7 Essential Commands Your Dog Needs to Know

basic commands for dog training

Whether your new dog is a puppy or an adult rescue, she undoubtedly needs obedience training. A well-behaved pup should specifically respond to the seven instructions: Sit, Down, Stay, Come, Heel, Off, and No, to develop into a respectable canine citizen. Because most pet owners will use these cues regularly with their animals, experienced dog trainer Brandon McMillan refers to them as the “seven common commands.” McMillan is the Lucky Dog host and author of the book Lucky Dog Lessons: Seven Days to Train Your Dog. He teaches them these training methods to keep his rescue dogs safe and well-behaved, whether they spend most of their time in the backyard, at the dog park, or roaming around the neighbourhood with their human companions. Most pets can learn these essential skills in about a week or two with daily practice sessions that last between 10 and 15 minutes.

1. Sit

For most dogs, the sit command is the most natural, so McMillan always teaches it first. As a result, it’s also one of the easiest for them to learn, and after just a few lessons, even pets without any prior training may master it. Also, sitting is a transitional command, so you can move on to other orders once a dog can do it.

2. To sit or lie down

McMillan compares removing the keys from the ignition to his go-to dog training technique, Down. A dog might leave the scene like a running car because nothing keeps her in place while standing. Like a car in a park, a dog in a sitting position can easily boogey out of it. But as she was lying down, you switched the engine off. The ability to control your dog with a command also makes it a great place to start when more difficult learning techniques, such as rolling over or appearing dead.

3. Stay

She was staying is one of the essential skills for any dog to learn because a dog who knows how to stay will not wander onto the street if she becomes stray. McMillan suggests training your pup when she is both tired and hungry to prevent it from getting too energetic to focus. Be patient as well; it often takes dogs a few days to master and sometimes even a few weeks to perfect the command “Stay.” Keep some treats or kibble available, and keep training your dog until she is adept since it keeps her safe.

4. Come

If you want to take your dog off the leash, she must know how to respond when called. It can keep her close while hiking or just playing in the backyard. It can also keep her away from the street if she wanders off during a fight at the dog park. McMillan teaches Come after Stay because having the Stay skill makes the process more straightforward in the beginning.

5. Heel

All dogs, regardless of size, should learn to heel or calmly follow you while walking. This is crucial if you walk your pup in a congested urban area with little room for the sidewalk. The ability is much more important for large or strong puppies who naturally tug on the leash. Walks will be more accessible and more fun for both your dog and your arm when your dog can heel.

6. Off

Jumping up on people or furniture is one of the most common dog issues, so if your dog can’t keep all four paws on the ground, don’t give up hope. McMillan suggests encouraging her to stay off, turn her back when she gets up, grip her feet, and shake a plastic bottle full of pennies while you shout, “Off.” All those objects discourage jumping, so test a few to see which one your pup prefers.

7. No

According to some dog trainers, use “no” when the dog shouldn’t do something and “leave it” when you don’t want them to examine a specific object or event. To keep things straightforward, McMillan maintains his position of No, period. He says that the word “No” is a good, all-purpose command for whatever you want your pup to refrain from doing because trying to distinguish between the two may confuse people and animals.