Table of Contents
- How To Train A Dog To Stay In the Yard: A Brief Video Guide
- 5 Essential Commands You Can Teach Your Dog
- Lucky Dog Lessons – by Brandon McMillan (Paperback)
- 10. Sophia Yin’s Perfect Puppy in 7 Days
- 9. Brandon McMillan Lucky Dog Lessons
- 8. Training the Best Dog Ever
- 7. Zak George’s Dog Training Revolution
- 6. Don’t Shoot the Dog!
- 5. Cesar Milan’s Be the Pack Leader
- 4. The Art of Raising a Puppy
- 3. 101 Dog Tricks
- 2. How to Raise the Perfect Dog
- 1. The Natural Guide to Understanding and Correcting Dog Problems
- Top Best Selling Dog Training Books
- How to Keep Your Dog’s Four on the Floor
How to Teach a Dog to Sit, Stay & Down: Effective Dog Training Tips
- At what age can I start training my new puppy?
- How do I get started using food lure training?
- How often should I give the command?
- How should I phase out the lure and food rewards?
- How much time should I spend training my puppy every day?
- What can be done if my puppy is too distracted or excitable to control?
- When should I start socializing my puppy?
- Why does my 16-week-old puppy seem afraid?
- Should I also consider training classes?
- Dog Training – Sit – Stay
- Teach Your Puppy These 5 Basic Commands
- Getting Started
- How To Teach A Dog To Come
- How To Teach a Dog Loose Leash Walking
- How To Teach a Dog To Sit
- How To Teach a Dog To Stay
- How to Teach a Dog to Lay Down
- Before starting to teach your dog’s commands
- 1. “Watch Me” command
- 2. “Sit” command
- 3. “Down” command
- 4. “Stay” command
- 5. “Heel” command
- 6. “Wait” command
- 7. “Come” command
- 8. “Off” command
- 9. “Take it” & “Drop it” command
- 10. “Out” command
- 11. “Leave it” command
- 12. “Place, Bed, or Crate” command
- 13. “Stand” command
- 14. “No” command
- 15. “Settle down”command
- Dog Training Commands: Basic to Advanced
- List of Basic Dog Training Commands
- List of Advanced Dog Training Commands
- The Future of Dog Training “Commands”
- Recommended Dog Training Commands Books
- How to advance your dog training
RE: Teaching the Dog to Stay in the Yard
I had no problems with Invisible Fence teaching my lab and hound mix to stay within the bounds of the electric fence. The trainer came and spent about 2 hours with them. They have never breached the fence with their collars on and 11 years later, they still won’t leave the property without permission. My Pit-mix was different. I tried to teach her myself- with flags, the long leash, and rewards. But she just didn’t mind the shock when a squirrel or other dog in the neighborhood came by. She would actually stand at the shock line. We had IF up the repetition and level of shock a tad and that didn’t work (she was fine when we were outside with her, but not alone). Finally, we hired IF to come out and give her more professional training. She trained well, understood the boundaries, but they still had problems off-leash and when she was left to her own decision-making when there were distractions outside the boundaries until they took her collar up to the highest level and highest amount of repetition for the shock. We were one step away from what I call the ‘Frankenstein collar’- a collar they make for the toughest situations. But, thankfully, she finally got it. It was heartbreaking for her to go through this, but I kept saying ‘It’s either this or she gets hit by a car or gets in a fight or Animal Control comes to get her’. We have had no problems since then. She fully understands the difference between the collar on and off and asks for permission to cross the line to get into the car or go in the street. It was worth it. Now, I can leave home and not worry I’ll come home to a maimed dog or a missing dog.
For her, it was a combination of rewards-based training, reinforcement (went on for about 2 months) and then the collar. If we’d just used the collar, that wouldn’t have helped her learn the boundaries. The collar was basically the last step. By the time IF came out, she already knew the boundaries well, she just thought crossing them was optional depending on what was beyond them.
One thing that IF teaches is never walk the perimeter with your dog. They won’t understand the boundaries vs the safe areas. They teach you to approach the boundary from various places. This way, they know they can roam inside the boundary, but learn the limits at the same time.
Oh, and tie-ups are illegal in our county and I’m glad of it. If you’re opposed to all of this, you might want to build a large, safe run.
It’s our responsibility as pet owners to keep our dogs safe. A big part of that is making sure that your dog always stays on your property. There are many ways to do that, and one of the most common is by learning how to train a dog to stay in the yard. Most pet parents like the idea of keeping their pup in the yard without having to tether him or put up an unsightly fence.
Just remember, when learning how to train a dog to stay in the yard there is still a large chance that he could wander off when you’re not looking. Tethering a dog is not the best option either. Tying your dog outside can lead to many problems including injury and dehydration – not to mention the chance that he’ll be stuck outside in inclement weather.
Although fencing is the best way to ensure that your Fido will be contained safely in your yard at all times, not all pet owners are able to install one. Your homeowner’s association may not allow for visible fencing or you may not have the money to put a fence up around your yard.
In the event that you can’t install a fence (or just don’t want to) learning how to train your dog to stay in the yard can be easily done. It’s no more difficult than training your pooch to obey commands or use the bathroom outside. With some time and a lot of patience, your dog will learn where his boundaries are.
How To Train A Dog To Stay In the Yard: A Brief Video Guide
RELATED: 13 Dog GPS Service Trackers’ Costs Compared
The key to training a dog to stay in the yard is boundaries – your dog needs to know where they are, and he needs to understand that there will be consequences if he crosses them. Consequences don’t mean yelling or any type of negative action.
It simply means that if your dog cannot stay within his boundaries while exploring off leash, he’ll end up back on one.
The easiest way to make a boundary crystal clear is to put boundary flags around the premises. These flags are cheap, and you can purchase them at any hardware store. They allow your dog to clearly see the line that he is not supposed to cross.
As I demonstrate in my video guide above, you can also use natural boundaries. A tree line, fence, rock wall or other natural boundary is great. Again, it shows your dog very clearly the line he is not allowed to cross.
To begin, you’ll want to walk your dog on a leash all around the boundary line. Allow him to sniff and explore near the boundary, but not cross the line. If he does cross, use a firm command (I use “no”) to tell him that it isn’t acceptable. Praise him when he comes back across the boundary line.
Obviously, your pet will need a solid training foundation before you can begin learning how to train a dog to stay in the yard. He’ll need to know how to walk on a leash, respond to his name and come when called.
You can also use this training to keep your dog out of unwanted areas in your yard. Maybe you have a pond, garden or compost pile that you want your pet to keep away from. Incorporate these areas into your boundary training. It’s best to teach your pet where he can and cannot go all at the same time.
You’ll need to work on learning how to train a dog to stay in the yard for quite a while. Like any dog training, it’s not a fast process. Once you feel comfortable letting Fido off leash, be sure to stay outside with him in case he decides to wander. You need to be close enough to monitor him at all times and call him back if he crosses a boundary line.
It’s also best to equip your dog with some type of tracking device during this training process. Although they are a little pricey, it can save you a lot of time if your dog does happen to leave the yard when you’re not looking.
In the event that your pup takes off, you won’t know which way he’s heading. It also may take you a few minutes to realize that he’s no longer in the yard. If you have a tracking device that pairs with a smartphone app, you’ll be notified as soon as your dog crosses the invisible boundary.
For more information on products like this, you can check out the reviews that I’ve done on the Tractive GPS Tracker and the Spot Training Collar for Dogs.
READ NEXT: How To Train A Dog To Fetch – An Easy-To-Follow Video Guide
5 Essential Commands You Can Teach Your Dog
Having a trained dog isn’t the same as having a balanced dog, but if your dog knows a few basic commands, it can be helpful when tackling problem behaviors — existing ones or those that may develop in the future.
So where do you start with dog obedience training? You could take a class, but it’s not necessary; you can do it yourself. In fact, with the right attitude, it can be fun for both you and your dog!
This is one of the easiest dog obedience commands to teach, so it’s a good one to start with.
- Hold a treat close to your dog’s nose.
- Move your hand up, allowing his head to follow the treat and causing his bottom to lower.
- Once he’s in sitting position, say “Sit,” give him the treat, and share affection.
Repeat this sequence a few times every day until your dog has it mastered. Then ask your dog to sit before mealtime, when leaving for walks, and during other situations where you’d like him calm and seated.
This command can help keep a dog out of trouble, bringing him back to you if you lose grip on the leash or accidentally leave the front door open.
- Put a leash and collar on your dog.
- Go down to his level and say, “Come,” while gently pulling on the leash.
