8 Dog Training Commands Every Dog Should Know

There are some affiliate links below, but they are all products I highly recommend. For more info, view my disclosure here.

Dogs are amazing creatures that can be trained to do some pretty impressive things. Basic dog training commands are the foundation of a good training program. If you want your dog to obey your commands, you need to start with the basics and work your way up.

Below, we’ll review the most important basic dog training commands that every owner should know.

Dog Training Takes A LOT of Patience

Effective dog training requires you to have a lot of patience and the time to commit to training the dog correctly.

You must refrain from getting loud, angry, or abusive with the dog when training him. You have to remember that this is all new to him.

If your patience is running thin, walk away and try the dog training later. If you yell at your dog, you will only delay his ability to learn the commands.

Your dog’s reaction to hostility may even hinder him from learning any commands or tricks at all. So, be patient and loving when training your dog.

What Are The Different Types Of Dog Training Commands?

There are a variety of different dog training commands that can be used to train your dog. Some common commands include sit, come, down, and stay.

It’s important to choose the right command for the situation, as not all commands will work with every dog. For example, some dogs may respond better to a verbal command such as “sit” than a hand gesture such as pointing at the sit spot.

Our Roxy and Rico are Puerto Rican street rescues that we literally saved off the street. Roxy was abandoned in a box in our neighborhood, while Rico was found on the side of the road. I was working on improving my Spanish, so we’d use commands like sientate for sit down.

It worked, but we did also train them in English as that’s what worked best for us. I also used hand signals, which were super helpful for both Roxy and Rico to understand.

What Are The Benefits Of Using Dog Training Commands?

There are many benefits to using dog training commands. One of the most important is that it can help to train your dog in a more effective and efficient manner.

By being able to clearly communicate your wishes, you can ensure that your dog follows your commands without any confusion or hesitation.

Additionally, using commands can also help to build a strong relationship between you and your dog.

Through regular training, you can help teach them how to behave in certain situations, which can make life much easier for both of you.

The Essential Commands Every Dog Needs to Know

There are a few essential commands every dog needs to know in order to get along well in the home.

Other commands that may be helpful for specific situations, such as when you need your dog to stay away from a dangerous object, are also important.

It is important to be consistent with your commands, and to praise your dog when he follows them.

Let’s look at some of the most popular things to train your dog.

Sit

You need to know how to walk before you can run. The first, and most commonly taught command is Sit. This is a basic obedience command that all dogs should know.

Starting at the dog’s shoulder, use your left hand to lift up his right front leg and place your right hand just in front of his hip and say “Sit.” You may need to very gently push down on his hind end as you give the verbal cue. As soon as he sits, say “Good job!” and give him a treat.

Stay

Once your dog has mastered the sit command, you can move on to teaching him to stay. Stay is an important command for keeping your dog safe in potentially dangerous situations.

To teach this command, put your dog into a sitting position and take one step back. As soon as your dog stands up or moves, say “No” and guide him back into the sitting position. Once he stays in place for a few seconds, say “Good job!” and give him a treat.

Down

Down is another helpful skill for dogs to know. It’s easiest to begin while they’re sitting. Take a high-value treat and cover it with your hand on the floor in front of your dog. Slowly slide your hand with the treat further away from your dog to encourage them to lay down for it. As soon as they do, lift your hand and give them the treat.

Place

If you need to keep your dog in a designated location while calm and settled, the Place command is very helpful. You can start by guiding your dog to their bed, blanket, or crate. Anything with a designated boundary works, instead of just a corner of a room. As they step on the designated spot, reward them for it. 

You’ll also want to train them with a release command that tells them they can leave their place. Here’s a great guide to training the Place command! 

Come

The come command is another important one that can help keep your dog safe. This command tells your pup to return to you immediately. To teach this command, put your dog into a sitting or lying down position and take a few steps away from him. As soon as he stands up or starts to move, say “Come” and run towards him while clapping your hands. When he gets to you, give him a treat and lots of praise.

Fetch

One of the most common ways to train a dog with a dog toy is fetching. Using a basic tennis ball, or smaller ball depending on the size of the dog; is not only fun for you but can also be fun for the dog.

This can seem challenging at first as many dogs are naturally good at chasing the object in question, but not so good at returning with it.

But, with a little patience on your part and some treats as motivation, your dog will quickly learn how to bring the toy back to you.

Now, to get them to actually give it to you so you can throw it again. First, you want to teach the dog to release the ball.

This may take a load of patience and persistence, but you know, persistence always pays off. Pull the ball out of the dog’s mouth while saying “drop”.

Drop

If you repeatedly teach your dog that “drop” means the ball is no longer in his mouth, the more likely he will catch on to this trick and be more receptive to the other tricks you will be teaching him.

With a little patience, you can have a well-trained dog that knows all of the basic commands.

Just be sure to take your time, be consistent with your training, and always use positive reinforcement when he does something correctly.

Go Potty

This one was a lifesaver when trying to house train Rico. It gave him a verbal cue that’s been helpful to this day, especially after moving to our new home!

I would repeat it every time he pooped, and now it’s a great cue if he gets distracted and forgets to go potty before coming back inside.

How to Reward Your Dog for Following Dog Training Commands

It is always important to reward your dog anytime he follows a command properly, or even if he only halfway follows the command.

You have to remember that your dog is attempting to do things he has never done before. So, during the initial stages of dog training, be more liberal with the rewards.

Dog toys are not just for play or boredom busters for dogs, training your dog with dog toys can be an effective and fun way to train your dog!

What Should I Reward My Dog with for Good Behavior?

Our preferred dog training reward method is positive reinforcement. Most professional dog trainers use this method.

Positive dog training includes giving your dog lots of love and praise each time he completes a dog-training obstacle.

We also use high-value training treats for Roxy, who has always been very food-motivated. Rico is not typically food-motivated, so for important skills we used bits of bacon, which was his love language! 

If you are just now teaching him these tricks you will have better results if you give him praise for even attempting to do the trick or for at least giving you attention during the dog training process.

Be Consistent With Dog Training

Keep practicing these basic commands with your dog and before you know it, he will be responding to them like a pro!

Rewarding Good Behaviour Once Your Dog is Fully Trained

Eventually, you will have to wean the dog off of expecting lots of treats or excessive praise and positive reinforcement each time he does as he is told.

One day your dog will be fully trained and you will not have to reward him for each command followed or trick pulled off, besides telling them they did a good job.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep giving treats or praise at all; just not as often and over the top. You want the dog training you and the dog went through to feel like second nature for the dog.

Keep Adding New Tricks

These are just a few of the basic dog training commands that every owner should know. Be sure to research more commands and tricks to train your pup.

Dogs are eager to please their owners and with a little bit of patience, you can have a well-trained dog in no time!