No matter what you’re trying to teach your dog, you ca’t expect him to be trained over night. Learning how to train a dog basic commands will take time and patience. You’ll need to be consistent with your training efforts, and give your dog time to absorb the new information.
It’s best if he knows his name first, and, of course, you’ll want to give him adequate time to warm up to you, your home, your family and any other pets you may have.
Learning how to train a dog basic commands won’t take many you buying many dog training supplies.
You’ll need a treat or toy that highly motivates your dog, and he will need to be fitted with a collar or harness. It’s also best to have a leash with you, as it may come in handy if your pet proves to be easily distracted or more stubborn than you think.
How To Train A Dog Basic Commands: A Step-By-Step Video Guide
How to train your dog to come when called
In the video above about how to train a dog basic commands, I explain that you need to focus your training on one command at a time. I find it works best to teach you dog to come when called, then work on on the ‘sit’ command, and finally you can teach your pup to ‘stay.’
The commands that I’m explaining today build on each other. Learning how to train a dog basic commands will give you the foundation that you will need to continue on to more advanced methods of dog training.
Learning to come when called is something that most dog owners want their pet to learn shortly after being adopted, but that’s not a realistic goal.
One common misconception is that once your dog learns to recognize his name he will come to you when you call him. In fact, these are two different skills that you’ll have to teach your pup.
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If you’re sure that your dog knows his name, you can start training him to come when called. As I explain in my video, it’s best to use your pooch’s name as much as possible when you first bring him home.
When you first bring your new pet home, use his name whenever you speak to him so he will get used to hearing it and understand that when you say that word you are talking to him.
You will need to stand 10-15 feet away from the other person. The object is pretty simple. You just kneel down to the dog’s level and take turns calling your pooch back and forth.
Wait until the dog fully reaches the other person and they have time to praise him before you begin calling him in the other direction. It’s best to use verbal praise and affection for rewards in this case. If you both have treats, your dog may not want to leave one person to go to the other.
If you don’t have another person to help you when you’re learning how to train a dog basic commands, you can try the “one person method.” It’s a bit more difficult, but the idea is still the same. You need to get at least 10-15 away from your dog and then call his name until he walks over to you.
You don’t want to use treats as a reward with the one person method either. Praise and affection will do just fine.
If your dog realizes that you have a handful of treats he won’t stop following you around. It will be very difficult to get space between you two if he thinks you’re holding onto food.
How to train your dog to sit
Taking the time to teach your dog to sit will pay off greatly in the future. This command can be used as a building block for other types of training, and it can also make behavior training much easier as you’ll have a stepping stone to start with.
To begin, use a small treat that motivates your pet. Keep the treat in your enclosed hand and let your dog sniff it. He’ll know what is in there and be driven to earn the treat.
You need to be sure to use a vocal command along with the hand signal in the beginning. Eventually, you’ll want to stop giving the hand signal and train your pet to respond solely to your verbal cues.
Once your dog has sniffed your hand, bring your arm up while saying ‘sit’ in a firm voice. As you’ll see in my video, by raising your hand above your dog’s head it will cause him to follow the treat with his nose while dropping his butt to the ground.
As soon as your dog’s rear end hits the ground you need to reward him with a verbal cue, such as ‘good boy,’ and give him a treat.
When you hand him the treat, be sure to hold it out above his snout. This will keep the same posture (head in the air, butt on the ground). If you hold it down low or out away from him, it is likely that he will try to stand up and walk to the treat.
This is a bad habit that you don’t want to start. Your dog will quickly begin to think that ‘sit’ means quickly placing his butt on the ground and then standing up immediately. It will be hard to break this habit once your pet gets used to it.
As I mentioned, learning how to train a dog basic commands is time consuming and it won’t happen over night. You’ll need to use the “treat over the head” method quite a few times before your dog begins to understand the command.
You don’t need to master this step in one day. Take your time. Trust me, it will be better for you and your dog if you gradually work your way through the training process.
Once Fido will sit immediately once he hears the command and sees your hand move, you can gradually stop raising your hand so high, and you can also stop using a treat every time. Make sure you still give verbal cues each time and reward with verbal praise every time your pet does what you ask.
Once your dog has a better understanding of the command, meaning he sits on command without the hand gesture, you can begin to increase your distance. Take a few steps back and ask your dog to sit. You can bring the treats back if he needs a bit of motivation.
How to train your dog to stay
Now that your dog understands ‘sit’ it’s time to build on that. Before moving forward, you need to be 100% confident that your dog has full grasp on the ‘sit’ concept. This means that he performs the action without a hand signal every time.
When learning how to train your dog basic commands, you’re essentially working with building blocks. Once your pet understands sit, you can command him to sit down and then begin teaching him to stay.
The concept for this command is pretty simple. You want to start with duration and work up to distance.
What this means is that you will start by standing directly in front your dog, commanding him to sit, and then saying ‘stay.’ You’ll immediately give him a treat if he keeps his butt on the ground.
Making eye contact with your dog will help you a lot while learning how to train a dog basic commands. After you’ve done this many times, you can begin to build duration. Instead of treating directly after you give the command, wait a few seconds. If your dog stays sitting, give him a treat.
Now that you’ve built duration, you can begin to add distance. Gradually take steps from your dog after giving him the ‘stay’ command. If he gets up to follow you, simply walk back to your starting point and start over. If your dog needs some motivation, let him see a treat.
This doesn’t work for all dogs, as some will try to follow the treat. In most cases, your dog will want to work for the treat and he will sit while you back up 1-2 steps.
After you back up, treat your dog immediately so that he begins to see that what you’re looking for is him staying seated while you walk away from him. When learning to train a dog basic commands, you’ll find that proper motivation is the key to success.
Continue building duration until you know that your dog has a firm grasp of what it means to ‘stay.’ If you’d like, you can now add some distractions (like other family members or pets) to the mix. You can also try walking with your back toward your dog, so he understands that he needs to stay even when you’re not looking directly at him.