What dog training should every dog be given besides being trained to sit on command?

5 Essential Commands that Give You Total Control

Training is a great way to strengthen the bond between you and your dog. Get the basics right and you’ll have total control of the dog no matter what the situation.

1. Sit

Teach a hurricane proof “Sit” and put an end to jumping up.

Take a treat and hold it level with your dog’s nose
Raise the treat over and behind his head, as he follows it his butt will sink to the floor
The instant his bottom hits the ground say “Sit” and give him the treat
Repeat until the dog “sits” for the command only.

2. Stay

Teaching a dog to stay, can stop him running into the road.

Teach a rock solid “Sit”
Take a step away, say “Stay”
When he doesn’t move, step toward him and reward
Take two steps away, say “Stay”, step back and reward.
Either build up the distance first, or you can work on the time, NOT both at the same time.

3. Recall

Having a dog that comes when you call, stops him getting lost or in trouble.

Have the dog on a lead in a quiet place
Take a step away and in an excited voice say, “Fido, here!”
When the dog steps toward you give him lots of praise.
Repeatedly step away and call him, rewarding each time.
Now try calling, but without stepping away.
Try some sneaky reinforcement: When the dog happens to walk toward you, say “Fido, here!” to show him that action is linked to “Here.”

4. Targeting

Targeting is teaching the dog to touch an object (eg your hand) with their nose on command. This is a great way to distract them in a dangerous situation.

Rub a tasty treat on your hand
Offer your hand to the dog and when he sniffs it say “Touch”, praise him and give a treat.
Repeat until the dog touches your hand on command
Now move your hand slightly with the dog’s still nose still touching, and only give praise when he keeps his nose in contact so he learns to follow the hand.

5. Leave

A strong “Leave” stops a dog eating something he shouldn’t or swallowing that diamond engagement ring.

This method is clever because you’re teaching the dog to put his nose to the floor on command – giving you time to remove what he was about to eat.
Equip yourself with lots of tiny, tasty treats.
Scatter a handful of treats on the floor. When the dog gobbles them up, say “Leave” in a cheery voice.
Repeat: Now say “Leave,” and then scatter the treats on the ground. Hopefully the dog anticipates treats raining down and has his nose to the ground ready and waiting.
Repeat until the dog is looking at the ground when you say “Leave” but you’ve still to throw the treats
Now give the dog a toy to hold, say “Leave”, and scatter treats. The aim is for the dog to drop the toy and go for thetreats.
Now say “Leave”, but don’t scatter treats. When he drops the toy and puts his nose to the ground, give him lots of praise – and a treat!

By Ben O’Loughlin,

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