Being able to communicate with your dog is essential for a good relationship with them. If you’re looking for the first dog commands to teach your dog, we believe these two are it.
There are certainly benefits to taking a structured training class with your pup. However, these commands below can be taught right at home to get you both started on the right foot (and paw). The sooner you get started, the smoother things will be for you both.
Sit: Our Favorite of Dog Commands
Sit is one of the most basic dog commands. It’s also quite handy. That makes it a great command to start with. A dog who is able to understand the “sit” command will be easier to control than dogs who don’t. It helps to keep them calm. The sit command also prepares your dog for the more difficult commands such as “come” and “stay”.
How to Teach the Sit Command:
- Hold a small dog treat near your pup’s nose
- Slowly move your hand upwards, allowing their head to follow the treat. This causes your dog’s bottom to lower.
- Once they are in the sitting position say “Sit”, reward him with the treat, and give him praise (pet him and say good boy, for instance).
- Repeat this a few times each day until your pup has it mastered.
Once your dog has this mastered, begin asking him to sit in different situations. Try asking him to sit before a walk. Ask him to sit before mealtime. One of our favorite times to ask our pups to sit is right before walk time. When he is sitting, it makes it much easier to put him into his harness.
The “Stay” command is similar to “sit”. When your dog is in the “stay” mindset, they are easier to control. This command is helpful in a variety of ways. For instance, when you want them to not be underfoot (e.g., like when you’re cooking). “Stay” is also helpful when guests are visiting.
Remember, the “stay” command should only be attempted to be taught after your pup has down the “sit” command.
How to Teach the Stay Command:
- First, ask your pup to “sit”.
- Then, open the palm of your hand facing your dog in front of you with arm extended, and say “stay”.
- Slowly take a few steps backward. Reward him with a small treat and affection if he stays. Keep in mind, this may take several tries as they try to understand what you want from them.
- Gradually, increase the number of steps backward you take before rewarding him with a treat.
- Always, always reward your pup for staying put (even if it’s only for a few seconds).
Self-control can be difficult for humans to master. So be patient with your pup while he works to figure out this new command. This can be more difficult for new puppies and those dogs with lots of energy. Keep at it and you’ll be glad that you did.
These two dog commands are just the start. If you’d like to know more, just let us know.