- When he gets to you, reward him with affection and a treat.
Once he’s mastered it with the leash, remove it — and practice the command in a safe, enclosed area.
This can be one of the more difficult commands in dog obedience training. Why? Because the position is a submissive posture. You can help by keeping training positive and relaxed, particularly with fearful or anxious dogs.
- Find a particularly good smelling treat, and hold it in your closed fist.
- Hold your hand up to your dog’s snout. When he sniffs it, move your hand to the floor, so he follows.
- Then slide your hand along the ground in front of him to encourage his body to follow his head.
- Once he’s in the down position, say “Down,” give him the treat, and share affection.
Repeat it every day. If your dog tries to sit up or lunges toward your hand, say “No” and take your hand away. Don’t push him into a down position, and encourage every step your dog takes toward the right position. After all, he’s working hard to figure it out!
Before attempting this one, make sure your dog is an expert at the “Sit” command.
- First, ask your dog to “Sit.”
- Then open the palm of your hand in front of you, and say “Stay.”
- Take a few steps back. Reward him with a treat and affection if he stays.
- Gradually increase the number of steps you take before giving the treat.
- Always reward your pup for staying put — even if it’s just for a few seconds.
This is an exercise in self-control for your dog, so don’t be discouraged if it takes a while to master, particularly for puppies and high-energy dogs. After all, they want to be on the move and not just sitting there waiting.
This can help keep your dog safe when his curiosity gets the better of him, like if he smells something intriguing but possibly dangerous on the ground! The goal is to teach your pup that he gets something even better for ignoring the other item.
- Place a treat in both hands.
- Show him one enclosed fist with the treat inside, and say, “Leave it.”
- Let him lick, sniff, mouth, paw, and bark to try to get it — and ignore the behaviors.
- Once he stops trying, give him the treat from the other hand.
- Repeat until your dog moves away from that first fist when you say, “Leave it.”
- Next, only give your dog the treat when he moves away from that first fist and also looks up at you.
Once your dog consistently moves away from the first treat and gives you eye contact when you say the command, you’re ready to take it up a notch. For this, use two different treats — one that’s just all right and one that’s a particularly good smelling and tasty favorite for your pup.
- Say “Leave it,” place the less attractive treat on the floor, and cover it with your hand.
- Wait until your dog ignores that treat and looks at you. Then remove that treat from the floor, give him the better treat and share affection immediately.
- Once he’s got it, place the less tasty treat on the floor… but don’t completely cover it with your hand. Instead hold it a little bit above the treat. Over time, gradually move your hand farther and farther away until your hand is about 6 inches above.
- Now he’s ready to practice with you standing up! Follow the same steps, but if he tries to snatch the less tasty treat, cover it with your foot.
Don’t rush the process. Remember, you’re asking a lot of your dog. If you take it up a notch and he’s really struggling, go back to the previous stage.
Just these five simple commands can help keep your dog safer and improve your communication with him. It’s well worth the investment of your time and effort. Remember, the process takes time, so only start a dog obedience training session if you’re in the right mindset to practice calm-assertive energy and patience.
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Lucky Dog Lessons – by Brandon McMillan (Paperback)
Each week on Lucky Dog(TM) Brandon McMillan, respected celebrity animal trainer and Emmy(R) Award–winning host, rescues an untrained, unwanted, “unadoptable” shelter dog. Within days these dogs undergo a miraculous transformation as they learn to trust McMillan, master his 7 Common Commands, and overcome their behavior problems–ultimately becoming well-mannered pets and even service dogs. With his labor of love complete, McMillan unites each dog with a forever family. Now, in his first book, McMillan shares the knowledge he has gained working with thousands of dogs of every breed and personality to help you turn your pet into a well-trained member of the family.
Beginning with the basics, Lucky Dog Lessons shows you how to build trust and strengthen your bond with your dog. You’ll learn how to set your dog up for success by understanding the roles of personality, age, and breed in training. From there, McMillan explains his playful, positive, and kind approach, starting with his 7 Common Commands: SIT, STAY, DOWN, COME, OFF, HEEL, and NO. Finally, McMillan provides solutions to common canine behavior problems, including housetraining issues, door dashing, chewing, barking, and mealtime misbehaviors.
Based on proven techniques that simplify and streamline training and yield results after a few short lessons each day, Lucky Dog Lessons shows you how to:
- Get–and keep–your dog’s undivided attention
- Use your dog’s food drive to your advantage
- Adjust your approach based on your dog’s energy level
- Use rewards–treats, toys, and play–effectively
Throughout, McMillan shares his favorite success stories: Apollo, a leash-wrecking troublemaker turned star service dog; Grover, a sweet-tempered boomerang shelter dog who overcame severe separation anxiety; and Jemma, who transformed from an overexcited, antic-prone pup to a well-mannered companion.
Filled with practical step-by-step advice and variations based on your dog’s breed, size, and temperament, Lucky Dog Lessons provides everything you need to work wonders with even the most challenging dog and create a happy, healthy, and safe environment for you and your four-legged family member.
Training your dog is no joke. Even more depressing is the fact that the internet is full of “certified professional” dog trainers. It, therefore, makes perfect sense to get the best training dog books you can find to kick-start your pup’s care on the right footing. Below, we review ten of the most-sought-after books penned by some of the best dog trainers on the planet. These will give accurate, hands-on solutions to dog training problems time and again. This is an updated 2018 list.
PreviewTitle Zak George’s Dog Training Revolution:… Training the Best Dog Ever: A 5-Week… How to Raise the Perfect Dog: Through… Cesar’s Way: The Natural, Everyday Guide… 101 Dog Tricks: Step by Step Activities… Lucky Dog Lessons: Train Your Dog in 7… Dog Training Book Prime – Price $11.80 $10.99 $10.88 $12.93 $11.29 $28.79 PreviewTitle Zak George’s Dog Training Revolution:… Dog Training Book Prime Price $11.80 Details PreviewTitle Training the Best Dog Ever: A 5-Week… Dog Training Book Prime Price $10.99 Details Preview Title How to Raise the Perfect Dog: Through… Dog Training Book Prime Price $10.88 Details Preview Title Cesar’s Way: The Natural, Everyday Guide… Dog Training Book Prime Price $12.93 Details Preview Title 101 Dog Tricks: Step by Step Activities… Dog Training Book Prime Price $11.29 Details Preview Title Lucky Dog Lessons: Train Your Dog in 7… Dog Training Book Prime – Price $28.79 Details
10. Sophia Yin’s Perfect Puppy in 7 Days
Dr. Marty Becker, a resident veterinarian on The Dr. Oz Show and Good Morning America, describes this book as “a puppy book you’ve never seen before.” Featuring over 400 crisp photos, this is easily the only book you’ll ever need to read to train your pup. It gives a detailed walk-through of how to potty train, socialize and offer your little canine friend with life skills. Plus, it has everything you need to know to raise a well-behaved dog. It also teaches you how to have fun with your puppy at his tender age.
Sophia Yin, the author, has crafted Perfect Puppy in 7 Days in a way that will help create a strong bond with your pup from day one. Think of it as the right recipe to give you the knowledge you need to communicate with your puppy. And while this book uses the seven-day approach, your Chihuahua will learn more in a week than many dogs learn in months. No more puppy nips jump or potty accidents! In short, this book will help you raise a friendly, happy companion, fast.
9. Brandon McMillan Lucky Dog Lessons
Authored by Brandon McMillan, a celebrity dog trainer and an award-winning hero of the CBS show Lucky Dog, this book contains nothing but good stuff any dog owner will love to read. Undoubtedly one of the best dog obedience training books, it teaches you how to earn your dogs trust and build lasting friendship. You’ll learn how to set your pooch for success by knowing how to leverage on your dog’s age, breed and personality during training. McMillan also shares his positive, playful approach to make your dog respond (and obey) HEEL, COME, SIT, STAY, DOWN, NO and OFF commands.
Also, Lucky Dog Lessons offers solutions to common problems such as house training, bad behaviors, barking, chewing and door dashing as well as mealtime misbehaviors. In the end, you should be able to get your furry friend’s attention and keep it, interact with your pet based on his energy levels and use treats effectively. You may also want to know that McMillan has based this book on success stories of his three dogs; Apollo, Grover, and Jemma. Put differently; Lucky Dog Lessons shares practical tips with proven ability to get the job done.
