Teaching your dog commands is one of the many steps in obedience training. Learning new commands can be rewarding for both you and your puppy. It will take repetition, dedication, and sometimes a little determination, but ultimately it will lead to a better relationship between you and your pet.
It’s easy to toss around all kinds of words or phrases for the same command, especially if you live with other people. However, it’s very important that all of the individuals involved in your dogs life are consistent with the same set of commands in order to eliminate confusion and not prolong to learning process.
Below are a list of commonly used commands:
“NO” An obvious one! Means “stop whatever you are doing!”
“OK” A release word – used to end training session/release Pup from stay.
“ENOUGH” Means “what you were doing is OK but now I want you to stop”. Useful to stop barking, playing rowdy games, etc.
“LEAVE IT” Means “Leave it alone!”-Useful for getting your dog to leave food on the ground, the neighbor’s cat or that kid with a cookie in his hand alone.
“OFF” Means “Get your paws off the furniture/guests/baby gate” etc.
“SIT” Pup should be taught to “sit” and “wait” for treats, before going out the front door, while food dish is being put down, etc. Have puppy sit when company first arrives to short-circuit jumping.
“COME” Puppy should learn to respond to your voice and come even when it can’t see you.
“DOWN” A down stay is a great exercise to gently but effectively reinforce your leadership status and calm a crazy adolescent pup!
“STAY” Means “Don’t move!” Your pup can shift its weight and look around but can’t get up to leave or change positions (i.e. a sit to a down). Excellent exercise for reinforcing your dominance and can even save your dog’s life. This is one of the hardest exercises for a young pup and you may want to save it until last. Be patient but insist that your puppy stay put when you tell him to!
“WAIT” is a less formal version of stay can be taught early on-it means you can sit/stand or wiggle around but basically stay in the same spot.
“HEEL” Walk by my side.
Speeding up the learning process
The best way to speed up the learning process is with training treats and daily repetition. Spend at least 15 minutes a day focusing on one command. Your dog will catch on pretty quick when they learn you have treats. Once they are consistent with treats, start giving the same commands with treats half the time and without treats the other half. Ultimately you will wean your pup off of the prize and they will consistently be looking to you for direction.
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