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10 Dog Commands to Teach Your Dog (Part 2)

There some dog commands which are generally considered to be essential, regardless of the dog’s breed or their particular role—such as family pet, seeing eye dog, and so on. Although specific breeds or working dogs might require different basic commands than a typical family pet, most dog experts agree that there are basic commands which can help any dog breed and any dog owner. These commands are intended to help keep the dog, and anyone or anything that interacts with the dog, safe from harm and happy. In part 1 of this article, we covered the following basic commands: sit, stay, leave it and down. The following are other basic dog commands which are considered to be essential.


OKAYThe “okay” command release a dog from a previous command, such as sit or stay. For example: If a pet owner commands their dog to sit when a family friend comes through the door due to the tendency to jump on anyone when they first arrive, the “okay” command will let them know it is now okay to greet their visitor. Although “okay” is not as common a command as sit or stay, it is important for dog owners who have dogs that have difficulty recognizing when they are allowed to discontinue a previous command.


Although pet owners may not realize it, “no” is actually a command. When a dog is taught “no,” they are being taught that a certain behavior is not acceptable. This is a command that should be taught as early as possible, preferably when the dog is still a puppy. Certain behaviors, such as chewing furniture, jumping on furniture, or biting, can often be curbed by training a dog to learn that “no” means the behavior is not okay.

Drop It

This command, similar to “leave it,” will teach a dog to drop something which is inside their mouth. This command can actually be a lifesaving command, if a dog has grabbed something in their mouth which may hurt or even kill them. It can also be used to save personal items, like shoes or clothing, from becoming a dog’s next chew toy. Drop it can also be used when teaching a dog to play fetch—dogs which are stubborn against typical training may find it easier to learn the command when it is included as part of a game.


Heel is an often misunderstood command. Many pet owners believe that “heel” means back-off or get away. Heel is actually a command used during walking which teaches a dog to walk alongside its owner’s hip, rather than in front of the owner or behind the owner. In other words, the heel command teaches a dog to walk with their owner—not against them. Heel is absolutely essential for large breeds who may run or give chase when out for walks.


Stand, sometimes used as “be still,” is a command which teaches a dog to stand up and stop moving. This command is particularly useful for veterinarian trips, trips to the groomers, and home-grooming a dog. The stand command allows a veterinarian or dog owner to examine the dog without it moving around or becoming restless.

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