8. Training the Best Dog Ever
Larry Kay and Dawn Sylvia-Stasiewicz weren’t being cocky when they named this book Training the Best Dog Ever. It features a 5-week program of no-fail techniques and reinforcements used to train Bo, the pet dog of the Obama family and Senator Ted Kennedy’s dogs to mention just but a few. Available in Kindle and paperback, it teaches you how on rely on trust and treats to create a strong relationship with your dog. In other words, it seeks to help you move away from collars and leashes. And the beauty of it that each session takes 10 to 20 minutes of practice every day.
The authors use a detailed step by step guides on how to crate-feed and potty train your dog. It talks about water safety and the basic come here, sit, and stay cues. It also covers complex lessons including leash pulling, barking, and jumping. On top of that, it will show you how to raise a canine that knows how to behave around strangers, in the vet’s office, and anywhere you go with it – in short, make it the best dog ever.
7. Zak George’s Dog Training Revolution
Zack George is not your typical dog trainer. He’s what we’d call a new generation trainer with a fresh approach. A vibrant YouTube sensation and Animal Planet personality, he’s penned down a book that’ll help you customize your dog’s training to suit his unique ability and energy levels. That way, you’ll get quicker results while ensuring your pet remains happy.
The Training Revolution revolves around five pillars (no pun intended).
One, it shows you how to choose the right pup. Two, it equips with the house and basic training. Three, it teaches you how to handle biting, barking, chewing, jumping, leash pulling among other behavioral problems. You’ll also learn about health care essentials such as finding a good vet and choosing the right food for your animal. Finally, Zak shares incredible travel tips and a list of activities you can enjoy with your pet. Oh, and it might catch your attention to know that all the topics in this book correspond with Zak’s YouTube video so you can view him implement them live. Now, that’s super cool, right?
6. Don’t Shoot the Dog!
By the time you finish implementing this book teaches, you’ll have no problem commanding your dog to stay quiet in public (or anywhere else) with little effort. More to the point, Karen Pryor, the book’s author explains in great depth of the principle of dog behavior training. She even uses real-life examples of how you can use the skills in almost every situation. Most importantly, she tells you how to do it without the need to yell, threaten, punish or force your canine to take guilt trips.
This is an eight-method book that will put an end to all bad behavior in your dog. It even outlines what Pryor calls the “10 laws of shaping behavior” without taking your dog through pain or strain. And unlike any other book on this list, this one also shares essential tips on how to deal with human lifestyle problems such s addition to alcohol, cigarettes and more. And as if that’s not enough, it teaches you how to keep your cat off the table. Don’t Shoot the Dog! We like!
5. Cesar Milan’s Be the Pack Leader
It’s hard to talk about the best dog training books without mentioning Be the Pack Leader. A New York Times bestseller and authored by Cesar Milan, one of the most respected dog trainers around, this book is all about taking your relationship your canine a notch a higher. It equips you with the knowledge you need to make your dog respect you. More specifically, you’ll learn how to become assertive to help your pet lead a happier, balanced life.
Cesar goes out of his way to share success stories from happy clients and followers including the Grogan family better known for their role in Marley & Me, an American comedy-drama. He also teaches how to use tools such as harnesses, collars, and leashes to get the intended results. Moreover, this book contains actionable tidbits to satisfy your dog’s needs no matter the breed. Describing Be the Pack Leader, a happy New Yorker says that author arrives in chaos and leaves behind peace. How about that!
4. The Art of Raising a Puppy
This is a great dog training book if you’ve just bought a puppy and want to train it like a pro. A product of the Monks of New Skete, it features photos from page to the page along with updated chapters on how to play with you recently acquired pup. It will also teach you how to adopt and treat dogs from rescue organizations and shelters. The Art of Raising a Puppy also shares tips to raise you canine in a busy, urban environment.
In addition, this book also reveals the latest in dog health and behavioral management. For those asking Monks of New Skete boasts more than three decades of dog training and are one of the most trusted brands in America. They’re specifically German shepherd trainers with hands-on experience on how to mold your dog into a well-behaved pet that can obey orders and instructions. What we’re trying to tell you here is that there’s every reason to believe that this book offers a realistic solution that most first-time dog owners face. To wrap it up, it is available in Kindle, paperback, audible and hardcover version.
3. 101 Dog Tricks
The name couldn’t have been more appropriate. The holy grail of best-rated dog obedience books this is an international bestseller, available in more than 18 languages. Beautifully designed, it troubleshoots common problems while allowing you to build on ideas to adjust the training program according to your dog’s ability, age, and breed. Plus, each trick comes with a difficulty rating and the requirements to get started the right way.
As for specific tricks, this book covers everything from fetch to shake hands to sit and roll over. It also teaches you exclusive dog tricks such as Get a Soda from the Fridge, Tidy up your Toys and more. Apart from making your canine the superstar around the house, 101 Dog Tricks shows you how to keep him challenged mentally and physically. That way, your dog will always look forward to building skills such as dancing, sport, and therapy. Think of it as the book that’ll inspire you to do more with your furry friend. Check it out; thousands of dog owners have found success with it and so will you.
2. How to Raise the Perfect Dog
This book promises to help to create a strong puppyhood bond and beyond with your canine. Authored by Cesar Milan, it claims be the only resource you’ll ever need. It starts by teaching you what you need to do to build a good foundation for your pup’s younger years. Milan tells you what it takes to create a good environment for a well-balanced canine. It takes you through a detailed guide outlining ways to prevent behavior problems and how to correct them while your dog is still young.
And just like the previous book by the same author that we reviewed above (number 5 above), this one is founded on real-life experiences of raising individual pups from a collection of the most popular breeds. Those who’ve used it to train their dogs say it is like having a personal expert to consult every time there’s a problem. They praise Cesar’s easy to follow guides written in a friendly tone. To cut to the chase, just as the name suggests, this book will answer all your questions in relation to How to Raise the Perfect Dog. Awesome!
1. The Natural Guide to Understanding and Correcting Dog Problems
If you had any doubts that Cesar Milan was a force to reckon with as far as dog training goes, then this book should quell your fears. One of the best dog training books you can get, it’ll teach a couple of things that’ll help you understand your canine friend better and solve common problems fast. We tell why you need to grab your copy, next.
First, you’ll know what makes your pooch really happy. Cesar says that you’ll be shocked to what he wants may not necessarily be what you’re giving him. Also, you’ll learn how to take advantage of your dog’s natural instincts to create a happy relationship between you and your animal. Other than that, this book teaches you “how to think like a dog” so you can relate better to your pet. It lets you in on the difference between punishing and disciplining your dog as well as pinpointing a dog that’ll mingle with your family setup faster. Nice
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading our dog training books reviews and that you can now choose one whose content is in line with your dog’s age, breed, and physical ability. All books on this roundup are written may experts trainers and will get the job done as long as you follow their guidelines correctly. Over to you!
Top Best Selling Dog Training Books
SaleBestseller No. 1 Zak George’s Dog Training Revolution:…
- Zak George s Dog Training Revolution The Complete Guide to Raising the Perfect Pet with Love
- George, Zak (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 240 Pages – 06/07/2016 (Publication Date) – Ten Speed Press (Publisher)
$11.80 Buy on Amazon SaleBestseller No. 2 Lucky Dog Lessons: Train Your Dog in 7…
- McMillan, Brandon (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 336 Pages – 10/02/2018 (Publication Date) – HarperOne (Publisher)
$9.34 Buy on Amazon SaleBestseller No. 3 Training the Best Dog Ever: A 5-Week… $10.99 Buy on Amazon SaleBestseller No. 4 Zak George’s Guide to a Well-Behaved…
- George, Zak (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 224 Pages – 07/09/2019 (Publication Date) – Ten Speed Press (Publisher)
$11.69 Buy on Amazon SaleBestseller No. 5 The Art of Raising a Puppy (Revised…
- Little Brown and Company
- Hardcover Book
- Monks of New Skete (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 352 Pages – 06/29/2011 (Publication Date) – Little, Brown and Company (Publisher)
$15.99 Buy on Amazon
How to Keep Your Dog’s Four on the Floor
One of the top training questions we are asked is how to stop dogs from jumping up to greet people at the door. We want them to be happy to see friends and family while also minding their manners.
There are multiple reasons why dogs jump on people: to say “hello,” express stress or frustration, or get your attention. No matter the reason, we can always help communicate to our dogs what we would like them to do instead of jumping up.
No one wants their rambunctious pup knocking over grandma when she comes over to visit. It’s not only a bad habit – it’s a safety issue. You can use these training tips when introducing your dog to people: in the home, on the trail or walking downtown. It’s always good for your pup to have proper greeting manners.
