What Are the 7 Basic Dog Commands?

Discover the 7 essential dog commands that are crucial for every dog owner. Master these basic commands for a well-behaved and obedient pup.

What Are the 7 Basic Dog Commands?
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Hey fellow dog dads! It's Lee here, and today I'm diving into a topic that's key to any dog owner's toolkit: the 7 basic dog commands.

If you're like me and my bulldog Luna, you know that good communication is the cornerstone of a great dog-human relationship.

Let's explore these commands to make your training sessions more effective and enjoyable.

Understanding the Importance of Basic Commands

Training your dog with these commands isn't just about obedience; it's about safety, bonding, and mutual respect. Whether you're in the park or at home, these commands are the foundation for a well-behaved pup.

Read also: 5 things every future dog owner needs to know

1. Sit


The 'Sit' command is a fundamental starting point in dog training. It's perfect for calming your dog in various situations.

How to Train:

Hold a treat close to your dog's nose, move your hand up, allowing their head to follow the treat and causing their bottom to lower. Once they’re in the sitting position, say “Sit,” give them the treat, and share affection.

2. Stay


Stay' is crucial for keeping your dog safe and controlled, especially in potentially dangerous situations.

How to Train:

Ask your dog to “Sit.” Then open the palm of your hand in front of you, and say “Stay.” Take a few steps back. Reward them with a treat if they stay.

3. Come


This command helps you call back your dog in case they slip out of their leash or get distracted.

How to Train:

Put a leash on your dog, say “Come” while gently pulling on the leash. When they get to you, reward them with affection and a treat.

4. Down


This is one of the more challenging commands, as it puts your dog in a submissive posture.

How to Train:

Find a particularly good smelling treat, and hold it in your closed fist. Hold your hand up to your dog’s snout. When they sniff it, move your hand to the floor, so they follow.

5. Heel


'Heel' keeps your dog right at your side while walking – perfect for navigating busy areas.

How to Train:

Start your walk with your dog at your side. If they start to pull ahead, stop and call them back to your side with a treat. Repeat as necessary.

6. Leave It


This command helps prevent your dog from biting or eating dangerous items.

How to Train:

Place a treat in both hands. Show them one enclosed fist with the treat inside and say, “Leave it.” Ignore their licking, sniffing, pawing, and barking. Once they stop trying, give them the treat from the other hand.

7. No


A simple and clear way to communicate to your dog that their current behaviour is unacceptable.

How to Train:

When you catch your dog doing something they shouldn’t, say “No” in a firm (but not angry) voice. Guide them toward the desired behaviour and reward them for good behaviour.

Learning From an Expert

I learned these basic dog commands from expert trainer Brandon McMillian, author of "Lucky Dog Lessons: Train Your Dog in 7 Days".

Lucky Dog Lessons: Train Your Dog in 7 Days

A fantastic book for new dog dads.

Buy from Amazon

In his book, McMillian begins with the basics - building trust, establishing focus, control, and mastering training techniques. With several 1o to 15-minute practice sessions each day. It's possible you can learn how to train a puppy in 7 days.

I recommend reading McMillian's book and training these 7 essential dog commands with ease.

Final thoughts:

Remember, dog dads, consistency is key in training. Practice these commands regularly and in different settings to reinforce the learning. And most importantly, make it fun for both of you!

Training sessions are not just about discipline; they're about strengthening the bond with your furry best friend.

Got any fun training stories or tips of your own? Drop them in the comments below – Luna and I would love to hear from you!