When it comes to training your dog, many owners feel like the education stops after you establish the behavioral basics. On the contrary, that’s where further learning can start. Once you teach them to follow fundamental commands that keep them well-behaved in the home, you’ve set the groundwork for teaching them more complex skills. Here are four easy and fun commands you can teach your dog.
1. Shake Hands
Shake, or shake hands, is a classic command for first-time dog owners to teach their pets. It’s a gesture that dogs naturally perform when they want something. As such, it’s very easy to teach them to do it on command. Start by holding out a fistful of treats. Your canine will instinctually sniff your hand before pawing at it when they can’t get to the treats with their mouth. Make sure you give them the “shake” instruction or give them a unique sound command like a whistle, then reward them. This helps establish the association between the word or sound, the action, and the treat.
2. Speak or Bark on Command
You can also teach your dog to bark on command. While many owners consider barking a nuisance behavior, it can be a practical skill when managed properly. Patience is the key to this command because you’ll need to wait until your dog barks, then reward them for it. If your dog is particularly vocal, you might find that getting them to speak is simple. But, if your dog is on the quieter side, you might need to excite them with treats and play before they participate in the behavior.
3. Roll Over
The roll over command might seem advanced at first, but a bit of repetition and patience can help. Begin with your dog in the sitting position and use the lure of a treat to direct them into a down or lay down stance. Using a treat again, pull your dog onto their side and arc the treat over their head, directing the body to roll as it follows. Introduce a verbal or sound command, give them their reward, and repeat.
4. Fetch and Return
Another skill you can teach your dog is to fetch something from a distance and bring it back to you. Fetch is an incredibly useful command for both play and work because it incentivizes your pet to retrieve items in their environment. This is particularly helpful if you want to develop your dog’s search and rescue or hunting skills. Start by throwing a ball or a favorite toy, follow with a verbal or sound command and reward them with a treat upon their return.
Whether you’re looking to instill positive core behaviors in your dog or teach them more specialized commands, our dog training services can help. We cover all the fundamental commands such as sit or stay, but we can also assist you with how to properly approach training on your own. With these tools, you can teach your dog a diverse range of skills and build a stronger relationship with every bark, roll, and shake.