Tip 1: Help your dog stay calm stay calm and under control during meet-and-greets with people. To teach your dog proper greeting skills and prevent them from shooting over the threshold, ask your pup to offer an appropriate behavior, such as a sit or down, when someone is at the door. By giving them a simple alternative behavior like a sit instead of jumping, you can reinforce the behavior you want. Ask your dog for a sit before they meet someone or have the person they are meeting ask for the behavior. If your dog does not perform the task asked of them, they don’t get to meet that person.
Tip 2: Ask people to wait to greet your dog until she is calm and polite. By giving your dog a chance to calm down, you help diffuse an overzealous greeting. If your dog gets attention for staying calm and being appropriate, they will realize jumping up and acting out doesn’t get them anything.
Tip 3: Have your guests wait to greet your dog when you are in a larger, more appropriate area. This approach mitigates traffic jams in doorways and helps your dog understand that meetings don’t happen at the door.
Tip 4: Leave a note on the outside of your door telling visitors how and when to greet your dog. For example: “Please help me with Fluffy’s training! When you come in, do not greet her in the entryway. Please wait to pay attention to her until you are in the family room. Thanks!” This is a good way to make sure everyone is on the same page and there is consistency for your dog.
Tip 5: Keep treats handy to reinforce the behaviors you want your dog to do. Setting up your house for success is as easy as keeping a treat jar in the living room, easily accessible to guests. When Fluffy offers a calm sit away from the door, she gets a treat right away. Capturing and reinforcing good behavior is always easier than trying to fix an unwanted behavior.
Tip 6: Recognize that not all people are greeted as equals in the mind of a dog. We call this the “grandma card,” meaning that some people are higher value in your dog’s eyes, and it could be more difficult for your dog to act calm around these people.
Tip 7: When greeting a dog at the door, stay calm and discourage jumping. And if you find yourself in the middle of an inappropriate greeting such as getting jumped on, cross your arms across your chest (up and away from the dog), stay calm, quiet, and turn your back to the dog. You are essentially giving them “the butt.” When you ignore all frantic behavior, the dog doesn’t get anything out of it. When dealing with any type of overstimulation, it’s important that you do not add stimulation to the situation.
Once the dog has calmed down, turn around and ask for an appropriate behavior before they get the chance to try jumping up again. If you do not give them an alternative behavior, they might try what’s easy, which is jumping up on you.
How to Teach a Dog to Sit, Stay & Down: Effective Dog Training Tips
By Jess Rollins
Why teach your dog to sit? He will learn that in order to get good-stuff-for-dogs he had better put his butt on the ground and this is a good default behavior. It is very simple to teach, it helps establish your bond and is a great substitute for jumping up and lots of other problems.
How to teach your dog to Sit:
- Find a quiet place to practice and get your clicker, treats and dog. If you don’t have a clicker you can simply say the word “good” or “yes” instead of clicking. Bring the treat (lure) over the dog’s head so that he looks up and back and automatically sits down to see the treat. When his bum hits the floor click and treat (C/T).
- After about 10 repetitions if your dog is sitting reliably, lure him into the sit and say “sit” just as he is about to do so.
- Instead of bringing the treat over the dog’s head, use the same motion with your hand empty and say “sit”. If he does, Jackpot! (feed 3 treats) and take a break.
- Continue practicing using the empty-hand motion. This is now a “hand signal”! If you would like you can also fade this so that the dog responds to the verbal cue alone. Use smaller and smaller hand movements while cueing “sit” until you no longer need to move your hand for him to understand what to do.
Becoming an Expert at Sitting
- Stop rewarding your dog for sitting when you didn’t ask for it.
- Practice for 5 minutes, twice per day by asking your dog to sit in increasingly distracting situations.
- Practice “Go Crazy and Sit”: Run around with your dog while squeaking a toy and then ask him to sit. C/T success.
- “Say Please”: Ask your dog to sit whenever you give him something he likes such as access to outside, his food bowl, or petting.
Example distractions to practice for training your dog to Sit:
- Someone else in family is in the room
- You have a toy in your hand
- An alarm, doorbell, or phone going off during request
- Asking while you are in a different position (sitting or lying down, back is turned)
- Asking in a different area (in basement or middle of street)
- Food in your hand
- People or dogs or other animals nearby
- Food on a table nearby
- You are in a place like Petco or the Vet’s office
- You have guests visiting
Why teach your dog to lie down? Down is useful to help keep the dog in one place and to calm him. It is also a good substitute for barking.
How to teach your dog to Down
- Find a quiet place to practice and get your clicker, treats and dog. Ask the dog to sit, C/T in the sit position and while he is still sitting draw the treat down to the floor in between his front paws. Keep his nose stuck to the treat. If he stands up, begin again. C/T any movement towards the floor, this behavior can be tricky so don’t let him get frustrated by withholding treats to long. Jackpot an actual down.
- After about 10 repetitions if your dog is downing reliably, lure him into the down and say “down” just as he is about to do so.
- Instead of bringing the treat down to the floor, use the same motion with your hand empty and say “down”. If he does, Jackpot! And take a break.
- Continue practicing using the empty-hand motion. This is now a “hand signal”! If you would like you can also fade this so that the dog responds to the verbal cue alone. Do this by use smaller and smaller hand movements while cueing “down”; until you no longer need to move your hand for him to understand what to do.
- “Take it on the road”: Practice this in all sorts of locations and distraction levels. Don’t forget to expect a bit less from your dog in a new or exciting situation.
- “The dog won’t go down!”: Don’t attempt to position your dog with your hands as that will usually have the opposite effect. Instead, when you are relaxing in the evening, place a special cushion or bed of his on the floor and grab your clicker and treats and wait for him to lay down on his own. When he does, click and jackpot by tossing the treats so he will have to get up to get them. Repeat. When he is laying down promptly after retrieving his reward, you are ready to add the word “down”. Once he has done this a bunch of times using the cue down, try it in another area and then take it on the road!
- “He goes down but pops right back up!” Make sure you deliver your treat in the down position as often as possible.
Becoming an Expert at Down
- Cease rewarding your dog for downing when you didn’t cue it.
- Practice in distractions ( see “sit” distractions above).
Why teach stay? This is an excellent self control exercise as well as having many practical uses, such as: keeping your dog from bolting out of the door, jumping on people, and just keeping him still while you wait for your vet appointment.
Do this exercise after teaching “Sit” and “Down”
How to teach your dog to Stay:
- Find a quiet place to practice and get your clicker, treats and dog. Cue your dog into a sit and instead of C/Ting right away, wait 2 seconds.
- Proceed in this manner until you can wait 10 seconds before C/Ting. Begin to use the cue “sit stay” (which really only means “long sit”). When you say “stay”, use a hand signal that is your flat hand about a foot from your dog’s face.
- If your dog gets up, this means you are proceeding too quickly. Say “oops” and try again with a shorter stay time goal and build up slowly again.
- Take one half step away from your dog and C/T for staying. Proceed until you can take 2 steps in ANY direction from your dog.
- Take several steps away until you can go out of sight. And work until you can have him stay for 2 minutes while you are in sight. (If you are very ambitious you can work on combining the 2 situations)
- Try all of this from “Down”.
- Vary the difficulty of each stay repetition. If the game always gets more difficult your dog may decide not to play.
- Reward your dog where he was when you asked him to stay. If you have him “come” after staying his stay will be weakened by his anticipation of the release.
- Practice stay regularly before giving the food bowl, before he greets someone and before going out of a door.
- If you are having trouble, don’t get frustrated, just back up a step, succeed at that, take a break and then try again later (maybe with better treats).
- Practice in distractions ( see “sit” distractions above).
Happy Training! If you found this article helpful, please consider becoming a customer or sharing it with your friends. We appreciate it! Thanks, ~ Jess
At what age can I start training my new puppy?
You will be training your puppy from the moment you bring it home and start to house train. Puppies start learning from birth and good breeders begin handling and socialization right away. Some training can begin as soon as the puppy can open its eyes and walk. Young puppies have short attention spans but you can expect them to begin to learn simple obedience commands such as “sit,” “down,” and “stay,” as young as 7 to 8 weeks of age.
Formal dog training has traditionally been delayed until 6 months of age. Actually, this juvenile stage is a very poor time to start. The dog is learning from every experience and delaying training means missed opportunities for the dog to learn how you would like him to behave. During the juvenile stage, the dog is beginning to solidify adult behavioral patterns and progresses through fear periods. Behaviors learned in puppyhood may need to be changed. In addition, anything that has already been learned or trained incorrectly will need to be undone and re-taught. Puppies are capable of learning much from an early age.
“Puppies can be taught the commands ‘sit,’ ‘down,’ and ‘stand’ using a method called food-lure training.”
