Yes, a dog is man’s best friend. And, that friendship is a lot stronger – and more fun! – when you and your furry family member can communicate with each other. And, when you can help control his behavior to keep him – and you! – safe and happy.
The easiest, and most common way, to establish this relationship is by teaching your dog some basic commands.
We’ve all heard people telling dogs to sit or stay or use other words or phrases to affect a canine’s behavior and actions. And in this article, we’ll let you know how you can do just that!
There are so many benefits to this kind of training. You’ll enjoy your time with your dog more, and they’ll be relaxed and happy without using negative reinforcement or having frustrating interactions.
It’s also great for keeping tabs on your dog’s wellbeing! With open communication, so to speak, you can notice a change in your pet’s actions or attitude that could indicate a medical problem.
In that case, you can make a quick vet appointment to nip a small problem in the bud before it gets worse. That’s why it’s also a good idea to have dog insurance. That way, you’re always ready to get your furry family member the care they need without worrying about the cost.
But for now, let’s look at how to begin training your dog.
Starting Out: Basic Dog Training Strategies
Before we get into the actual commands, let’s talk about what goes into training a dog. That includes the theory behind it and how to set yourself up for success.
Create The Right Expectations
First things first: It’s important to remember that dogs don’t understand English (or any human language for that matter)! Even though they’re around people speaking it all the time, they won’t pick it up and understand what you or anyone else is saying.
Instead, you need to build familiarity for them with those word sounds. And a sense of reward when they react the way you want them to.
You’re choosing a command, teaching them to identify it, understanding what to do when they hear it, and then rewarding them.
Dog-Proof Your Home
Next, ensure you’re not running the risk of your dog breaking anything in the house – or hurting themselves during playtime or training! Remember, you’re teaching a dog some new concepts and actions.
The results may be unpredictable at first. So, establishing a safe, comfortable environment will make everything easier and less stressful for both of you.
Understand Dog Body Language
Your dog can’t talk to you, but they can still communicate how they feel! Know whether your dog is happy, calm, fearful, nervous, upset, or aggressive.
Calm Postures And Positions
A happy, calm dog will look relaxed. They may sit or lie down or expose their belly. You’ll also notice their mouth and ears open a little.
Signs Of Nervousness Or Fear
When a dog turns their head away from you, tucks their tail between their legs, crouches, or flattens their ears, it’s a sign they’re nervous or afraid. You may also notice yawning, shaking, or pacing.
Warning Signs Of Aggression
A dog that’s upset or about to get aggressive will bark, growl, and show their teeth. They may also become very still and narrow their eyes at you. Things get serious if they lunge or especially try to bite.
Remember these behaviors as you try your best to keep your dog happy and calm during training!
10 Important Commands For Dogs (And What They Mean) The ten most important and common commands for dogs are:
7. Go To Bed
9. Go For A Walk
“Sit,” “come,” and “stay” are your basic action commands. You want them to do that specific thing when you say those words.
“Release” means they can move from their positions. Use “Yes” to let your dog know they did the right thing! You can also follow it up with “Good boy,” “Good girl,” or another similar compliment – as long as it’s consistent.
“Outside,” tells the dog they need to leave the house and relieve them self. Use “Go for a walk” separately, so they know there are two similar but different actions.
“Go to bed” indicates that it’s time to go to their bed or crate.
You can use “Dinner” when it’s time for them to eat. Or, a variation like asking, “Are you hungry?”
More Tips And Tricks For Dog Training
Now that you’re on your way to training your dog, here are some tips and tricks to make it easier:
Tone Of Voice
Establish a tone of voice that’s friendly and patient. You don’t need to yell – your dog can hear just fine, and in fact, they can hear even better than you can! They’ll also know if your tone is angry, overly loud, aggressive, or frustrated.
That can make the process harder.
So, establish a pleasant, effective tone of voice during command training. And be sure to use it all the time when giving commands.
Consistency is key to training your dog! So is patience, which goes hand-in-hand. Keep showing them what you want them to do, give praise or reward when they do it, and then use the command word you want for it.
You’ll need to do this over and over. Usually, three to five times is good. Then, take a break and come back later. You don’t want to bore, frustrate, or overwhelm your dog by overdoing it for too long at one time.
Teaching a dog these commands takes time and patience. But, the strong, happy relationship you’ll have with your pet makes it totally worth the effort!