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8 Best Commands to Teach Your Dog
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8 Best Commands to Teach Your Dog

While your dog will never be able write a Shakespearean sonnet, there are certain things they should learn how to do. And you can teach them! Who knew you signed up to become a teacher when you bought or adopted your pup? All dogs should know some simple commands to ensure they can live courteously and politely alongside you and society at large. Here are the 8 best commands to teach your dog.

Dog being trained

Why Teach Your Dog Commands?

It’s pleasant being able to communicate some basic commands to your pup that they understand. It helps strengthen your bond with them and training provides healthy mental stimulation. Mental stimulation keeps your dog happy. 

Additionally, you can protect your dog if they’re trained, especially outside in unfamiliar environments. You can stop them from eating something gross like poop or dangerous like grapes. If they try to run into danger, you can call them back. Training also helps your dog in social situations with new people. 

8 Best Commands to Teach Your Dog

The most useful commands to teach your dog are:

  1. Sit
  2. Down
  3. Stay 
  4. Heel
  5. Look at me
  6. Come
  7. No
  8. Drop it

    Training a puppy

    1. Sit

    Teaching your dog to ‘sit’ is an all important command and perhaps the most commonly used. This helps in all kinds of situations: it can anchor a dog during a chaotic situation, it can help keep them out of danger before crossing a street and tells them they need to exercise a bit of patience. 

    • Raise a treat above their head until they sit, then give the 'sit' command.
    • Give your dog the treat and praise.

    2.  Down

    Some dogs take to the command ‘down’ with enthusiasm, while other dogs are too enthusiastic to take to this command naturally. It’s a good idea to stick with this one though, since getting your dog to lay down is a really useful command to have access to. This command helps ensure their ability to leave something alone and stop their impulse to run off after something small and furry.

    • Let your dog smell a treat in your closed fist.
    • Move your hand down to the ground, so that they follow, then give the 'down' command.
    • Give your dog the treat and praise.

    3. Stay

    The command ‘stay’ comes in handy when you need your pup to keep out of trouble without needing to be there to control them. The best trained dogs can stay in one place for ages waiting for their verbal release cue.

    • Get your dog to sit, give the 'stay' command, then slowly back away.
    • Give your dog the treat and praise.

    4. Heel

    One of the struggles that pet parents often face is keeping their dogs calm while walking. The ‘heel’ command ensures that your pup sticks to your side like glue. It’s tough to be cooped up all day without being able to explore the great outdoors and it’s easy to understand a dog’s impulse to go wild whenever they’re let out of the house. That being said, you don’t want them pulling your arm out of the socket every time you go for a stroll around the block! The ‘heel’ command lets your dog know you want them to calmly walk alongside you when you’re out on a stroll.

    • Keep your dog on a tight leash whilst walking and hold a treat above their head, giving the 'heel' command.
    • Give your dog the treat and praise.

    Puppy on a leash

    5. Look At Me

    Dogs get distracted easily and making sure they have a verbal cue that helps them visually focus their energy on you is incredibly helpful when there are tons of other interesting things to look at. In excitable states, it’s easier to have them follow instructions when they’re looking at you, and the command ‘look at me’ is a helpful step in the right direction.

    • Move a treat near to your dog's nose, then slowly move it closer to your face.
    • Give the 'look at me' command when you have your dog's full attention.
    • Give your dog the treat and praise. 

    6. Come

    Another great attention grabbing command is asking your dog to ‘come’ to you. This command gets your pup to stop whatever it is they’re doing and get to you. It’s a great command for all kinds of reasons. It works especially well when you’re looking to control your dog while out of the house.

    • Put your dog on a leash, gently pull them towards you and give the 'come' command.
    • As your dog comes over to you, give your dog a treat and praise. 

    7. No

    Speaking of controlling your dog’s behavior, the most basic command that you can have in your pocket to communicate displeasure with something they’ve done is the word ‘no.’ Knowing that your dog knows the command ‘no’ will help ease a lot of anxiety about communicating with them. Teaching them that ‘no’ means they’re doing something wrong helps them understand you and strengthens your relationship greatly. It will also greatly assist in the process of teaching them more complex commands.   

    • Let your dog sniff a treat in your hand, and give the 'no' command.
    • When your dog loses interest in the treat, give them a treat from your other hand and give praise.

    8. Drop It

    Being able to get them to drop something on command is important for their safety. If they've picked up something you're concerned is dangerous, that might be toxic, or it's simply something you don't want them to have in their mouth, being able to get them to 'drop it' is useful and could save them from getting injured.

    • Give your dog a toy to play with, then show them another identical toy.
    • When they drop the original toy to get the other one, give the command 'drop it' and give them the new toy. 


    These are some of the best commands to teach your dog that you'll both benefit from learning. Training is a fun bonding process for you and your dog. Remember to use patience and love while teaching commands and always reward your dogs well with treats when learning new tricks! Shop our Dogs Collection to find fun apparel to accompany your dog training activities!

    Dog hoodies for women

    Photo: @boopitsharper


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