When training is started at 7 to 8 weeks of age, use methods that rely on positive reinforcement and gentle teaching. Puppies have short attention spans, so training sessions should be brief, but should occur daily. Puppies can be taught to “sit,” “down,” and “stand” using a method called food-lure training. We use food treats to entice the dog to follow its nose into the proper positions for “sit,” “down,” “stand,” and “stay”.
How do I get started using food lure training?
Small pieces of food or a favored toy can be used to motivate your puppy to perform most tasks. Provided the reward is sufficiently appealing, the puppy can be prompted to give the desired response by showing the puppy the reward, giving a command, and moving the reward to get the desired response. For example, food held up over the puppy’s nose and moved slowly backwards should get a ‘sit’ response; food drawn down to the floor should get a ‘down’ response; food brought back up should get a ‘stand’ response; food held out at a distance should get a ‘come’ response; and food held at your thigh as you walk should get the puppy to ‘heel or ‘follow’. By pairing a command phrase or word with each action, and giving the reward for each appropriate response, the puppy should soon learn the meaning of each command.
How often should I give the command?
Ideally you should give the command phrase once and then use your food to move the puppy into positions. Once the puppy has performed the task, add in verbal praise and an affectionate pat, which are known as secondary reinforcers (see below). If the puppy does not immediately obey on the first command, then you are likely proceeding a little too quickly. If you keep repeating the command, the puppy will learn that several repetitions are acceptable before it needs to obey. Keeping a leash attached can help to gain an immediate response if the puppy does not obey.
“If you keep repeating the command, the puppy will learn that several repetitions are
acceptable before it needs to obey.”
Remember that, early in training, your puppy does not know the meaning of the word. Therefore you could just as easily teach your puppy to sit with the word bananas (or sit in any other language) as you could with the word sit. The key is to associate the word, in this case “sit,” with the action of placing the hind end on the floor.
How should I phase out the lure and food rewards?
At first you are going to let the puppy see the food in your hand so that you will have her attention and can use it to guide her into position. As your puppy begins to comply more readily, you can start to hide the food in your hand, but give the command and repeat the motion or signal that she has learned to follow. Soon the puppy will come to expect the treat each time she performs the task. Then, signal and give the command, but when she performs the task, reward only with praise and give the puppy an affectionate pat. Next, you can begin to vary the frequency, giving praise with “good dog” and perhaps patting each time, but giving the food randomly, perhaps every 3 or 4 times. In time, the puppy should respond to either the hand signal or the command.
Over time, the words “good dog” and the affectionate pat become secondary reinforcers. Because they have been paired with food in the past, they take on more meaning and become reinforcement in themselves. It is important to use secondary reinforcement because you will not always have food with you when you need your pet to obey. In addition, if you rely on food to get your puppy to comply, you will have a puppy that will only do the task when you have a treat.
“Over time, the phrase ‘good dog’ and the affectionate pat become secondary reinforcers.”
At first training begin in designated sessions throughout the day, with a variety of family members. All rewards should be saved for these training sessions. Over time however, you should begin to ask your puppy to perform the tasks at other times.
How much time should I spend training my puppy every day?
You do not necessarily need to train in a set session daily. Rather, integrate these tasks throughout the day. A goal to strive for is at least 15 minutes of training every day. These can be short 5 minute sessions spread throughout the day. Try to have all family members ask your puppy to do these tasks. Remember to try to train in every room of your house. You want your puppy to “sit,” “lie down,” and “stay” everywhere, not just in the training location. Practice in all locations you would like your puppy to behave and feel comfortable and relaxed in the future.
“To have a well-trained dog, you need to be committed to reinforcing the training tasks on nearly a
daily basis for the first year of your puppy’s life.”
Use these training tasks as you integrate the puppy into your life. For example, ask your puppy to “sit” prior to receiving her food, “sit” before you let her in or out the door, and “sit” before you pet her. These are times when your puppy wants something and is more likely to comply. In this way, you are training your dog all the time, throughout the day and also establishing predictable rules and routines for interactions and helping the dog to learn who controls the resources. Training your puppy prior to getting each requested necessity, helps to prevent problems. Having your puppy sit before getting a food or treat prevents begging, while teaching your dog to sit before opening the door can prevent jumping up or running out the door. Be creative. The time you spend training your puppy now will pay off when you have an adult dog. To have a well-trained dog, you need to be committedto reinforcing the training tasks on nearly a daily basis for the first year of your puppy’s life. The more you teach and supervise your puppy, the less opportunity it will have to engage in improper behaviors. Dogs do not train themselves, when left to choose their behavior they will act like dogs.
What can be done if my puppy is too distracted or excitable to control?
Training should begin in a quiet environment with few distractions. The chosen reward should be highly motivating so that the puppy focuses entirely on the trainer and the reward. Although a small food treat generally works best, a favorite toy or a special dog treat might be more appealing. It might also be helpful to train the puppy just before a scheduled mealtime when it is at its hungriest. For difficult or headstrong puppies, the best way to ensure that the puppy will perform the desired behavior and respond appropriately to the command is to leave a leash attached and to use a head collar for additional control. In this way, you can prompt the puppy into the correct response if it does not immediately obey, and the pressure can be released as soon as the desired response is achieved.
Socialization should begin as soon as you get your puppy and often this means at 7 weeks of age. Puppies naturally accept new people, other species and introduction to new situations during the socialization period which occurs between 7 and 14 to 16 weeks of age. This period provides an opportunity for a myriad of introductions that will provide positive memories that last a life time. Puppies are eager, exploratory and uninhibited during this period and it is important to take advantage of this enthusiasm. Be sure to protect your puppy during this period and ensure that all experiences are positive, fun and not fear evoking.
Why does my 16-week-old puppy seem afraid?
There is a normal, natural fear period that begins around 14 to 16 weeks. During this period, a puppy may become wary and suspicious of new people, species or experiences. This is a normal adaptive process. Watch your puppy closely for signs of fear (cowering, urinating, and refusal of food treats). Avoid pushing or overwhelming your puppy during this developmental stage.
Should I also consider training classes?
Pet owners who are novices at training can begin a training program with these few simple steps. It takes repetition, time and perseverance for the puppy to predictably and reliably respond to commands in a variety of situations. Consider only classes that use positive training techniques.
However, a training class serves many functions. Trainers can demonstrate techniques and help guide you through the steps in training. They can help advise you on puppy training problems, and can help you advance your training to exercises that are more difficult. The puppy will be learning in a group situation, with some real life distractions. And, considering human nature, the pet owner who takes his or her dog to a puppy class will be forced to practice (do their homework) throughout the week if they do not want to fall behind by the next class. Finally, a training class is a good place to meet and talk to other new puppy owners and see how all puppies behave.
Training classes for young puppies are also an excellent way to socialize your new puppy to a variety of people, dogs, and other stimuli in a controlled environment. In addition, you will learn how to prevent problems before they can begin, or deal with them as they emerge, rather than having to find a way to correct problems that have already developed. Your puppy might also make some new friends of the same age. You could then visit these friends (or vice versa) with your puppy for social play and exercise sessions. Since the primary socialization period for dogs ends by 3 months of age, puppy socialization classes are most valuable for puppies 8 weeks of age and older. If all puppies in the class have had initial vaccinations, are healthy and parasite free, the health risks are low and the potential benefits are enormous. Discuss the location of classes in your area and when to start them with your veterinarian.
Contributors: Debra Horwitz, DVM, Diplomate ACVB & Gary Landsberg, DVM, Diplomate ACVB © Copyright 2013 LifeLearn Inc. Used and/or modified with permission under license.
Dog Training – Sit – Stay
You can find a lot of dog training resources online. Or look for a local trainer who will offer personalized help, or classes in your community where you can go with your canine buddy to learn in a group environment. Helping your furry friend understand how to please you will benefit both of you!
Listen Listening… / 2:00
January is National Train Your Dog Month – a good way to start the year for owners who want well-behaved companions by their side. But training involves more than learning tricks like rolling over or shaking “hands”. Communication with your furry friend can make it a better pet.
According to Cesar Milan, the Dog Whisperer, there are several basic commands that every dog should know – two of those are “sit” and “stay”.
Begin teaching the “sit” command by holding a yummy treat close to your dog’s nose. Once your pet smells the treat, move your hand up so that its nose and head follow the treat, and its rear end lowers. When your dog is mostly in a sitting position, say “sit”, then give it the treat and pet it for being a good dog. Do that several times each day until your dog associates the word “sit” with the action of sitting.
