Essential Dog Training Commands

Training your dog seems like a lot of work, but it’s the best thing you can do for the both of you. Teaching your dog new commands doesn’t have to be difficult – in fact, if you follow our training tips, it will be easy and rewarding for everyone involved!


Sit: This command is the most basic and the easiest for your dog to remember. When you say “sit” your dog should immediately sit on their hind legs, with their front paws straight in front of them and their back end straight up (like a little tripod). They should also have their tail down as they do this.


“Down” is a great command for both dogs and puppies to learn. It can be used as a way of keeping your dog from jumping on people or chewing on things it shouldn’t, but also as an exercise in obedience.

To teach your dog to lie down and stay put, you’ll need three things: patience, treats and time. Start by getting your puppy’s attention with a treat in hand then say “down.” As soon as the pup drops down onto all fours, praise her enthusiastically and give her the treat!

You’ll want to repeat this process over and over again while gradually increasing the amount of time between when you tell her “down” until she gets up again once she hears it. If at any point she moves while still lying down (perhaps because she wants more treats) simply start again from scratch – this will help remind her that staying still when told “down” is meant as permanence not temporary compliance with instructions


The stay command is used to tell a dog to remain in place, not to move forward or back. It’s considered a useful command because it helps you keep your dog under control while you’re teaching him other commands, such as “come” and “sit.” Use this command when you’re at home with your dog, so he doesn’t wander off somewhere unsafe while he’s on his leash.

To give the stay command:

  • Say “stay,” then walk three paces away from your dog. If he attempts to follow you, pull on his leash gently until he looks up at you again; repeat this step two more times before giving him praise for staying in place.
  • Reward him with food if needed (not too much though—you want just enough that he feels motivated).


  • The first command you should teach your dog is “come.” This will help you keep your pup safe, especially if they’re running around and playing off-leash at the park or chasing after a ball in the backyard. It will also be useful when your dog gets older, because it’s helpful to have them return when called (especially if they’ve been chasing squirrels).
  • Make sure he sees you with a treat in hand so that he knows what to come for. If he doesn’t know what you want him to do yet, try using his name instead of using food as an incentive for now.*

The best way to train any behavior is through repetition and practice! Make sure that each time your pup comes back from running away from you with something in his mouth—like a tennis ball or stick—you reward him immediately by giving him another treat so that he associates coming back with good things happening for him.

If at first your puppy isn’t responding well then try walking away from him while calling “here!” over and over again until eventually just saying “here!” alone causes him come running right back towards where ever it was last heard coming from.*

Leave It!

This command is great for keeping your dog from eating things they shouldn’t. It can be used to stop a dog from chewing on shoes or digging in the trash, but it’s also useful for when you want to take away something that will hurt your dog if they keep eating it. For example, if you’re outside and see your dog about to eat a bee or spider, give them this command before they get stung!

This command is very easy to train and is often one of the first commands people teach their pups. Here’s how:

  • Have some treats on hand – always have treats with you!
  • Show them the treat (this can be food or a toy) and say “leave it”, then give them the treat when they leave their mouth alone


A dog that doesn’t know “off” can be a nightmare in the home. Some dogs think that every surface is their personal playground, and if they see something they want, they’ll grab it, even if it’s not theirs. This is especially bad with food. People usually don’t mind sharing their food with a canine companion, but not everyone wants to be greeted by their cat or dog at the dinner table again after the first time was enough!

It’s important for your dog to learn “off.” If you’ve got kids who want to play with him or her while they’re eating, this command also comes in handy there too!


After mastering the basics of “sit” and “stay,” your dog is ready for more advanced training. One of the most important commands you can teach your pooch is “heel.” This command lets you take control of where they walk so that they don’t run into traffic or get too close to other people or animals.

To train this command, first make sure you have a leash on your pup. Then pick a safe environment such as a park with no crowds or other dogs present. Walk with your dog on-leash until he gets used to following along behind you at a short distance (typically around 10 feet). When he’s comfortable that way, start increasing the distance between yourself and him so that he learns not only to stay close but also pay attention when walking next to strangers who may not be aware of his presence.

Drop It!

The drop it command is a valuable tool for many reasons. You can use it to get your dog to drop a toy, or a treat he shouldn’t have, such as trash or food on the ground that’s not his. It’s also helpful in cases where you don’t want him chewing on something — like your shoes!

Drop It is an important command because there are many situations where you will need your dog to release whatever it is he has in his mouth. When training a puppy, the drop it command should be one of the first commands taught because it helps prevent accidents and injury. In addition, this skill will come in handy when training other commands such as sit and stay later on down the road.

Training your dog well is the best thing you can do for the both of you.

The most important thing to remember is that training your dog well is the best thing you can do for both of you. A well-trained dog is happier, more confident, and better behaved—and this will make it easier for them to be a good member of your family and community. They won’t be afraid or aggressive when they’re out walking with you, which means that they’ll get along better with other people too!

And training your dog will make you happier too. Training should be fun for both of you—trainers who enjoy their work make training much more effective than trainers who don’t enjoy what they do. If teaching your dog new things can be an enjoyable experience rather than just something that needs to get done once in awhile (or worse yet, only when things go wrong), then it’s much more likely that both of you will look forward to future opportunities for learning together!