Ah, the excitement of bringing home a new puppy! They have so many things to explore, so many things to do but it’s our job to make sure they can explore safely and securely. This is why you must teach them certain commands to make sure they are safe. Which are the most important commands to teach your puppy? Let’s find out.
5 Most Important Commands To Teach Your Puppy
While you can teach them all the advanced command as you want to in the future, you must start with the basics. The commands mentioned below can actually save their life, but for the most part, it makes life easier for both of you.
This is probably the first command they learn. We teach them to sit before getting their meals, or just during training sessions. Sit is the first command most dogs tend to learn and they usually learn it fairly quickly.
However, with the time you need to perfect their sit so that they learn to sit even when you are not looking at them or when there are guests in the house, etc.
Reasons To Teach Your Dog How To Sit
Your dog must know how to sit because:
- Allows them to settle down and stay focused on you
- If you have a big dog, a basic sit will protect guests in the house, especially those who are afraid of big dogs jumping on them.
- Opening their mind up for newer, more difficult, commands
How To Teach Your Dog To Sit
Stay is usually very easy for your puppy and they get it after a few tries. All you have to do is take a treat and slowly bring it above their nose. Your puppy may try to paw at the treat or stand on their hind legs. Be patient and release the treat as soon as their butt touches the ground and say ‘sit’.
Repeat it a few times with the lure and they will soon understand what you want them to do when you say sit. Remember to be consistent and gradual. Puppies that know how to sit when you are right in front of them, won’t know to sit when you are standing a few meters away from them. The point is to build up to it, slowly and gradually.
Stay is another important command to teach them. Usually, we teach it along with sit because sit. Now that you got them to sit, you have to lock them in position for a short period of time. So, in that way, sit and stay comes hand in hand.
Benefits Of Teaching Your Dog To Stay
- If your dog is yet to solidify their ‘come’, a well-learned stay will keep them safe when they are outside and give you enough time to leash them
- Stops them from coming closer to anxious dogs and owners
- If ‘stay’ is taught well it will help them settle down in front of kids
How To Teach Your Dog To Stay
Sit and stay are usually taught simultaneously. Once your dog has understood the ‘sit’ command, you can delay the treat by a few seconds. Start by waiting for a second. If your dog stays in the sit position, praise them and give them a treat.
As they understand that they need to wait for the treat, you can slowly introduce them to the word ‘stay’ and hand motion. Many people hold their palm in front but you can really use any hand motion as long as it is consistent.
‘Come’ is very helpful to teach them. It will certainly make things easier for you when it’s time to go home after playing with their friends in the park. But remember that it’s one thing to teach a basic ‘come’ and to teach your dog to come no matter what.
Why Should You Teach Your Dog To Come
- You won’t have to wrestle them when it’s time for a bath or when it’s time to go home
- When they understand how to come every time, you can leave them off leash with confidence
- When you ask them to come to avoid a dangerous situation, you prevent them from getting lost and on the road
How To Teach Your Dog To Come
Remember that if you want to teach your dog to come even when they don’t want to, you have to start slow and be consistent.
Come is often the hardest for dogs to follow when they know that something unpleasant, or boring is going to happen to them. So always try to make yourself sound more exciting than whatever that is keeping them interested and give them a reward each time.
Initially, you may have to embarrass yourself with loud movements and high pitched tones to get them to come. But eventually, you will get your dog to understand what ‘come’ means. Remember that to make them follow come each time, you must reward them either with treats or with play every time they come to you.
4. Leave It
‘Leave it’ is slightly more difficult for dogs to learn because it is usually asking them to stop investigating something they really want to investigate. But with the right kind of training and patience, you can get your dog to leave just about anything.
Why Should You Teach Your Dog To Leave It
- You can protect them from ingesting toxic inedible things
- You can protect them from ingesting human foods that are not good for them
- When they know how to leave things alone, they are less likely to get into fights with possessive dogs
How Can You Teach Your Dog To ‘Leave It’
Initially, you may have to create a barrier between them and the thing they are interested in. Start by dropping their favourite treat on the ground and putting your hand over it.
Depending on your puppy’s personality, some may learn immediately while others may nip or paw at your palm. Stay strong and only reward them after they have stopped picking at your hand.
Do this a few time and once they understand to leave the treat when your palm is over it, you can pair their action with the verbal command ‘leave it’. Then you can gradually start to train them without using your hand as a barrier.
5. Leash Walking
Leash walking is usually taught to puppies that are above 2 and a half to 3 months old. This is the perfect time for them to meet new people, objects, dogs and puppies and behave on a leash.
This takes a little longer to master and, contrary to popular belief, you can’t just put a leash on a puppy and hope for the best. You must actively train them to behave on their leash.
Why Should You Teach Your Dog To Walk On A Leash?
- It will stop unwanted behaviours like leash pulling
- It will protect their neck, chest and back from getting tugged by a leash
- They will be easier to handle around the company of other people and dogs
How To Train Your Dog To Walk On A Leash
It takes months to teach them how to walk on a loose leash and you will also have to use a range of other commands like ‘leave it’, ‘come’ etc.
Start small; you can start teaching them how to walk on a leash inside the house when they are just a little puppy. Praise them for good behaviour. You should initially use treats and toys to encourage them to behave well and slowly wean them off treats.
Once they know how to walk well at home, you can start training them how to walk on a leash in front of your house. Then you can slowly increase the duration outside. Gradually introduce new people and new dogs with every passing week and slowly you will have a perfectly trained dog who can walk on a leash.
Important Things To Keep In Mind While Preparing Your Dog For Success
We understand that you are working very hard to make sure that your dog is on their best behaviour. But you need to make sure that you keep some things consistent throughout their training.
Here are things you should do when you prepare your dog success:
1. Using A High Currency Reward
Everyone needs a strong incentive to do something. Dogs are no different. Commands like sit and stay are so unnatural to them at first, so they need something to motivate them.
Some dogs are treat motivated while others love to play. Keep an eye on your dog and see what motivates them the most. If your dog is motivated by both, you can use different rewards for different situations. Like rewarding them with a game of fetch when they are out on a walk and rewarding them with food when they behave in the kitchen, will keep things interesting for them.
2. Be Consistent
The only way that you can prepare them for success is when you make sure they get it right every time. You can only do this when you are consistent even when the environment around them is different.
So, when you are increasing the difficulty, make sure you are consistent with your verbal commands and your visual signal. Many people unintentionally change visual signals which completely throws the dog off.
3. Always Show Them What To Do
There are two ways to train your dog. One is to show them what to do and the other is to show them what not to do.
Dogs that usually have behavioural issues or are less likely to listen are the ones who are punished for doing what they aren’t supposed. The reason why this method doesn’t work is that owners resort to physical correction which may lower the dog’s confidence but it also doesn’t show your dog what they should do.
While teaching them what they should do, you are constantly setting them up for success.
So here are the 5 most important commands to teach your dog. We hope that after reading this article, you were able to keep your dog safe by making them stay or come on time. How did you teach your dog the above commands? Share your tips in the comments section below.