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Dog Commands: How Your Dog Learns the Most Important Signals

The dog’s long history of domestication goes back not least to the successful cooperation with humans. Dogs have long been – and still are – invaluable helpers in hunting, herd management,best drafting dogs and the protection of the house and yard. For communication, some common commands have been established, which you will find explained below.

Does a dog understand commands?

The intelligence of dogs has been conscientiously researched for a long time. In fact, it has been proven that clever four-legged friends can save and implement a repertoire of up to 250 words individually. In addition, there is the ability to interpret the facial expressions, gestures, and behavior of the people they know and to perform abstraction services to a certain extent.

Linking words with things or commands is not a big challenge for dogs – even if there are geniuses and rather simple-minded representatives among the individual animals.

A classic example of more complex understanding: In an unguarded moment, the dog has done something forbidden. If the owner comes unsuspectingly, the four-legged friend shows behavior that could be interpreted as remorse. Although the dog does not have a serious guilty conscience, he can retroactively establish a connection between the act and the known ban.

What are commands for in dog education?

In the education of a young dog, basic commands – dog trainers now prefer to speak of signals – are an important basis for harmonious cooperation, because the young animal must first learn what it is allowed to do and what it has to refrain from. Useful are e.B. “good/fine” and “no”. The basic commands serve not only to control and facilitate the handling of the animal but ultimately also to ensure its safety. Further education can be built on these dog commands: Desired behavior is rewarded, and unauthorized things are verbally marked as such.

Signals can then follow that guide the dog to sit, lie down or walk. As soon as the basic commands are in place, the more complex tasks are added. For example, which stimulates the dog to activities can vary depending on the dog’s environment, for example, following a trail, retrieving something – or simply giving with a paw or making males interact with their humans.

How can I teach commands to a dog?

To do this, you need to make a connection between the signal and the expected action. This requires patience and consistency: some dogs understand very quickly what you are asking of them, and others take a little longer. If possible, the learning process is the smallest step that can be understood more quickly. And: Practice only a few minutes at a time, but several times a day, instead of planning long units. The concentration range, especially for young dogs, is relatively short. An overload due to too long or too difficult practice phases can spoil the fun of the thing.

Examples of teaching dog commands

“No!”: Caught in unwanted behavior, you say “no” to the puppy in a sharp tone and briefly adopt a strict posture so that the dog is startled and lets go of his actions. It is important to distract the animal immediately and praise it for pausing so that it does not pause confused only briefly and then continue with the forbidden action. Thus, the young four-legged friend internalizes the command and combines it with “stop”.

“Come”: Make eye contact with the dog, lean forward or squat down and lure the animal with the command. If the dog comes, praise and reward him exuberantly: “Come” becomes something pleasant. If the young dog runs away instead, do not run after it, otherwise, it will become an exciting hunting game (from the dog’s point of view). Remove yourself from it – as soon as the dog tries to catch up with you, command and praise him. For safety, as long as the “Come here” does not work, you should use a tow line outdoors. Don’t scold when the dog dawdles: This can create exactly the opposite learning effect.

“Sit”: Lock the dog with a treat, but hold his hand so that the dog has to look up to you and give him the command. To keep an eye on the treat, he takes a sitting position that is praised extensively. You prevent jumping up or the like with “No”. Give the dog the treat while he is actually sitting and gradually extend the distances between sitting down and treat.

“Place”: Hold the treat in the closed hand, move it across the floor in front of the sitting dog, and say the command. If the dog follows with his nose and lies down, it is praised.

Important: Proceed in small steps. Initially, you can also reward the right impulse without the command being executed perfectly. For example: If the dog lies very briefly “place”, he is rewarded. Then he is allowed to jump up again immediately. Over time, you can then extend the intervals that he has to lie down to receive a reward. As soon as the commands are sufficiently linked, the use of treats can slowly be more economical and replaced by praise or stroking.

Dog Commands List

A number of command words have established themselves in German-speaking countries.

The most important dog commands

Seat – sit down

Space – lie down

Come/here – walk to the holder

Off–end an action or release an item

No – Demand an injunction

Look – attract attention

Next – don’t stop or be distracted

End – ends the current activity, for example, a game

Search – Prompt to follow a trail or find something

Bring’s/apport – Prompt to retrieve

You can find out how to recall your dog correctly in the guide “Recall for the dog”.

Basically, crate training rat terrier you can choose a very individual command for each situation. Fantasy words are also suitable as commands for dogs, as long as the same word is consistently used for a particular command. Short audio signs of one or two syllables are advantageous.

Videos: Seat, Seat, Stay

Apart from the fact that dogs have excellent ears and the commands do not need to be loud, you can also use a lot of body language and hand signals to guide your dog. Dogs that are used to paying attention to such signals are often very attentive to what their owner is doing.

In addition, it is the nature of animals to communicate a lot through body language. You, too, will learn to “read” your dog better and better.

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