5 Essential Commands Every Dog Should Know

It's essential for any good training program to teach your dog the basics. Teaching your dog to sit is the first step in establishing control in your home and eliminating misbehavior such as jumping on guests. To teach your dog to sit, you can catch him sitting alone and give him a treat and verbal “yes” when he does. You can also start saying “sit down” when he starts to sit and give him a treat.

After a few practice sessions, your dog should start to associate the word “sitting” with the actual act of sitting. Practice often and generously praise your dog when he is successful. The next command to teach is the “slap”, which is a temporary deactivation and can be useful for keeping your dog in one place for a short period of time. After mastering the Sit and Down game, you can move on to teaching your dog to stay.

Staying is an order that you must teach, since it prevents your dog from running out the front door or causing it to sit or lie in the vet's office. It can be difficult to teach, but with persistence and by focusing on the three D's: distance, duration and distraction, you can do it. Your dog will only be able to get up from Stay when you have given him the complex signal of release, which consists of returning to your dog, regaining control of your dog by taking the leash and saying: “Free”. The next command is “Come”, which is very valuable.

To teach this commandment, use a high-value reward such as boiled chicken, cheese or jerky. It's important not to create a negative association with obedience to order, so if they don't come don't punish them. Once your dog has mastered the Come Home mode, start practicing it outdoors. It might be helpful to have your dog on a long leash to help you if he's too distracted outside.

You can also teach your dog to sit when you stop walking by walking with them in the heel position for about ten steps and making them sit down when you stop walking. The last command is “Heel” which means that the dog walks on your left side with its head even with the knee while you hold the leash loosely. This command is great for taking your dog places and going on adventures together as well as preventing and addressing behavioral problems. Communication is very important in dog training so that your dog understands what you want it to do instead of engaging in bad behavior for training to be effective.

The 5 basic commands described above are great to start with but don't be afraid to continue with other commands as well.

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