Once your furry buddy has the “sit” command down, you can work on “stay”. After you say “sit” (and your pet sits), hold out your open palm in front of your dog and say “stay” while you step back a couple of paces; if your pet stays put, reward it with a treat and petting. Then try stepping back a little further before giving the next treat. This is more challenging for your dog, so it could take a little longer to do it exactly right.
Teaching your four-footed friend some simple commands builds the lines of communication between you, but “sit” and “stay” may help keep your pet safe in situations where you need to control your dog with only your voice. For example, it could enable you to stop your pet from running out in front of a car while chasing a ball.
After you and your dog master the basic commands, then you can teach your friend a few tricks to wow your family and friends – and your dog, like most of us, will thrive on the applause of the crowd.
Patience and consistency can pay great dividends when training a dog. The more positive interaction you have with your furry friend will help make life more enjoyable and fulfilling for both of you, when you’re speaking of pets.
Teach Your Puppy These 5 Basic Commands
- How To Teach A Dog To Come
- How To Teach a Dog Loose Leash Walking
- How To Teach a Dog To Sit
- How To Teach a Dog To Stay
- How to Teach a Dog to Lay Down
To start off on the right foot (and paw!) with your pup, he’ll need to know what you expect from him. This will make him feel secure in his ability to meet the goals laid out for him going forward.
The foundation of training should be based on positive reinforcement. Positive reinforcement is the process of giving a dog (or person!) a reward to encourage the behavior you want, like getting a pay check for going to work. The idea is not to bribe the behavior but to train it using something your dog values. Avoid using punishment such as leash corrections or yelling. Punishment can cause a dog to become confused and unsure about what is being asked of him. It is important to remember that we can’t expect dogs to know what they don’t know – just like you wouldn’t expect a 2-year-old child to know how to tie his shoes. Patience will go a long way in helping your new puppy learn how to behave.
Reinforcement can be anything your dog likes. Most people use small pieces of a “high value” food for training treats — something special — such as dried liver or even just their kibble. Lavish praise or the chance to play with a favorite toy can also be used as a reward. Dogs must be taught to like praise. If you give the dog a treat while saying “Good dog!” in a happy voice, he will learn that praise is a good thing and can be a reward. Some dogs also enjoy petting. Food is often the most convenient way to reinforce behavior.
Puppies can begin very simple training starting as soon as they come home, usually around 8 weeks old. Always keep training sessions brief — just 5 to 10 minutes —and always end on a positive note. If your puppy is having trouble learning a new behavior, end the session by reviewing something he already knows and give him plenty of praise and a big reward for his success. If your puppy gets bored or frustrated, it will ultimately be counterproductive to learning.
How To Teach A Dog To Come
You’ll want to begin training a recall (come when called) in a quiet area and indoors. Sit with your puppy and say his name or the word “come.” Each time you say “come/name,” give your puppy a treat. He doesn’t have to do anything yet! Just repeat the word and give a treat. Easy!
Next, drop a treat on the floor near you. As soon as your puppy finishes the treat on the ground, say his name again. When he looks up, give him another treat. Repeat this a couple of times until you can begin tossing the treat a little further away, and he can turn around to face you when you say his name. Avoid repeating your puppy’s name; saying it too often when he doesn’t respond makes it easier for him to ignore it. Instead, move closer to your puppy and go back to a step where he can be successful at responding to his name the first time.
Once your puppy can turn around to face you, begin adding movement and making the game more fun! Toss a treat on the ground and take a few quick steps away while calling your puppy’s name. They should run after you because chase is fun! When they catch you, give them a lot of praise, treats or play with a tug toy. Coming to you should be fun! Continue building on these games with longer distances and in other locations. When training outside (always in a safe, enclosed area), it may be helpful to keep your puppy on a long leash at first.
When your puppy comes to you, don’t reach out and grab him. This can be confusing or frightening for some dogs. If your puppy is timid, kneel and face them sideways and offer him treats as you reach for the collar. Never call your dog to punish! This will only teach him that you are unpredictable, and it is a good idea to avoid you. Always reward your dog heavily for responding to his or her name, even if they have been up to mischief!
- Tips for getting your dog to come
- Playing a game to teach your dog to come
How To Teach a Dog Loose Leash Walking
In competition obedience training, “heel” means the dog is walking on your left side with his head even with your knee while you hold the leash loosely. Puppy training can be a little more relaxed with the goal being that they walk politely on a loose leash without pulling. Some trainers prefer to say “let’s go” or “forward” instead of “heel” when they train this easy way of walking together.
Whatever cue you choose, be consistent and always use the same word. Whether your puppy walks on your left side or your right side is completely up to you. But be consistent about where you want them so they don’t get confused and learn to zig zag in front of you.
First, make sure your puppy is comfortable wearing a leash. This can feel strange at first, and some puppies may bite the leash. Give your puppy treats as you put the leash on each time. Then, stand next to your puppy with the leash in a loose loop and give him several treats in a row for standing or sitting next to your leg. Take one step forward and encourage him to follow by giving another treat as he catches up.
Continue giving treats to your puppy at the level of your knee or hip as you walk forward. When he runs in front of you, simply turn the opposite direction, call him to you, and reward him in place. Then continue. Gradually begin giving treats further apart (from every step to every other step, every third step, and so on).
Eventually your dog will walk happily at your side whenever he’s on his leash. Allow your dog plenty of time to sniff and “smell the roses” on your walks. When they’ve had their sniffing time, give the cue “Let’s Go!” in a happy voice and reward them for coming back into position and walking with you.
How To Teach a Dog To Sit
There are two different methods for showing your puppy what “sit” means.
The first method is called capturing. Stand in front of your puppy holding some of his dog food or treats. Wait for him to sit – say “yes” and give him a treat. Then step backwards or sideways to encourage him to stand and wait for him to sit. Give another treat as soon as they sit. After a few repetitions, you can begin saying “sit” right as he begins to sit.
The next option is called luring. Get down in front of your puppy, holding a treat as a lure. Put the treat right in front of the pup’s nose, then slowly lift the food above his head. He will probably sit as he lifts his head to nibble at the treat. Allow him to eat the treat when his bottom touches the ground. Repeat one or two times with the food lure, then remove the food and use just your empty hand, but continue to reward the puppy after he sits. Once he understands the hand signal to sit, you can begin saying “sit” right before you give the hand signal.
Never physically put your puppy into the sitting position; this can be confusing or upsetting to some dogs.
- Teach your dog to sit pretty
- Teaching sit from the down position
How To Teach a Dog To Stay
A puppy who knows the “stay” cue will remain sitting until you ask him to get up by giving another cue, called the “release word.” Staying in place is a duration behavior. The goal is to teach your dog to remain sitting until the release cue is given, then begin adding distance.
First, teach the release word. Choose which word you will use, such as “OK” or “free.” Stand with your puppy in a sit or a stand, toss a treat on the floor, and say your word as he steps forward to get the treat. Repeat this a couple of times until you can say the word first and then toss the treat AFTER he begins to move. This teaches the dog that the release cue means to move your feet.
When your dog knows the release cue and how to sit on cue, put him in a sit, turn and face him, and give him a treat. Pause, and give him another treat for staying in a sit, then release him. Gradually increase the time you wait between treats (it can help to sing the ABC’s in your head and work your way up the alphabet). If your dog gets up before the release cue, that’s ok! It just means he isn’t ready to sit for that long so you can make it easier by going back to a shorter time.
Once your dog can stay in a sit for several seconds, you can begin adding distance. Place him in a sit and say “stay,” take one step back, then step back to the pup, give a treat, and your release word. Continue building in steps, keeping it easy enough that your dog can stay successful. Practice both facing him and walking away with your back turned (which is more realistic).
Once your dog can stay, you can gradually increase the distance. This is also true for the “sit.” The more solidly he learns it, the longer he can remain sitting. The key is to not expect too much, too soon. Training goals are achieved in increments, so you may need to slow down and focus on one thing at a time. To make sure the training “sticks,” sessions should be short and successful.
- Teaching your dog to stay in the show ring
How to Teach a Dog to Lay Down
“Down” can be taught very similarly to “sit.” You can wait for your dog to lie down (beginning in a boring, small room such as a bathroom can help) and capture the behavior by reinforcing your dog with a treat when he lies down, giving him his release cue to stand back up (and encouragement with a lure if needed) and then waiting for him to lie down again. When he is quickly lying down after standing up, you can begin saying “down” right before he does so.
