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Basic Dog Commands


The Simple "Basic Dog Commands" Use Short Word Associations.

      ... do you know what they are?

The basic dog commands use short words which sound different from one another, such as "come", "sit", "stay", "down", and "heel". These words help you train your puppy without confusion. Keep it simple.

The basis for all dog training is emphasizing their good behaviors with praise and reward. Positive acknowledgment on a dog for being good is one of the most effective ways of teaching. Your patience, persistence and consistency are the most important concepts in any kind of puppy training. Remember to use lots of praise and rewards... and simple words to teach the basic dog commands. Watch this free dog training video of a professional trainer using basic dog commands and learn what is expected of you before you begin training your puppy.


Get a feel for "How To Begin Training Your Puppy"
Watch this FREE Dog Training Video Clip

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TIPS for Teaching Basic Commands:

  • Use helpful aids of a *nylon collar and 6 foot nylon leash.

  • Each training session should last only 10 - 15 minutes long.

  • Begin inside the home on leash.

  • Practice one command at a time.

  • Never confuse puppy by teaching all commands during the same session.

  • Each session should focus on the command at hand.

  • Release your dog from a comand enthusiastically by saying: "OK!!" or "Good dog!!"

*Note: If your puppy or dog appears to be afraid of their collar or is fighting the leash, you can read more on collar and leash training for easy help introducing those dog training aids.



QUICK INTRO Before Beginning Basic Command Training:

Where to begin training your commands? Start your command training inside the house where there are fewest distractions. Use a nylon collar and 6 foot nylon leash for best control. Your puppy should be focussed on you, not wandering away! Work on one dog command per session. Only after you complete the commands with confidence, do your training outside where you have many more distractions. ALWAYS keep your puppy on leash.


When using the "come" command, your dog's name should always precede the command "come". (ex:Dogname, Come!) This will help get your dog's attention and let your dog know that you are speaking directly to him and not to someone else. When training your puppy or dog, keep in mind that no two dogs or puppies are alike so you will have to adjust your training methods according to the individual. Never call your dog's name in a threatening tone of voice. You do not want your puppy to associate its name with being scolded. When puppy completes the task, say "Dogname, Good Come!" and reward with lots of praise and a treat.

Encourage your puppy to "come" using lots of
enthusiastic praise and encouragement!

With leash and collar on your dog, if your puppy begins to ignore you and acts as if he does not hear you, the attached long leash can be used to reel puppy into you after giving only one command... "Dogname, come". This prevents you having to repeat the command and your dog will learn to come when called. With practice and repetition, your puppy will soon learn quickly how to get that praise and treat!


The sit command is a very useful dog command and gives leadership over your dog. With leash and collar on your dog, say the command, "Dogname, Sit!", while pushing your dog's rump down, pull the leash up or hold the dog's head up. If he tries to stand during this command, quickly say "NO" and push the rump back down. Keep your puppy in the sit position. Once sit is completed, gently pet, saying "Good Sit" and release puppy from the sit position by saying "OK!". Teaching your dog to stop sitting is as important as teaching when to release from the position. Repeat this command and eventually practice longer sits. When releasing, excitingly say "OK!" and praise. The sit command will be used often throughout your dog's life. Sit, before crossing a road, sit when company comes over, sit while putting down their food and sit while putting on the leash. Its endless how often you will find yourself using this command with your companion. Use the same instructions to teach an older dog.


For the down command, guide or coax your dog into the down position by saying "Dogname, Down!" taking the leash and gently pulling your dog's head down while at the same time pressing down between puppy's shoulder blades with the palms of your hand. If not responding, you can take a hold of the front legs and extend them out in front. After practicing this a few times, try putting puppy in a "down" position by raising your right arm with palm facing flat toward dog, say the command, "Down!", and coax if you may, either extending the front legs, or pressing between puppy's shoulder blades.

