5 Basic Commands All Dogs Should Know

When your dog misbehaves, do you ever just have a total freak-out? If you can relate, then your dog is obviously lacking discipline. While it’s unfortunate to scold them for behavior with which you can empathize, it doesn’t change the fact that it’s what you need to do. The more severe cases sometimes only respond to punishment. But if you’d rather steer clear from that, then you need to learn some basic commands. Here’s a list of commands all dogs should know.


Walk is one of the most basic commands that all dogs should know. Walking on a leash is an important part of ensuring your dog’s safety and security when outside of your home. It teaches your dog control and good manners when interacting with other dogs and people.

Teaching your dog to walk correctly on a leash is essential for successful walks and will make your life easier. It is important to create a positive association with leashes by introducing it to your dog in a fun and lighthearted way.


Sit is one of the most basic commands that is important to teach as it is a simplified way of teaching your dog to stop what they are doing and refocus their attention on you. Begin by having your dog stand, using a treat or their favorite toy as a distraction.

Slowly bring the treat or toy up above their nose and over the back of their head, at the same time saying the word “Sit”. The goal is to have the dog naturally move their rear end down to the floor.

Lay Down

Teaching a dog to lay down is a simple process which can be done with either verbal or physical cues. To start, hold a treat in your hand and place it on the ground a few inches in front of the dog.

As the dog starts to put its weight downward, issue a reward and keep repeating until the dog has mastered the command. To help the dog stay in the lay down position, keep its attention on the treat and slowly move it away from the dog while saying its name.


As the foundation of obedience training, the stay command is crucial to teaching a dog to show self-control. Stay helps set boundaries and solidifies the dog’s recognition of the owner as the pack leader.

The command can be used in many situations, such as at the vet or for a visit to a friend’s house. Knowing how to stay in place will prevent a dog from running into traffic or chewing things they shouldn’t.


Heeling is the method of the dog walking at heel on the handler’s left side, keeping up with the handler’s pace and staying close to the handler’s leg. The dog should look straight ahead, never straying ahead or lagging behind the handler.

Teaching the heel command may take some patience and practice but the benefits are great for both the dog and the handler. Heeling is an important behavior for a well-mannered pet, making it easier for them to accompany their handler almost anywhere.

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Learn More About Basic Commands for Dogs

Teaching basic commands to your dog can provide structure, build obedience, and provide an enjoyable experience for both you and your pet.

Developing these foundational skills is key to having a well-behaved pet. If you want to learn more about basic commands, consider reaching out to a professional dog trainer.

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Carla Gayou
Carla Gayou

Carla is a high performing marketing professional with 5+ years of experience driving growth of in a variety of corporate and entrepreneurial environments. Strong command of digital operations with exposure to influencer marketing strategy, branding, analytics, SEO/SEM, customer success, content development, and social media Core expertise lies in managing end-to-end campaigns, creating memorable content, and facilitating improved conversion rates to enhance e-commerce operations. Adept in ensuring alignment with organizational goals, facilitating streamlined operations, and leveraging a data driven strategy used to make insightful marketing decisions.