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What are the 7 basic dog commands?

Dogs can be big bundles of energy, which means they need to know how to channel that energy correctly. To live a happy healthy life, basic training is essential for all dogs. It allows a dog to avoid common behavioural issues that could lead to either yourself – or the owners whose dogs you are training – feeling overwhelmed. Teaching your dog commands can also help to minimise any potentially dangerous situations for your dog too. 

Mastering these 7 basic commands every dog needs is therefore invaluable to anyone working in the field of animal care and wellbeing. Share these with your colleague or your clients, to help their canines be the best they can be. 

Firstly, it’s important to understand just why training is so important for our four-legged friends. Here are 3 reasons to train a dog:

1. For Safety & Wellbeing – While it may seem obvious to us, dogs do need help in learning how to live successfully in a home environment. To a young puppy, it’s hard to know that there are things that can’t be chewed, places that shouldn’t be peed in and that crossing a road requires patience. By helping dogs understand what is required of them, we help keep stress at bay and allow them to feel emotionally stable. This means they are less likely to exhibit behaviours that may cause owners to give them up to a shelter too.

2. For A Strong Bond – Dogs are likely to feel stable, secure and happy when they have a sense of attachment with their caregivers. Training is a great way to build bonds with dogs, helping them feel at ease. The most effective teachers are those who can influence behaviour in their dogs without the use of force and work through any problems in a humane manner. It helps influence dogs to live harmoniously within a household, and a strong bond with a dog is also a wonderful feeling for an owner too. 

3. For Others – Dogs are social animals, but without proper training, this urge can be acted out incorrectly. An untrained dog is likely to act more dominant, aggressive or fearful towards other dogs. It is therefore vital to socialise dogs and teach them about appropriate social interactions, by giving them good experiences in the presence of all kinds of people, animals and environments. Meaning they are more likely to become a friendly member of society!

With this in mind, what are the 7 basic dog commands that can help dogs to become safe, secure and happy? And why are they useful? Let’s find out!

1. Sit

As well as its usefulness for taking a nice picture of a pooch, the very first thing most dog professionals and owners choose to teach is a sit. This is because a sit is an easy task for any dog to pick up, and it also acts as a useful interruption. While a dog is sitting they can’t do other far less desirable things – like jumping on visitors or running across a road. This means they can be rewarded for something good, rather than being told ‘no’ all the time, which is a great place to begin training from. Plus, you are much more likely to get a dog’s attention on you in this position, which leads onto our next top command.

2. Look at me

The look at me command can be immensely useful in dog training. When out and about where dogs can be easily distracted or overcome by the urge to chase things, working on this command allows you to quickly get their attention and ask them to do something you want instead. It can also be useful when training your dog to follow the other commands, as having their attention means they are more likely to be attentive, listening and ready for the next direction from you.

3. Lie down

In a similar way to sit, teaching a dog to lie down can help to keep them safe when out and about. Beneficial when crossing roads, queueing or when meeting new people. It’s also a useful way to teach dogs to settle. Teaching a dog to relax and have time on their own can be important for owners with a busy home, or when at a restaurant or café.

4. Come

Recall is the most important skill to teach any dog. In terms of safety, having a dog come back when called is vital, should they ever escape a yard, or if there is a change in the safety of your environment when they are off-leash. With lots of high-value rewards, praise & a consistent training programme, a great trainer can prove to any dog that coming back is always worthwhile.

5. Leave it

To have a dog leave something, particularly something very tempting, is potentially life-saving! Dogs are naturally nosy and can find all kinds of things around the house or on walks. And not everything agrees with a dog’s sensitive digestive system. So it’s vital to be able to divert their attention away from anything that could make them ill. An effective trainer can teach a dog that ignoring things when asked is a rewarding experience, meaning an owner’s rugs and our dog’s stomachs are safe! 

6. Heel

Both for a pleasurable walking experience and for a dog’s health, pulling is usually a common training principle. The excess pressure from pulling can lead to injuries on a dog’s neck, as well as potential injuries for owners too. Teaching a dog to heel usually means that trainers select an area that the dog has to remain in, in relationship to the walker. This reduces the chances of pulling and also prevent other potential dangers, as the closer they are the easier it is to protect a dog. 

7. Wait

Teaching your dog to wait is a great building block for impulse control. Whether it’s feeding time, opening a door or giving you time to remove something potentially dangerous, this simple behaviour can be really handy. By building impulse control, your dog is much more likely to be attentive to you, and think before they act. 

So how do you teach these essential commands?

If you want to learn more about dog psychology and how to train these wonderful animals effectively, then our dog care and training course is perfect for you.

To teach these dog commands the correct way requires a thorough understanding of a dog’s needs, as well as their natural behaviour. Because dog training and psychology go hand in hand, this course equips you with the highest level of understanding of how to communicate with dogs the right way. Gaining insight into how to bring out the best in both your four-legged friends and those belonging to other pet parents too. Designed to elevate your understanding, putting you in great stead to offer insightful advice and consultation to others. 

Our affordable and flexible online certificates in animal care also include online dog grooming courses. So you could combine your canine skills to build an animal empire. Join us today, and learn all the secrets of being a top dog. We’re ready when you are! 


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