With repetition, eventually, you want to down your puppy hands free using just your "Down!" command and raising your right arm simultaneously. Always release your puppy from this command by saying "OK! Good Down" and praising.


For the stay dog command start your dog in the "sit" position. Raising your right hand with palm facing flat toward dog, say the command, "Stay!", and then step right in front of him or her. Stay there standing in front of your dog. If puppy moves any time after you say this, tell him firmly, "NO!", and return him to a sitting position. When your dog stays after half a minute praise him vocally, only. Petting and excitement may cause puppy to move. Continue to do these steps until puppy learns to stay.

Once your dog is able to stay, gradually work out to a further distance until you reach the end of your 6 ft. leash. Remain standing in front of your dog until each command is over, always releasing with a joyous "OK!" and then praise and treat. Eventually begin working longer stays. Try walking around as your puppy remains in a stay position. Always remember each training session should only last 10-15 minutes and end on a good note.


After completing the first three command words successfully, work up the dog commands "SIT" and "DOWN" into a "Down, Stay" and "SIT STAY". In time your dog should remain in the "Down, Stay" position for 5 minutes or longer. You can do this exercise while watching tv, working in the kitchen or outside during your walks on leash. Practice, Praise, and Repeat. These commands are handy to teach your puppy and give you considerable control over your little buddy.


The heel dog command teaches your dog to walk beside you. We recommend you play with your puppy in your backyard first to allow him to burn off excess energy before taking him out for any "controlled" walks before teaching puppy the "Heel" command.

Correct position of the leash: Begin your walks on leash with puppy correctly holding the "loop of the leash in your right hand" and the "slack of the leash in your left hand". Now lead, simultaneously with your left leg, and saying "Dogname, heel" using name first for puppy's attention. Give a firm quick little tug on the leash. Be very enthusiastic while giving the command.

While in the heel position as you both are walking, keep puppy's attention on you by enthusiastically talking to puppy, praising, talking, encouraging, and more praising when puppy is in the correct heel position.

The correct puppy position to begin heeling is: Puppy on your left with puppy's right shoulder in line with your left hip. After completing the task, say "Dogname, Good Heel", and reward with a treat and lots of praise. If your puppy insists on pulling ahead, work in some small counter-clockwise circles. This will encourage puppy to pay attention to you as you are walking. Getting your puppy to walk with you on a leash can be frustrating for some, but stay in control, work with counter-clockwise movements to keep their attention. Practice a few sits, sit stays, and down stays during your walks. When puppy begins to pull, you can work in the counter-clockwise movement to change the direction. This helps keep the attention on you. Keep it interesting and fun! Remember... Praise, Treat, and Repeat!

Always end your dog command training sessions with play time. Throw a ball, run in the yard. Toss a toy. Do whatever you like to do when playing and relaxing with your puppy. Remember to keep all training sessions to a time limit of 10 to 15 minutes. Puppies have short attention spans and tire easily. Keep that in mind and you will not get frustrated.

As always, we recommend enrolling in a puppy class. These commands are just a short intro. Take it to the next step and enroll in obedience classes. Our commands are meerly here to help you understand and get a feel before enrolling in your classes. Classes teach you how to teach your dog in depth as well as socialize your dog with other dogs and puppies. You will find it a lot of fun and so rewarding!

Jump Start Your Basic Dog Obedience Training:

Here's a tip for you... Want to know a quick way to jump start training your puppy or dog before starting any dog training classes? Purchase yourself any dog training e-book written by real dog training professionals. Look for one with some videos, as well as written instruction, so you can always refer back to the information. This way, when you enter your puppy classes or basic dog training level one, you will be way ahead of the others in your group and verbal instructions with your local trainer won't make you feel so awkward. Both you and your puppy (or dog) will benefit so much more and so much faster. To save you search time, here are the best online dog trainers:

Secrets of a Professional Dog Trainer Secrets To Dog Training Dog Training Zone

Enjoy your training! We know you both will benefit so much!

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