Dog Training: The Commands

The Commands and their structure, will play an important role in the progress and maintenance of your training. I think it’s very important to have a clear, simple command structure that you’re comfortable with, and that your dog can learn quickly. I’ve included my own command structure at the bottom of this post for reference.

Structure.
The first thing I recommend you do is write out your own list of commands (or you can print mine out!). The structure should be three parts; The Command (what you say), the expectation (what the dog should do) and the Use Case (when/how to use this command).
The common issue I see here is the handler will use different commands for the same expectation or desired behavior, but will not get the desired results in a timely fashion.

Don’t use similar commands for different things.
For example, when your dog jumps up and you say, ‘DOWN!’, that can get confused with ‘Lay Down’. An easy way around this is to use ‘Lay’ for lay down, but as shown in the structure below, I use ‘Off’ instead of ‘Down’, and I use ‘Lay Down’ for lay down.
The common issue I see here is that the dog will get confused when they hear a command and they’re not sure which one they’re supposed to do at that time.

One time.
I issue the command one time, after getting the dogs attention by using their name, and give them a moment to follow through with the command. If they’re not starting the expected behavior, i’ll issue the command a second time, a little louder, a little lower, and a little slower, both to ensure i’m being clear so they can hear me, and to let them know that I mean business!
The issue I see here is that giving the dog the command many times over will cause them to lose respect, or just not form respect, for the command given, and they’ll tend to ignore it.

By having a clear command structure, you’ll be able to teach your dog with clear directions and expectations. BY sharing that with the other handlers (anyone else living in the household), the dog will be able to obey the commands across the board, and will behave better overall.

Link to my command structure
Note that this is automatically updated anytime I make changes, so the version you get will always be the most recent version by using the link.


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