Imagine, you call your dog and he immediately jumps onto your lap. Then he starts licking you, and no matter how many times you tell him to stop, he just won’t. Then he aims at the bowl of food you’re holding, and the next thing you know, it’s all over the carpet, leaving you with more cleaning to do. Sounds like a total nightmare, doesn’t it.
But there’s something you can do to prevent such mess from happening and that is to teach your dog essential commands. Growing up, your pet has to learn how to be more obedient and that wouldn’t be possible without your help.
It’s not going to be easy, which is why some usually turn to books with a number of canine training tips published by dog masters for guidance. Some even take dog training classes. You can do the same, but you don’t have to. To get started, you just have to know the basics, especially the most essential dog commands you need to get them to follow.
Essential Dog Commands Your Pet Has to Know
But which ones should your dog learn first? Here are five of them. If your dog knows these essential dog commands, you will see improvement in their behavior.
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One of the most essential dog commands your puppy needs to learn is sit. It’s also the easiest to teach, so it’s a good command to start with. First, hold a dog treat to your puppy’s nose. When his eyes are locked on the treat, slowly move your hand up to encourage him to also move his head up and lower his bottom. Once your puppy is in a sitting position, say “Sit,” give the treat, and share affection like a body rub or praise him by saying “Good dog.”
Do this often every day until your dog masters it. The command is very useful during mealtime or whenever you need him to stay calm.
Before you teach your dog to stay in a particular place, make sure he has already mastered the sit command. To teach them to stay, you need to ask your dog to sit first, then open the palm of your hand against your pet and say the command. Then take one or two steps back. Reward him with a dog treat and/or a gentle rub, if he’s able to follow. Gradually increase the number of steps you take before giving the treat. Do not ever forget to reward your dog for staying put, even if it’s just for a few seconds.
Some dog owners are discouraged to teach this command, as it is a hard one to master, what with our pets’ bustling nature. Yes, it takes a while, but it is one of the most essential dog commands, so you just have to keep going at it till your pet gets it.
This command helps you keep your pet out of trouble, bring him back when you lose grip of the lease, and get him to show up during mealtime.
To start, you need to get your pet a collar and a leash and make sure you have attached your GPS pet tracker. Then you need to sit to level with your dog’s height before saying “Come” while gently pulling the leash toward you. When he moves and gets to you, give him a treat or a soft belly rub. Do not remove the leash until he masters the command. You can later start practicing the command without it but make sure to do so in a safe, enclosed area.
4. Place, bed, or crate
Dogs love sleeping, so much that they doze off just about everywhere—on the couch, on the bed, or even in the laundry basket. And as a fur parent yourself, you probably know how hard it is to rid of your dogs’ shedding from where they slept on. Well, this command can fix that.
First, leash your dog, holding the leash in one hand and a treat on the other. Get your dog to follow you by moving the treat and gently pulling the leash toward the place (a dog bed, crate, or blanket). When your dog gets to where you want him to stay, say “Place” (or bed), reward him with a treat, and show your pet love and affection.
5. Leave it
The goal for this command is to teach your dog to ignore items or people that are potentially dangerous to him.
First, you need to carry a smaller treat in one hand and a bigger, tastier, and better-smelling treat on the other. The purpose of giving two different treats is to make your pet understand that he can get a better treat if he leaves the other. Then show him the smaller treat and say, “Leave it.”
Remember that it’s natural for your dog to lick, sniff, paw, or bark to try to eat it, but you must ignore these behaviors. When he stops trying, give him the bigger and tastier treat on the other hand and show affection. Repeat this process until your dog learns to move away from the first treat when you tell him to leave it.
Always use positive reinforcement when training your dog with these essential dog commands. Punishing your pet will only make him fear you and really, that’s the last thing you want to happen. Always spoil your dog with love and affection. Give him treats and shower him with positive comments like “good boy” or “good dog” while rubbing his body or belly. Of course, there are a lot of tricks you can teach your pet, and they all require frequent training for your dog to pick up the technique. But it pays to start with the basics just like these five essential dog commands.
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