You can also lure a down from a sit or stand by holding a treat in your hand to the dog’s nose and slowly bringing it to the floor. Give the treat when the dog’s elbows touch the floor to start. After a few practices, begin bringing your empty hand to the floor and giving the treat AFTER he lies down. When he can reliably follow your hand signal, begin saying “down” as you move your hand.
Just like with sitting, never use force to put your dog into a down.
And Remember …
Keep training sessions short and fun. End each session on a positive note. If you feel your dog is having a difficult time learning or being “stubborn,” evaluate the speed of your training and the value of your rewards. Do you need to slow down and make the steps easier, or does your dog need a bigger paycheck for a harder exercise?
The “Basic 5” commands will give your puppy a strong foundation for any future training.
And just think, if you and your puppy continue to work hard—and have fun—at training, someday you may become obedience champs!
Before starting to teach your dog’s commands
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The first thing a dog needs to learn is the essential discipline and respect that is wholly defined by the energy and basic directions the owner gives to his dog – however a dog that is disciplined needs also a basic training that any owner can offer him as a form of avoiding dogs behavioral problems that he might end up being in.
Keep in mind, the following commands, if appropriately applied by the Dog owner can be very fun for the dog and the owner too as well as will make both lives easier and lot more enjoyable.
- Be patient and regular
- Not to push the dog too hard at the start
- Find a quiet place for the exercises – to avoid distractions
- Make learning sessions short and simple
- Make training exercises consistent and a regular thing
- Never punish your dog
- Practice at home or garden first before exercising commands publicly
- Reward the dog for being good
- Show him what you want him to know- force will not help
- Teach the dog new commands as soon as he properly learns an old one
- Make training fun & entertaining
- Involve yourself in training exercises, not just the dog – he needs a friend to play with
Below is a list with 15 essential dog commands that every dog owner needs.
1. “Watch Me” command
To teach this command to your dog, you should keep the eye contact with the dog, while offering a great treat that you hold in your hand and moving the hand from the dogs nose upwards your face – so to be easy for the dog to watch you & when he watches at you give the command “Watch me”.
Repeat this exercise several times daily until the dog is adequately trained at this. Try to avoid using a treat as a distraction when the dog learns the practice, only use it as a reward.
This command is much needed to get the dog’s attention, and it is the bridge for teaching him other commands.
2. “Sit” command
This is another command that can be taught by putting the dog a treat close to his nose (to smell it better), moving the treat up – so he will follow the treat. The dog, however, cannot catch the treat, as it is naturally in a sitting position that allows him to pull his head high for following the treat & this is the moment you finally give the command “Sit” – accompanied with the treat & by showing affection for the dog. Then the exercise must be repeated until the dog learns the command appropriately.
This command is particularly necessary because through it you can prevent annoying dog behaviors such as dog stopping by to get in trouble with other dogs in the street, jumping on people when going for a walk. By giving this command, the dog will sit and will not move from the existing position. Release or set the dog free with an “Okay” or “Brake”.
3. “Down” command
This is considered a challenging command, as it puts the dog in a passive position. The command can be taught by getting some good smelling treat in a closed hand, then moving that hand close to the dog’s nose & at the moment he or she smells it you move the hand to the floor and the dog will follow. Next, you move the hand along the floor to provoke him to follow the food in a laid on position. The moment the dog is laid on, you give the command “Down” and give him the treat.
For the dog to learn the command, the exercise must be repeated several times daily & in case the dog tries to grab the treat with force say “No.” Release or set the dog free with an “Okay” or “Brake.
4. “Stay” command
This command is taught by asking the dog to “Sit” at first, putting him a treat close to the nose, and giving the command “Stay” & next making a few steps away. In case the dog stays and waits – offer him a treat if he does not – then you say “No” & gradually move few more steps away from the dog – for him to distinguish when he is carrying the exercise correctly and when he is not.
For the command to be properly learned by the dog, the exercise must be repeated several times daily. This command is efficient, as it keeps the dog self-controlled, something that is highly required – particularly in the hyper-energetic dogs.
5. “Heel” command
This command is taught by holding your dog’s leash in your right hand and pulling it on your left side while you are walking, and at a certain point commanding the dog to “Sit.” You also should hold the treat in your left hand & give the command “Heel” in a positive tone of voice.
Next, you should make a few steps, keeping the treat (typically food or toy) by your side.
At the moment you take a break, move the treat upwards, and the dog will sit – then, you can praise him with a treat to show him he is carrying out the task well.
Through this command, the dog will be told to walk right beside you, until you say differently & it is a very useful one, as it teaches the dog to behave next to you – as the owner when he is not leashed and your hands are busy.
6. “Wait” command
This command is taught by walking the dog toward the door and commanding him to “Sit” in front of the closed door. Then, pointing your fingers upwards, presenting the palm of your hand & commanding to “Wait.” As he waits, you open the door gradually, and when the dog tends to move towards the door, you close it – as a sign he needs to wait until he crosses the door.
Do this several times, daily, until he masters it – a time when you will open the door entirely and the dog will not make a move without your command. When you want to let the dog free to walk, you say “Okay,” “Yes” or “Brake” & reward the dog with a treat – as a sign, you agree for him to walk.
This command is very useful as it tells the dog not to run away, as the dog can run through public doors, hallways or stores’ entrances towards the road and put himself in danger.
7. “Come” command
This command can be taught by putting a collar and a leash on your dog, in a specific a distance to the dog, and asking him to “Come” towards you – at the same time pulling the leash a little. The moment the dog comes to you, you must give him a treat to make him aware of the purpose of the exercise – as the dog associates right with the treat.
This exercise must be repeated several times, daily, also, and when you want to release the dog merely say “Okay” and show him your affection.
This is a beneficial exercise since it can protect the dog, if trying to get in trouble with other dogs and if he runs away in the streets or if chasing something or someone.
8. “Off” command
This command is taught by keeping the treat in both closed hands, putting one of your closed hands very near the dog’s face so he can smell and lick it.
As the dog cannot get the treat – since your hand is closed, he will back off eventually, and this is the time for you to open the hand and offer him the treat & give the command “Off.”
This exercise must be repeated several times until the dog masters at it. This exercise is very useful if you want for the dog to get off the home furniture, something or someone.
9. “Take it” & “Drop it” command
This command can be taught by keeping a toy or other object that is of a value for the dog – in one hand, provoking the dog to follow the thing struggling to grab it.
The moment the dog opens the mouth to catch the thing, you must give the command “Take it”- so the dog makes a conditional association of the right thing with a treat (reward).
As he is enjoying his game, playing with that object, offer him an object that is duplicate of that one, that the dog is playing with, then the dog – as the purpose is of the same value to him, will be provoked to drop the first object and grab the second identical object.
The moment he drops it, give the command “Drop it,” and as he opens the mouth to grab the second object you give the command “Take it.”
This exercise needs to be repeated daily until the dog masters at it.
This command is imperative as it helps you to easily take away from the dog things that he harshly grabs.
10. “Out” command
This command can be taught by letting the dog get in his mouth one of his favorite toys. Then, grabbing and keeping a toy against your body, where the dog will initially insist on keeping the toy in his mouth, but as you will keep pulling it towards you, he will release it eventually. This is the moment you must offer the toy back to the dog & start over the same game – and as soon as the dog loses the interest to hold the toy anymore, give the command “Out.”
For the dog to properly master at this, you need to repeat it daily until the dog understands the purpose of the training and remembers the lesson correctly.
The command is needed when the dog gabs in his mouth things that you do not want them to hold.
11. “Leave it” command
This command can be taught by keeping a treat in both of your hands. Putting one of the hands close to the dog’s face – for him to smell it and lick it – and give the command “Leave it.”
Initially the dog will lick and smell the treat and possibly bark to have it, but eventually, he will lose the interest. That is the moment when you will offer the treat that you are hiding on the other closed hand.
Repeat the exercise it until the dog leaves the first treatment as soon as he hears “Leave it” & when he comes for the second treat you give him and show some affection. This exercise must also be repeated daily until the dog properly understands it.
12. “Place, Bed, or Crate” command
This command can be taught by having your dog leashed, holding a leash in one hand and with a treat in the other hand. Guiding the dog with a leash & with the treat that you are holding in the other hand provokes the dog to move towards the place (that can be a bad, a crate, a carpet or a blanket) where you want the dog to stay, & at the moment the dog gets inside the place you must give the command “Place”, and give him the treat.
Repeat this exercise a few times until the dog gets the command properly. To release the dog from the place, just grab it through the leash and say “Okay” or “Brake.”
This command is very beneficial as it tells the dog to stay in his own chosen place. Instead of the term “Place,” you might use the term such as “Your bed,” “Your crate,” “Your blanket” or else when you teach this command to your dog.
