Dog Training Commands: Basic to Advanced

This list of dog training commands and step-by-step tutorials will help you teach your dog to be obedient and friendly. You will be able to teach your pet basic to advanced behaviors on cue and even teach your dog to respond with distractions.

Dog commands can be hand signals, voice commands or a mix of both. Most dogs will learn hand signals more easily than verbal cues but you can eventually teach them to recognize many different dog obedience commands.

You can even use words in a different language, for example it is very popular to use German dog commands, specially with German Shepherds. The advantage of using words in a different language is that your dog will learn to recognize and differentiate the sounds you make when talking to someone else vs talking to your dog.

Regardless of which language or dog training cue you want to use with your pet, you will find a list of basic dog commands and advance obedience commands to teach along with easy to follow tutorials.

Marker Word: the first word you should teach to your dog!

I know you are excited about teaching your pet his first command. That is great! But first you must make the first bridge of communication. So, start by teaching your hound a marker word.

This is a word or sound (like a clicker) you will use to tell your dog he did something right, like "good dog!".

Simply say the word and follow with a treat. Repeat until your pooch looks excited immediately after you say your marker word, but before you give him the treat. Now you can use it to mark a behavior and reward it!

This can be a powerful tool if trained and used correctly because it can speed up communication. It can also act as a reward itself!

Read the full article "Say 'Yes!' With a Marker Word" to learn more.

List of Basic Dog Training Commands

list of dog commands

I consider them basic because every dog parent should teach them to their pet. They will make living with your furry friend easier and more enjoyable!

As you learn more about them you will see links to pages for more information on a particular training method and other canine obedience tips.

Name recognition: It seems a little silly to formally teach your dog it's name, but this dog training command can be very useful to call your dog's attention. When formally trained it can be more reliable too.

Sit: this is the most basic of all dog obedience commands. All dogs can learn this cue in 5 minutes. I separated this command into 3 articles, from basic to advance levels to teach you how to progress with ANY dog training command until you get a reliable response.

Sit Level 2 - Sit Level 3

Down: Also a basic dog command but very useful. A dog that is laying down cannot jump, steal things and if you train down with a head down, he can't bark either!

Stand: Why would you ever want to teach the dog command stand to your dog? Many reasons, you can get him to stand up from the couch/bed easily and you can keep him in a stand position at the vet.

Stay: Very useful command to keep your dog in one position for a longer period of time.

Settle: if you need your dog to stop running around like crazy, this is the command to teach him.

Come when called: one of the most important dog training commands to teach your canine friend. If he can be recalled, he won't run away.

List of Advanced Dog Training Commands

I consider these advanced because you will need them if you and your pet participate in many activities like dog sports, dog service, competition obedience, etc. Even if you do not do any of those activities, some are very useful for every family dog.

For more advanced dog commands also read "Clicker Training".

Bark or speak: There are many reasons to teach your dog to bark. It can be a cure dog trick, it can scare off people and you can train it along with "quiet".

Quiet: If you have barking dog, teaching the dog training command quiet can be a blessing.

Leave-it: Teach your dog to NOT pick up things from the floor. It can be used at home or during walks.

Ask for permission: This is technically not a command, but something you need to teach your dog to do automatically before he runs away to chase something.

Touch or Target: This is actually a very easy dog obedience command to teach your dog, they love it and it can also be very useful to teach other more advanced dog training commands.

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How to get a reliable behavior on cue?

You will notice that most dogs learn the most basic dog training commands very quickly. However, you will also notice that they do not reliably respond when you ask. For example, your pet may obey every single time when you are at home, but as soon as you go to the park it's like he doesn't know anything!

If you want your best friend to learn any behavior, first you need to understand the steps of learning.

Read the "Reliable Dog Training Command Step-by-Step Guide"

And have your pet effectively respond to your commands!

Hand signals and verbal cues

Dogs are more visual oriented than they are verbal.

That is why they will learn to predict many things about your behavior based on your body language. Hand signals are a great way to teach your furry friend commands. Your pet will understand them faster than words!

Read "Talk To Your Pet With Hand Signals" to learn how to use them with your best friend!

We are more verbal oriented than visual.

That is why learning to teach your dog verbal cues is a must! Besides, it's always good to be able to talk when your hands are full!

Read "Teach Your Dog Verbal Commands" to learn how to use them with your best friend!

Make your dog training commands stand out!

We, humans, like to chat and chat. To dogs it sounds much like - blah blah blah - so, what happens when you say a command to your pet in the middle of a flurry of words? Can your puppy understand them?

A way to bypass this problem is to use cues in a different language.


These will sound very distinct from English and will help your hound discriminate a command from your day to day talking!

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