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10 Dog Commands to Teach Your Dog (Part 1)

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

Dog commands are essential to the well-being of dogs, their owners, and anyone—or any animal—that has an interact with a dog. Dog commands can help curb or prevent bad behaviors, dangerous behaviors, and otherwise unpleasant interacts. It is generally recommended that all dogs, regardless of their breed, are taught basic dog commands by their owners. What is included in these basic commands might vary from dog to dog depending on their role—for example, seeing eye dogs may be taught basic commands that aren’t necessary for sheep herding dogs, which may be taught basic commands which aren’t necessary for family pets. However, most dog trainers agree that the following basic commands are necessary for almost every breed and every role a dog might have.


10_Dog_Commands_to_Teach_Your_DogSit is the quintessential dog command. Teaching a dog to sit has numerous uses, many of which are intended to curb or stop bad behaviors. These behaviors include, but are not limited to: jumping on people, jumping on other animals, fighting, and chasing. Teaching a dog to sit is considered to be one of the easiest commands, and almost every dog breed—regardless of their stubbornness—can be taught to sit fairly easily.


Stay is another common dog command which is typically used in conjunction with sit or, less frequently, “lie down.” The stay command may be used to prevent bad behaviors, such as chasing or jumping, but it also useful for keeping a dog out of harm’s way. For example, a dog which is prone to running ahead on a leash may be taught to “stay” to prevent the dog from running into the street when it is not safe. Although this is a common dog command, it is not always easy to teach dogs to curb their natural behavior, which is to give chase and appease their curiosity. But teaching a dog to stay has benefits that will outweigh the patience and time necessary to teach them to obey this useful command.

Leave It

Dogs are curious animals and it is only natural for them to want to pick up new or unusual objects, such as items on the ground, food, etc. But it is not always safe or desirable for a dog to pick up something with his mouth—many items may be poisonous to dogs, hazardous to their health, or—in the case of pet owners—something that their owner does not want destroyed. Leave it is a command that will teach the dog to ignore something which they may want to pick up, thus sparing them potential harm or sparing a pet owner from having to buy a new pair of leather shoes.


Down is a command which is similar to sit, although the position it teaches a dog is different. The down command teaches a dog to lie down, rather than sit, which is more comfortable for the dog when they must remain in place for a longer period of time. The down command is also useful in situations where people may be fearful of dogs, especially large breeds, when a lower position will make them more at ease.