There are many interesting and exciting tricks that it is possible to teach a dog but there are a few basic commands you should focus on before you try anything too fancy.
These commands will all come in handy on a daily basis and will help your pet to become more disciplined too.
To get you off to a good start, we have listed what we believe to be the 3 most important commands you can teach your dog, along with some hints on how to go about the task of teaching them.
Teaching Your Dog the Basics
It is important to note that teaching your dog basic commands may not solve any deep-seated behavioural problems he or she already has but they will provide a good foundation on which you can build in the future. All breeds of dog should be able to master these 3 commands without any difficulty so whether you have a toy poodle or a Great Dane, you can try these exercises at home
- Sit – This is one of the very first commands that owners of a new dog attempt to teach their four-legged friend and one that, if approached with patience, is fairly easy to master. The simplest way to get your dog to sit on command is to hold a treat by its nose then slowly move it upwards. As your dog attempts to follow the movement of the treat with its nose, it will naturally lower its bottom until it is in the sitting position. When this happens, give your dog the treat while saying the command out loud (“sit”) and make sure he or she knows how pleased you are.
- Stay – Once your dog has mastered the “sit” command, you can move on to “stay”. While your dog is in the sitting position, hold your hand, palm facing outwards, in front of your body and say the command, “stay” out aloud. At first just take 2 or 3 steps back and reward your dog if it stays sitting in the same position. Gradually increase the number of steps you take and reward as appropriate.
- Come – If you want to be able to control your pet when it is off the lead, you will need to train it to come on command. You can achieve this aim by attaching a lead to its collar, kneeling or sitting so you are on the same level, and gently pulling him or her toward you while saying, “come’. Give your dog a treat when it reaches you and repeat several times until you no longer need to pull on the lead. Once this stage has been reached, you can try the command without the lead.
If you are able to teach your dog these 3 basic commands, you will be well on your way to having an obedient pet. Other useful commands you may like to tackle include “down” – teaching your pet to lie down – “leave”, and “fetch” (which are both self explanatory).