Five of the Best Dog Commands

Five Dog Commands that will leave your friends speechless

Years ago, a popular segment called “Stupid Pet Tricks” entertained late-night talk show viewers of the David Letterman show, long before the advent of YouTube’s ubiquitous, hilarious pet videos.  We have a handful of great dog commands to use on your not-stupid pet, to entertain and amaze your friends at your next get-together!

Your incredible dog is just a click away

The following five commands all stem from “clicker” training outlined at DoggieBuddy.com. In case you are unfamiliar, a “clicker” is a small, inexpensive device, the size of a car key remote. It has a button that, when pressed, emits a distinct clicking noise. Clicker training has been popular for years and years, and it will help you train your dog to follow a variety of commands, from easy to more difficult. Let’s get started!

Click Bait

Teaching your dog to respond to the clicker is the fundamental instruction from which all the other commands emerge. You will want to “catch” good behavior with the clicker.[1]  Clickers are inexpensive and available at most pet supply stores and the internet.

The training is twofold:

1) Click the device when your dog has done something good, such as stayed put when you   asked, or came to you right away, when called.

2) Treat IMMEDIATELY. You want your dog to associate the clicker with the treats.

Repeat the two steps a couple dozen times in a session with your dog. High-volume repetition (per session) of this will help build the neural connections quickly.

The big takeaway for YOU here is: never CLICK without TREATING and never TREAY without CLICKING.  The only exception to this maxim will be found when we teach you the command “come.”

Ready for fun!

Once clicker training is complete, the real fun begins. The first command your dog will learn is so basic, but, really, it seems few dogs are trained in this foundational directive: the command to stop everything and “come.”

This command training is easy and only requires your clicker and a few treats.

This command is one that could likely save your dog’s life one day. Plus, you will feel more confident knowing that he won’t bolt from you toward every distraction.

Step 1- treat your dog first, without the clicker. Go up to your dog, say to him, “Here (Doggy)” and treat. Do this throughout the day, using different treats.

Step 2- Put a few feet between you two and say, “Here (Doggy)!” Give him a treat when he comes for his reward. NOW you can click and then do a “jackpot.” This is when you give multiple treats at once. Now you are ready to begin using the clicker to train this command.

Step 3- Once he reaches you, before giving the treat, reach under his collar. This will get him used to being held during this time with you.

Steps 4 and 5- Try calling him from other areas of your house, and calling him while he is preoccupied with an activity. Remember to change up the reward, and you can always just praise him, too!

Great Leap Forward

The second command will really turn your pup into a show dog: the “leap” command. Don’t teach this command without getting the all-clear from your vet, and puppies need to sit this one out.

Step 1- Lay a stick on the ground, and walk over it. Have your dog do the same. Once he crosses over it, click and treat.

Step 2- Repeat and then add some height with some books. Continue to click and treat.

Step 3- Gradually add more height until your dog can’t simply step over the stick. Now, start saying, “leap” prior to clicking and treating. Keep this up until your dog leaps on command. Be mindful of keeping the stick at a height which your dog can clear comfortably! If he can’t make it, it’s likely just too high and needs to be lowered.

Jump for Joy

Now that your dog can leap, add some fun props for the third command, Jump Through Hoops. Hoops are a perennial favorite, especially at fairs and the circus. Now, you can be the ringmaster!

Step 1- To get your dog used to the hoop, place it on the ground, then click and reward when he gets close to it.

Step 2- Have a partner hold the hoop, keeping it affixed to the floor, in front of your dog.

Step 3- Call your dog from the other side, then click and treat when he goes through it. Repeat.

Step 4- Now, elevate the hoop slightly and say, “leap!” Click and treat when he jumps through.

Dogs can learn to really love this trick!

Shake it Off

An oldie but a goodie command is our fourth one, to shake hands. Technically, the word is “paw,” but the result is the same and will impress your friends.

Step 1- Have your dog sit in front of you.

Step 2-When he lifts his paw, click and then treat

Step 3-Repeat this at least five times.

Step 4-Wait for him to lift his paw, even just a bit. Click and reward.

Step 5- Next time he lifts his paw, say “paw,” click and treat.

Step 6-Switch it up: say “paw” and then click and treat after he lifts it.

You can begin to only reward higher lifts, and feel free to tickle his paw to get him to lift it.

Take A Bow!

Now that your dog knows a few good tricks, it’s time to teach him how to bow out gracefully, like his human counterpart. The “bow” command is learned this way:

Step 1-Play rough, and when he is in the “bow” posture, click and treat him.

Step 2- Now, say “bow” when he assumes that position, then click and reward.

Step 3-Keep repeating until he obeys the “bow” command. Remember: it is crucial to “jackpot” your dog the first time he obeys a command!

Congratulations!  You are now the proud owner of a very talented dog! Go show off all your hard work-good job!

[1] http://www.doggiebuddy.com/topics/tricks/clicker.html

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