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How to Teach Your Dog Basic Commands

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Do you want to know the most effective dog training commands? Teaching your dog the basics of obedience training can help with any behavior issues, whether they are already present or developed in the future. However, a trained dog is not the same as a well-balanced dog.

So, how do you even begin teaching your dog basic commands? While you and your dog might benefit from formal training, there are a number of commands you can teach him or her on your own. We’ve compiled the ultimate list of dog commands that both you and your pet are sure to love.

Table of Contents


The command “sit” is one of the first and most fundamental ones you should teach your dog. Dogs that have been taught the “Sit” command are much more submissive and easy to manage than their untrained counterparts. The “Sit” command also helps your dog get ready for more advanced commands like “Stay” and “Come.”

The “Sit” command can be taught to your dog as follows:

  • Keep the treat within the dog’s nose’s range.
  • Raise your hand, and he’ll follow his nose to the floor as his bottom drops to meet the treat.
  • Tell him to “Sit,” then reward him with the treat while showing him some love.
  • You should practice this sequence with your dog several times per day until he or she has mastered it. Then, have your dog sit when you’re ready to feed him, when you’re ready to go for a walk, or any other time you want him to be quiet and still.


The word “come” is a crucial command to teach your dog. If you ever drop the leash or forget to close the front door, this command will save the day. Again, this is a simple command that will keep your dog out of trouble once it’s learned.

  • Get your dog a collar and leash.
  • Get on his level, say “Come,” and pull a little on the leash to get his attention.
  • Give him lots of praise and a tasty treat when he finally reaches you.
  • When he’s mastered the command while on leash, you can let him off leash and continue practicing in a secure area.


The following instruction is a challenging one to teach a dog. Your dog may struggle with this command because he must assume a submissive position. If your dog is fearful or anxious, you can help him out by keeping training sessions calm and positive. Remember to always give your dog a treat or verbal praise after he obeys your command.

  • Hold a delicious-smelling snack in your closed fist.
  • Raise your hand so that your dog can sniff it. When he takes a whiff, lower your hand to the ground to lead him there.
  • Then guide his body to follow his head by dragging your hand along the floor in front of him.
  • Say “Down,” give him the treat, and show affection once he’s in the down position.
  • Do this exercise daily. Say “No” and pull your hand away if your dog tries to sit up or lunge for your hand. Don’t force your dog to get on the ground, and praise him for any effort he makes to get into position. He is, after all, making an effort to understand it.


The “Stay” command, like the “Sit” command, will make your dog more manageable. This command comes in handy when you need your dog to stay out of the way while you’re doing housework or when your dog is being too boisterous around guests.

Make sure your dog is well-versed in the “Sit” cue before attempting to teach it this command. Take some time to work on the “Sit” command with him if he hasn’t mastered it yet, and then move on to the “Stay” cue.

  • Initially, have your dog “Sit.”
  • Then put out your open palm in front of you while saying, “Stay.”
  • Back up a little bit. If he stays, be sure to show him some love and praise.
  • The distance you walk up to the treatment should be increased in increments.
  • If your dog is able to sit still for even a second, praise him or her.
  • Don’t give up if it takes your dog some time to master this behavior because it is an exercise in self-control. This is especially true for puppies and high-energy dogs. After all, canines in general dislike sitting around doing nothing.

Put it down

Last but not least, this command can help keep your dog safe when he gets too curious about something, like a new scent he detects on the ground. The point is to show your dog that he will benefit more from not paying attention to the other item.

  • Put something tasty in each hand.
  • Put the treat in one closed fist and show it to him while saying, “Leave it.”
  • Ignore his attempts to get the treat by licking, sniffing, mouthing, pawing, and barking.
  • Once he gives up trying to get it, hand over the treat.
  • Repeat this process until your dog stops approaching your fist after you say “Leave it.”
  • The next step is to wait until your dog looks up at you after he’s backed away from the first punch before giving him the treat.
  • When your dog reliably looks at you when you say the command and moves away from the first treat, you can move on to the next level of training. Next, train your dog with two types of treats: one that is good but not super appealing, and another that has a wonderful aroma and flavor.
  • Tell them to “Leave it,” then put the less desirable treat on the floor and hide it with your hand.
  • Let the dog sit there and ignore the treat until he or she looks at you. Take that treat off the floor, hand him the better one, and start cuddling right away.
  • When he does, put the less desirable treat on the floor without completely covering it with your hand. Keep your hand raised just above the treat. Gradually extend your hand until it is about 6 inches above the ground.
  • He’s ready to work on his form with you while standing up now! Repeat the process, but this time, cover the less appetizing treat with your foot if he tries to steal it.
  • You shouldn’t rush through teaching your dog these commands. You’re asking a lot of your dog, keep that in mind. If you increase the difficulty and he continues to have trouble, you should return to the previous level.

This list of commands will help you communicate with your dog and keep him safe from harm. The time and energy you put into teaching your puppy these standard dog commands will be well rewarded. Do not begin dog obedience training unless you are in the proper frame of mind to exhibit calm, assertive energy and patience throughout the training process.