16 Key Training Essentials to Implement

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Alka Paul
Your furry friend is your perfect companion for life. But have you wondered how do your neighbours and friends feel about him? It all depends on how well trained your pet is. Learning commands makes your pet realise exactly what you want from him. And some of these commands are playful to do with your dog.
It’s important for your pet to be friendly, socialise and at the same time to be in control. Your pet needs to exist safely with other people, their pets and the overall surroundings. This comes with disciplinary training and some basic commands he should know. Though there are numerous commands to learn, your furry friend needs to learn a few important ones. You can begin teaching these commands the moment you get your new family member home. Even if you adopt an older dog, it is never too late to teach these commands.

Here are 16 essential dog training commands to make your pet–perfect.

1. Leash it up, but first ‘Sit’
This is one of the most essential commands your pet should learn. By teaching him to sit appropriately, you can control his behaviour in several situations. One common situation is when putting on the leash before taking him for a walk. The moment he gets excited to go out, this ‘sit’ command will allow you to fix his leash calmly.

2. Good boys away with ‘Stay’
This command is vital in situations where you cannot be next to your pet and you want him to stay away. For instance, when guests enter your home.

3. Don’t frown, just keep it ‘Down’
This command is a combination of ‘sit’ and ‘stay’ and is given to keep your pet in a relaxed position for an extended period of time. This command can be used when you have some workers at home or when you are out with him for a walk, where you suddenly catch up with a friend for a quick chat.

4. Steal the show with ‘Heel’
This command is used when you want your pet to walk next to you with the leash, without pulling you. When he starts pulling the leash, you can tell him to ‘heel’. Walking is the most important part of your pet’s day so with a little learning and practice you can make it stress free for both yourself and your furry friend.

5. Here you ‘Come’ Sugar Plum
Teaching your pet to ‘come’ when called is a key part of proper dog training. This command is also known as ‘recall’. You can teach this command as soon as your pet learns his name. This command can be used to control him in off leash areas or avoid dangerous situations where he may go after a snake or something unsafe.

6. Teach him ‘Off’
This command is for pets who are enthusiastic and have a habit of jumping on everyone as a form of greeting. Jumping is not accepted by many and can scare people, especially if the pet is large in size. Once you use this command, your pet will back off whenever he tries to jump on anyone.

7. Drop it or Leave it
Your pet will heed to this command when he loosens his grip or drops off the object from his mouth, when told to do so. It could be his toy or something unwanted (trash) while walking on the street.

8. Go ‘Fetch’ happiness little one!
‘Fetch’ command can be fun and enjoyable. This command is generally used when you throw a ball or a toy and your pet runs and brings it back to you. He should also allow you to take the ball and throw it once again. It is the perfect way for your pet to get some extra workout that can be converted into play time.

9. Take a deep breath, calm, and ‘Settle’
When your pet seems over excited or hyper, you can use this command to calm him down. ‘Settle’ command can also be used during a thunderstorm or when your pet is amongst large crowd or surrounded by loud noises and you don’t want him to get anxious.

10. Snooze and relax with ‘Go to Bed’
This command can be used when you want your pet to go to his bed or a particular place to relax while you do your work. You’ll have to create a space that your pet thinks of his own with his toys, soft bedding, and a sheet. With this command he’ll know it is time to go to bed!

11. To Bark or To Keep Quiet – that’s the question
You wouldn’t like your pet to bark all the time. Simultaneously you would want him to alert you of any possible danger. By teaching him when to speak, he will also learn when to be quiet. He will learn this slowly & steadily with lots of praise and consistency.

12. Make him understand ‘NO’
This command is taught by keeping a treat on the ground. The moment your pet goes forward to grab it, you will need to give the command ‘No’. When he stands still or comes to you, go forward and praise him. Then signal him to get the treat. This command can also be used when you want him to stop incorrect behaviour at home or outside, and he will instantly come back to you.

13. Teach him ‘Wait’ near the gate
When your pet walks towards the door, you’ll first tell him to ‘sit’ and then signal him to ‘wait’ by showing the palm of your hand. As he waits, you will open the door slowly. When he comes towards the door, you will shut the door to make him understand that he needs to wait until you open the door completely for him to exit. By doing this several times, your dog will understand that he cannot exit the door until you give him the nod such as a ‘yes’ or an ‘okay’ once you agree for him to walk out of the door. This is useful in circumstances where he may want to run out of public doors or exits on the road, putting himself in trouble.

14. Greetings and Love with ‘Shake Paw’
Shake Paw is just like a hand shake. You teach this command to develop a bond with your pet. You can teach him to lift both his front paws and say ‘shake paw’ each time you do it. He will also understand that it’s fine for his paws to be handled by you. Some dogs lift their paw when you offer them a treat, making it easier for you to teach this command.

15. ‘Show Belly’ – Prequel to his favourite belly rubs
This is a fun trick and adds trust between the two of you. When your pet rolls on his back and shows his belly, which is his most vulnerable position, it means he trusts you. He would love a belly rub at this time. This command will help you to eventually teach him the roll over command.

16. Let your fur ball ‘roll over’
Before you start teaching this command, you need to keep few treats ready with you. It starts with ‘Down’ command. Your pet will lay down and now you’ll have to make him roll. Hold the treat near his nose but towards his shoulder. He should turn his head to get the treat, so that he turns to his side. Let the treat be near his nose now and pull the treat around him, so he will roll over to grab it. Praise him and give him the treat.
Success Mantras
• Be regular and have patience.
• Do these exercises in a calm place.
• T ra i n i ng sessions should be short and fun.
• You must never punish your pet.
• Don’t force your pet or else he will lose interest.
• Reward him with praise and a treat for good behaviour.
• Get yourself involved in training, as your furry companion wants his best friend to play with.