As a dog owner, it is crucial to understand how to teach your furry companion basic commands. Not only does it help build a stronger bond between you and your pet, but it also ensures safety and enhances socialization skills. In this article, we will highlight the essential dog commands you should know, why they are important, and how to effectively teach them.
Why Teaching Your Dog Commands is Important
Dog commands go beyond just getting your pup to sit and stay. They teach your dog good behavior and establish a clear line of communication between you and your pet. Additionally, it strengthens the bond between you and your four-legged friend, leading to a happier and more fulfilling relationship. At Aly’s Puppy Boot Camp, we practice a handful of commands that can help your dog live life in a safe, sane, and civilized way. Here’s a list of commands that we practice daily:
- Go Potty
- Let’s Go
- Leave It
- Paws Up
Building Trust and Communication
Teaching your dog commands is a great way to build trust and communication. When your dog understands your commands and follows them, both of you feel comfortable and confident in each other’s abilities. This trust and clear communication can also ensure that your dog follows your commands, even in potentially dangerous situations.
As you teach your dog commands, you will also learn to read their body language and understand their needs. This will help you communicate with your dog more effectively and build a stronger bond. For example, if your dog is feeling anxious or scared, you may notice their tail tucked between their legs or their ears pinned back. By understanding these signals, you can provide comfort and reassurance to your furry friend.
Additionally, teaching your dog commands can be a fun bonding activity for both of you. You can use positive reinforcement techniques, such as treats and praise, to encourage your dog to learn new commands. This will not only strengthen your bond but also improve your dog’s behavior and obedience.
Ensuring Your Dog’s Safety
Basic commands such as “come” and “place” can help keep your dog safe. For example, if your dog runs out of the house and you call out “come,” your dog should return to you immediately, preventing them from being hit by a car or getting lost. Similarly, “leave it” can prevent your dog from ingesting something toxic or harmful.
Teaching your dog to “stay” can also be a lifesaver in certain situations. For instance, if you are walking your dog near a busy road and a car suddenly approaches, you can use the “stay” command to keep your dog from running into the street.
Overall, teaching your dog commands can help prevent accidents and keep them safe in a variety of situations.
We offer a wide range of online training courses designed to help you teach your dog these essential commands! CLICK HERE to see our online Training Courses!
Enhancing Socialization Skills
Effective communication and understanding of commands can help your dog feel more comfortable in social situations. When your dog knows how to behave appropriately, they will be more confident around other dogs and people, leading to positive interactions.
Teaching your dog commands such as “heel” and “down” can also help them behave better in public places, such as parks and sidewalks. This can make outings with your furry friend more enjoyable and less stressful.
Furthermore, teaching your dog commands can help prevent aggressive behavior towards other dogs and people. By teaching your dog to “sit” and “stay” in the presence of other dogs, you can help them feel more relaxed and less threatened.
In conclusion, teaching your dog commands is an essential aspect of responsible pet ownership. It not only improves your dog’s behavior and obedience but also strengthens your bond and enhances your relationship. So, start teaching your furry friend new commands today and enjoy the benefits of a well-trained and happy dog!
Basic Dog Commands Every Owner Should Teach
As a dog owner, it’s essential to teach your furry friend some basic commands to ensure their safety and well-being. Here are three essential commands that every dog owner should teach their furry companion:
Teaching your dog to sit is usually one of the first commands a pet owner will teach their dog. This skill is not only cute but also a great way to get your dog’s attention and calm them down. Additionally, it’s an excellent way to keep your dog from jumping on people or running out the door. To teach this command, introduce body pressure: Body pressure refers to using physical presence or slight pressure to guide your dog into the desired position. When your dog is familiar with the “sit” command, stand in front of them with your body facing theirs. Once your dog finally sits down, release pressure and reward with treats or verbal praise. This helps your dog understand that sitting in response to body pressure is the desired behavior. Now it’s time to practice and reinforce!
Some Important things to remember:
Timing is always very critical in training any animal a command. Whether it be timing of a correction, timing of a treat, or timing of a release of indirect or direct pressure. Release is how the dog knows that he made the right choice and did the right thing. Through the years there have been several studies trying to determine the exact amount of time between the desired action and the timing of the reinforcement to get the desired result of understanding with your dog. The general consensus is—be quick with your praise and treats!
