5 Essential Commands You Should Teach Your Dog

Successful dog training involves teaching commands that will consistently trigger certain behaviors from a dog anywhere, anytime. There are a number of dog training commands that dogs need to learn as part of their training, and these commands are important for keeping your dog under control and providing a sense of structure for him to behave in an orderly way.

The basic steps to training a dog should include these commands to help you best enjoy his company. There are common behavioural issues that can be managed through the inclusion of these basic yet important commands. While there is a lot to learn, here are 5 Essential Commands You Should Teach Your Dog:

  1. Sit. This is probably the easiest of all to teach your dog. Here is what to do:
  • Holding a treat close to the dog’s nose, make the dog follow the treat by moving your hand up. As a result, his bottom will lower.
  • When in such a position, say “sit,” and then give your dog praise and a small (fingernail-sized) treat.
  • Repeat this process a number of times on a daily basis until your dog performs the behavior reliably eight out of 10 times. Use this command when you need your dog to calm down or even before mealtime.



  1. Down. Teach your dog to lie down. It is good for all dogs to learn to lie down, especially when they grow up. Here’s how:
  • Hold a pleasantly smelling (to your dog) treat in a closed fist.
  • Hold your hand to your dog’s snout and allow him to sniff it.
  • Move the hand downwards so your dog follows it.
  • Slide the hand along the floor in front of him to make his body follow his head.
  • Say “down” and give him some praise and the treat.
  • Repeat the procedure each day. If he wants to sit up or lunge in the direction of your hand, say “no” and pull your hand away. However, don’t push him. Encourage him to get to the desired position.


  1. Stay. This command should be taught after “sit” and “down.” With the “stay” command, your dog can learn how to stay for half an hour or even more.
  • Ask your dog to sit.
  • Face your palm toward the dog and say “stay.”
  • Move a few steps backwards and give your dog a treat and some praise after responding correctly.
  • Increase the number of steps gradually prior to giving out the treat. Be patient with him till he learns it because it is not in a dog’s nature to stay in one position on command.


  1. Give. To get started, allow the dog get his favourite toy in his mouth.
  • Take hold of a toy; your dog will insist on having the toy at first.
  • Hold on, keep pulling, and he will at some point release it to you.
  • After that, give the toy back to your dog and repeat the process again.
  • The dog will lose interest in holding the toy at some point. At that moment, say “give.”
  • Repeat this process multiple times daily to get your dog to master the behavior.


  1. Recall. Every dog needs to master the recall command. This is especially useful because mastery of the behavior could actually save a dog’s life one day. Here is what to do:
  • Start in a quiet place to remove sources of distraction.
  • Engage in play to get your dog amped up and excited.
  • Praise him and give treats whenever he comes near you.
  • Next, have a friend hold your dog while you move a few feet away from him.
  • Call your dog’s name, and when he comes to you give him a treat and praise.
  • Repeat this process, lengthening the distance between you and your dog over time, treating and praising him with each successful recall.


These five commands are vital for any owner, but there are also many additional commands you can teach your dog. Get the services of professional dog trainers if you are not sure on how to get started.

Writer Bio

Mike Fournier is a dog trainer and a part-time writer at USEssayWriters. He has a rich background in training dogs especially on behaviour modification and using positive reinforcement to bring out the best behaviour and mannerisms in dogs. He understands the reasons why a dog behaves in a certain desired or undesired way!

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