10 Basic Dog Training Commands & How to Teach Them

Every polite, well-mannered dog should know at least the ten basic dog training commands.  And every polite, well-mannered dog owner should know how to teach them. These basic dog training commands are what make dogs polite and well-mannered, allowing you to keep your dog under control.

Top 10 Basic Dog Training Commands

1. Come (Basic Recall)

To me Come, or basic recall, is one of the most important basic dog training commands there is.  This is different than emergency recall, which is only used in emergency situations.

Come can be used to get your dog’s attention, keep him from wandering off when enjoying off lead freedom.

2. Emergency Recall

Emergency Recall is another very important of the basic dog training commands.  Used only in emergency situations, instead of during basic recall.  We use the word “Now” as our emergency recall, prefaced by the dogs name, as all of our commands are, due to being a multi-dog household.

3. With Me or Heel

The most important basic dog training command for leash walking your dog.  Heel helps keep your dog from pulling on the leash, or lagging behind.  Important when approaching another dog or person on your walks.

4. Leave it

Telling you dog to leave something alone, or leave it, could possibly save your dogs life at some point in time.  It can prevent him from eating something harmful to him, or something that you’d rather him not touch.

5. Drop It

Like Leave It, Drop it is another basic dog training command that could possibly save his or her life.  If you don’t see something in time to prevent him from picking it up, then Drop It will have him dropping whatever it is he’s picked up.  It’s also great for dogs who sometimes want to turn Fetch into a game of tug, or catch me if you can.

6. Sit

Sit is usually the first of the basic dog training commands that people teach their dogs.  It’s relatively easy to teach, and easy for the dog to learn.  It also helps to keep their attention during training sessions, and the precursor to commands such as Lie Down and Stay.  Sit is really a great jumping off point to teach lots of other commands and tricks too.

7. Lie Down

Lie Down is another of the basic dog training commands that is the first step to teaching other commands and tricks.  Dogs can’t behave badly when they’re lying down, and rarely learn roll over without knowing Lie Down first.

8. Stay

Stay is one of the most useful of the basic dog training commands.  It keeps your dog still, thus keeping him out of harmful situations, or keeping him from being under foot.  It sometimes just lets you get in or out of the door without “help”.

9. Wait

Similar to Stay, Wait lets your dog know to stay still until you give him the okay, but that he will get to go soon. It’s great for keeping him or her from bolting out of the car, or house when a door is opened.  Or from trying to dash out of his crate as you unlatch it.

10. Okay (or Release/Go)

Okay is the basic dog training command that gives your dog the go ahead to come out of a Stay or Wait commands.  Your dog will learn this command when you teach him Stay and Wait.

Now, that you know what your dog needs to know, let’s learn how to teach each of the basic dog training commands.

This post is part of the series 10 Basic Dog Training Commands & How to Teach Them

Other posts in this series:

  1. 10 Basic Dog Training Commands & How to Teach Them (Current)
  2. Teaching Your Dog to Come (Recall) Command
  3. Teaching Your Dog Emergency Recall

Continue reading this series:

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