One of the ways we communicate with our dogs is how we respond to them. The timing of those responses can be critical to making sure we are sending the message we intend. Since our dogs don’t understand language like we do, we don’t have the option of simply explaining what we want from them. It becomes more like a game of charades, where we have to catch them doing something right (or something wrong) and help them understand that the behavior they are doing is something we want (or don’t want). It’s a tricky thing and made even more complicated if our timing isn’t good. Being consistent and timely in our rewards/corrections will help reinforce the behavior we are looking for.
Stay (or Place)
The “stay” command is used to keep your dog in one place, and it comes in handy when you want to take their leash on or off or when you need them to stay put for any reason. By teaching your dog to stay on PLACE until invited off, it can significantly improve your relationship and overall behavior. In our library vault, found in Aly’s Insider Club, you can find the comprehensive ALL ABOUT PLACE training video to guide you. Once your dog grasps the concept of staying on PLACE, it will transform both your lives and help them navigate various situations calmly and responsibly. Moreover, utilizing PLACE can effectively address nuisance behaviors such as reactivity at the front door, jumping on guests, chasing cars, reacting to animals, and rushing out of doors. It promotes a safe, sane, and civilized approach to handling these situations.
The objective is for your dog to remain on “Place” until given permission to leave. This means that if he/she gets off without being invited, you must immediately put them back on. Whenever possible, try to guide back onto “Place” using only your legs, without using your hands. To achieve this, I recommend using as few words as possible while the puppy is on “Place.” This helps both the dog and humans to communicate and be aware of the situation.
If you notice your dog about to step off “Place,” take a deep breath and move closer while making a warning sound. If they stay on “Place” and look at you, relax and take a small step back. Gradually, they will become more comfortable, continue taking small steps back. Remember to keep breathing throughout the process.
Over time, you can gradually increase the distance, duration, and distractions while your dog remains on “Place.” Introduce stimuli that may trigger your dog, such as doorbells, open doors, or toys.
The way you end the “Place” command is as important as the calmness you have achieved during the exercise. Once the situation is calm, quiet, and relaxed, that’s when you invite to come to you. Approach quietly, take his leash, and gently ask to come to you while maintaining the same calm state of mind. Experiment with different body language cues that are inviting to your dog. You might try squatting down and opening your arms, snapping your fingers and smiling, or tapping your leg with an encouraging tone when calling their name. By avoiding verbal commands, you can improve your body language, touch, tone, and timing. Eventually, you will discover what works best to get your dog to come to you without using words, except for some encouraging phrases like “Good Boy” or “YES” when he’s heading in the right direction. Once they arrive, give calm praise and pet. If necessary, gently guide your dog to you using the leash for additional guidance. Always conclude with calm praise and petting when he/she reaches you. Ultimately, not coming when invited should not be an option for your dog.
The “come” command is essential in keeping your dog safe in situations where they could be harmed or lost. This command is especially useful when you’re out in public with your dog or when they’re off-leash in an open area. To teach this command, put your dog on a long leash and give the command “come” while walking backward. Reward your dog with treats and verbal praise once they come to you. Repeat this process until your dog can come on command without the leash.
Ensuring your dog responds when called can be a challenge without a leash. When you utter the words, “COME,” you can’t be certain about their actions. Here are some essential guidelines to improve your dogs response:
- Keep a leash on your dog whenever he/she is out of their crate. While under supervision, he can have the leash trailing behind him.
- Before calling your pup, make necessary preparations. Have a delicious treat ready (personally, I recommend string cheese). Position yourself near the end of the leash, allowing you to reel him in like a fish when you call.
- Prepare your body language to be inviting. Squat down, open your arms wide, and use a clear, confident, and encouraging tone to call him. Avoid using a high-pitched baby voice, but maintain a cheerful tone.
- Since you have control of the leash, ensure that he comes to you. Once he reaches you, guide him into a sitting position and shower him with praise. Be the source of all things enjoyable for your pup, including pets, treats, and love. Reinforce the idea that great things happen when he responds to your call. Repeat this process and make it a game, inspired by Wendy Volhard’s “Come When Called” method. We often introduce variations of this game, gradually progressing to off-leash training once our dogs demonstrate reliability. Utilize long lines of different lengths, such as 15, 20, and 30 feet, to gradually increase the distance between you and your pup during recall exercises.
We go over the “Come When Called” game extensively in Aly’s Insider Club! If you want access to Aly and the team…this is the place to be! This format allows the team to support you best.
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- ONE new training video every month
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