Learning dog commands is not only part of raising a dog and obedience training, but also an excellent way to build a bond and relationship with the owner. Both a puppy and an adult dog should know at least a few basic commands, which will certainly come in handy for carers in everyday life. What are these commands?
„Come” – a life-saving command
Perfect recall and recall is the most important skill we should teach our pet. Unfortunately, as the reality shows, not many owners are aware of it, which can be seen every day during walks. In practice, however, without working out the command „to me” in various conditions, we should not let our dog off the leash outside a safe, fenced area.
In learning this command it is important to reward the dog every time. It is worth remembering that this command may save a dog’s life when it is leashed and heads towards a busy street or chases wild boars. However, to achieve this level of recall, it is necessary to train it all the time, gradually introducing various distractions and making rewards for coming more attractive. In time, with a well-developed command, we should not have any problem with recalling a dog from playing with his dog buddies or from sniffing after wild animal tracks.
„No” is another command which is extremely useful in everyday life and may also save a dog’s life. Especially if your furry one is a voracious eater and someone has scattered dinner bones or sausage with poison under your block. The command „no” is supposed to tell the dog that it should stop its behaviour because it will not bring it any benefit. It works as well for retrieving „illegal treats” from the ground as it does for trying to bite, jumping on guests or wanting to explode a pillow.
No one seems to need convincing about the usefulness of this command. Sit is usually one of the first commands a dog learns in a new home and at the same time one of those commands where a lot of mistakes are made. What are they?
First of all, we rarely practice giving commands from different positions and distances, so our dog tends to listen to us only when we are standing in front of him. Another mistake is not introducing distractions, so our furry becomes the master of his yard, perfectly executing the command in the house and going deaf as soon as he leaves the flat.
The last mistake is letting the dog go right after receiving a treat – the dog doesn’t know how long it should keep the sitting position, so it gives up the command when it wants to. However, we will write more about this later in this text.
Lie down is another popular command, one of the first that every dog learns. It may be useful when we don’t want our dog to disturb us, or when we want to cool down the furry one in hot weather using a cooling mat or prepare the dog for an examination at the vet’s surgery. As with the sit, the „lie down” command requires us to be consistent and practice distractions. This will allow us to show off an obedient dog in all conditions.
Whether we decide to introduce the command „stay” as an extension of the previous command, or whether we require the dog to stay in position for as long as we want after the command has been given – the release command is one of the most commonly used in everyday life and unfortunately also one of the most often forgotten by dog owners. It usually comes in the form of the word „okay”.
Communication with a dog should be very clear and simple. When we say „sit” the dog does not know how long we want him to sit. That is why a slow-down command is useful, thanks to which the dog better understands what we expect from it. When we say „sit”, we want him to sit until he hears another command or a command to slow down.
Apart from everyday communication, this command is extremely useful for example when feeding or leaving the house. The dog remains motionless until it hears a command from us, so we can calmly put the bowl on the floor or open the door. Introducing this command also teaches your dog to control its emotions and the principles of self-control, which makes it easier for it to function in everyday life.
Not all of our guests will enjoy the company of a dog throughout their visit. We, too, would sometimes prefer to eat our lunch in peace or simply do some work without having to stumble upon our pet. The command „to the place” will also help the dog to cope with excessive emotions connected with guests’ visits or the preparation of meals. Despite appearances, this command does not have to be a punishment for the dog. We can do a lot in the course of learning to make the pet associate going to its bed or cage as something positive.
Even if we sleep with our dog in a bed and the furry one lounges on a sofa in the living room most of the day, sometimes we need him to make some space for us. In such situations, the command „Off” turns out to be very useful. To learn it, we use hand following, which is also a valuable and necessary skill that allows us to place the dog in a specific, desired place.