This command will help you to position your dog when you want for him to sleep, take a nap or when you have people or kids around your dog, and you do not wish destruction from the dog.
13. “Stand” command
This command can be taught by asking the dog to “Sit” and then getting a treat in your hand that you must put close to the dog’s nose forward and down.
The dog will follow the treat lower and then you must once more move forward your hand with a treat on it, so to put the dog in a standing position as he follows the treat with his mouth. And, this is the moment you give the command “Stand” and offer him the treat as a reward he is doing the right thing.
This exercise must be repeated several times daily also until the dog properly learns it.
This command is needed when the veterinary wants to examine the dog when you want to brush the dog and in many other cases when the standing position of the dog is necessary.
14. “No” command
This command can be taught by putting a treat on the ground and keeping the dog leashed while walking towards the treat. The moment the dog gets provoked by the treat and makes efforts to grab it, you need to tell the dog your command “No” and pull the dog slightly through the leash against you. As he comes approaches and watches you – give him a treat that you are holding in the off-leash hand and say “Yes”- and show him some affection.
Repeat the same command over and over again, daily, and the dog will master at it eventually.
This command is especially important as it keeps the dog away from an improper behavior that might end up doing at home, street, or elsewhere and it immediately brings him back to you.
15. “Settle down”command
This command can be taught by holding a clicker in one hand and a treat on the other hand. Next, pulling the clicker to guide the dog to go in a crate, blanket, small carpet or basket (that are placed few feet away from where you stand) & as soon as he gets in there giving the command “Settle down” and offering a treat inside that place where the dog is sitting – as a reward he is doing the command properly.
Release the dog with an “Okay” or “Brake,” and he will come back to you.
Repeat the exercise enough – daily until the dog gets the exercise correctly.
This command is given to calm down, relax the dog and get him settled in a specific place and it is especially helpful if the dog receives hyperactive and you are trying to do a job from home, trying to clean, have a baby around that is trying to get asleep or when you are trying to have a conversation with a visitor.
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Related Items:dog commands, Training and Behavior
Dog Training Commands: Basic to Advanced
This list of dog training commands and step-by-step tutorials will help you teach your dog to be obedient and friendly. You will be able to teach your pet basic to advanced behaviors on cue and even teach your dog to respond with distractions.
Dog commands can be hand signals, voice commands or a mix of both. Most dogs will learn hand signals more easily than verbal cues but you can eventually teach them to recognize many different dog obedience commands.
You can even use words in a different language, for example it is very popular to use German dog commands, specially with German Shepherds. The advantage of using words in a different language is that your dog will learn to recognize and differentiate the sounds you make when talking to someone else vs talking to your dog.
Regardless of which language or dog training cue you want to use with your pet, you will find a list of basic dog commands and advance obedience commands to teach along with easy to follow tutorials.
What you will find in this article:
- Basic dog training commands
- Advanced dog training commands
- The future of dog training
- Recommended dog training books
- How to advance your dog training
List of Basic Dog Training Commands
I consider them basic because every dog parent should teach them to their pet. They will make living with your furry friend easier and more enjoyable!
As you learn more about them you will see links to pages for more information on a particular training method and other canine obedience tips.
Marker Word: A marker word is any word or sound (like a clicker) used to mark when your dog did something correct. But first, you must teach the meaning of this word to your dog.
Name recognition: It seems a little silly to formally teach your dog it’s name, but this dog training command can be very useful to call your dog’s attention. When formally trained it can be more reliable too.
Sit: this is the most basic of all dog obedience commands. All dogs can learn this cue in 5 minutes. I separated this command into 3 articles, from basic to advance levels to teach you how to progress with ANY dog training command until you get a reliable response.
Sit Level 2 – Sit Level 3
Down: Also a basic dog command but very useful. A dog that is laying down cannot jump, steal things and if you train down with a head down, he can’t bark either!
Stand: Why would you ever want to teach the dog command stand to your dog? Many reasons, you can get him to stand up from the couch/bed easily and you can keep him in a stand position at the vet.
Stay: Very useful command to keep your dog in one position for a longer period of time.
Settle: if you need your dog to stop running around like crazy, this is the command to teach him.
Come when called: one of the most important dog training commands to teach your canine friend. If he can be recalled, he won’t run away.
List of Advanced Dog Training Commands
I consider these advanced because you will need them if you and your pet participate in many activities like dog sports, dog service, competition obedience, etc. Even if you do not do any of those activities, some are very useful for every family dog.
For more advanced dog commands also read “Clicker Training”.
Bark or speak: There are many reasons to teach your dog to bark. It can be a cure dog trick, it can scare off people and you can train it along with “quiet”.
Quiet: If you have barking dog, teaching the dog training command quiet can be a blessing.
Leave-it: Teach your dog to NOT pick up things from the floor. It can be used at home or during walks.
Ask for permission: This is technically not a command, but something you need to teach your dog to do automatically before he runs away to chase something.
Touch or Target: This is actually a very easy dog obedience command to teach your dog, they love it and it can also be very useful to teach other more advanced dog training commands.
The Future of Dog Training “Commands”
Cue is a better word
It’s all about giving our pets choices and let them decide. When animals (including humans) have the choice to make a decision, they feel empowered. Dog training is heading that way because as we give out pets the chance to make a guided decision, they tend to choose what we wanted anyway! And their lives are better for it too.
This page is titled “Dog training commands” because that is the most popular search term. However I want you all to know that dog training is constantly changing and improving, specially as more and more humane methods are discovered and we understand more and more about dog behavior.
The term “command” was originally used in dog training when this discipline was about “the dog MUST do what I ask because I AM THE BOSS”. We have now moved away from that type of training, the dominance and alpha theories have been disproved and we understand that positive reinforcement is easier, less dangerous and more fun to use with our pets.
In light of these changes a lot of trainers are choosing to use the word “cue” instead of “command”. Why is this? the word command implies that the dog must do what I say but the word cue leaves a little room for choice. And this is where the future of dog (and animal) training is heading. When we train out pets and give them choice and decision power, their lives are enhanced and they feel better and more eager to participate. This may seem a little crazy if you are just beginning to learn about dog training but I promise it will start making more and more sense as you keep learning.
Recommended Dog Training Commands Books
If you are enjoying learning about dog training but want more! Here are some of my favorite books on the subject.
The Culture Clash
This is a must read book for any person with a dog. Jean Donaldson is an excellent writer that explains how dogs learn in a fun and easy way. The book also has tutorials of how to train many dog training commands at the end.
When Pigs Fly
Maybe you have a dog that seems impossible to train, maybe you have tried to teach your pooch a few things but he does what he wants instead. This is a great book for you then! A well written and excellent book to understand why our dogs seem “stubborn” and how to work with them and achieve the training we want.
Agility Right From the Start
If you are ready for some advance work with your dog, agility is a great sport to begin. You don’t need to compete or even have a big backyard to start. This book will tell you how to train your dog to go through the basic agility equipment with positive and fun methods. It’s a great book to read and will take your training to another level!
How to advance your dog training
How to get a reliable dog behavior on cue?
You will notice that most dogs learn the most basic dog training commands very quickly. However, you will also notice that they do not reliably respond when you ask. For example, your pet may obey every single time when you are at home, but as soon as you go to the park it’s like he doesn’t know anything!
This article takes you through the steps necessary to achieve that reliable dog command.
Teach your dog hand signals
Dogs are more visually oriented than they are verbal. That is why they will learn to predict many things about your behavior based on your body language. Hand signals are a great way to teach your furry friend commands. Your pet will understand them faster than words!
Teach your dog new words!
We, humans, are more verbally oriented than visual. That is why learning to teach your dog verbal cues is a must! Besides, it’s always good to be able to talk when your hands are full. This may take a bit more time than hand signals, but is fun and challenging for you pet.
Teach your dog German cues…
Make your dog training commands stand out! We, humans, like to chat and chat. To dogs it sounds much like – blah blah blah – so, what happens when you say a command to your pet in the middle of a flurry of words? Can your puppy understand them? A way to bypass this problem is to use cues in a different language. These will sound very distinct from English and will help your hound discriminate a command from your day to day talking!
How about words in Spanish?
Don’t like German, how about Spanish? Any language will do if you want to use words that sound different to your dog (than English). Here is a list of Spanish dog commands to start you off.
Best Dog Training Books
If you are looking for the best information about dog training, this list has the titles that only professional dog trainers will recommend!
Questions? Anecdotes? Tips? Leave me a comment in the box below.