. Choose a cue word that it begins to associate with looking. After some time, your dog will hear the command and focus on you without the enticement of the treat.
“Come” is one of those dog commands that’s useful in many situations. If your dog leaves the yard, approaches a timid child, or sniffs around breakable mementos, you can direct it to return to you. If you reward it with snuggles or treats, your pup will be happy to come whenever it’s called. Collar and leash the dog, then put some distance between the two of you. Ask it to comeand give the leash a tug. When the dog comes, reward it with a treat. Repeat until the command works without the tug.
3. Drop It
Dogs are curious animals. They enjoy exploring, and sometimes this means picking something up with their mouths. It’s fine if the object of their attention is a treat or a chew toy, but less fine if it’s your favorite shoe or something that can cause injury if they swallow it. “Drop it” allows you to safely retrieve anything you don’t want your dog to have. When your dog has a chew toy in its mouth, place a treat next to its nose and tell it to drop it. When the dog drops the toy, reward it with the treat. Repeat until your pet responds to your dog commands without a treat in sight.
When you tell your dog to wait, it knows to stay put until you give it the go-ahead. “Wait” comes in handy when it’s not safe for the dog to exit the car or when it’s eager to run ahead of you. When your dog is ready to leave its crate, open the door just a little bit. Tell it to wait. If it lunges to exit, quickly close the door. If your pup waits, open the door. Your dog will eventually learn that waiting is rewarded with the freedom it desires.
“Sit” is often one of the first dog commands an owner will teach. While it seems simple, it’s key to curbing unwanted behavior, particularly jumping. If your dog is sitting, it can’t leap or climb. This command is sure to please guests who don’t enjoy being greeted by a jumping dog. Hold a treat above your dog’s nose and then move it back toward its ears. Your dog will likely sit when the treat reaches a certain point. Reward the sitting behavior with treats and praise.
“Heel” teaches your dog to stay right by your side when you’re walking together. This makes for an enjoyable walk as it eliminates the need to chase or pull a pooch that is running ahead or dragging behind you. Once you and your dog have mastered the heel command, it can be effective even when your pup is not on a leash. To teach this command, hold a treat next to your dog’s nose and tell it to heel. Then start walking, offering the dog continuous treats. Once it learns to stay at your side, increase the distance between the two of you and offer treats less often. Eventually, the dog will heel on command without needing a treat.
Place dog commands are great to use when you want your pup to head to its bed or crate. It works for bedtime, naptime, or anytime you want it relaxed and away from the other people and animals in the house. Say the place command and then lure your pup to its bed with a treat. Once all four of its legs are on the bed, reward it with the treat and some praise. Repeat this process until it goes to its bed with just the command alone.
Training your pet to respond to dog commands has many benefits. It can deter problem behaviors, inspire loyalty, enhance safety, and teach your dog skills to cope in a number of different situations. Plus, it’s a great way for the two of you to have fun together. Start with the simpler commands and build up to an impressively behaved pooch.