5 Commands Every Dog Should Know

Every dog should know some basic commands. There are five commands that are really very important and could actually be lifesaving in an emergency situation.

Every dog no matter its size or its age should you know these very basic commands.


Sit is a very basic command and should be taught to your dog early. But here’s the deal, your dog should be able to follow the sit command no matter where he/she is and no matter how many distractions there are.  It’s important to practice the sit command whenever possible and in every situation or environment possible.  This should become a very natural command for your dog to follow.


The down command is probably the most important exercise you can teach your dog. The down command is the exercise that establishes you as the master with your dog. When your dog is 20 feet away, you say down and the dog drops to the ground is the day that the dog says you are the alpha.

 A lot of things have been written about aggression and one thing that many of these publications talk about is if the dog had been taught the down command as a young dog you would have probably never seen the aggression.


The stay command is just that.  Your dog is either sitting or downing and you tell the dog to stay.  This is another command that is important to teach and practice in a variety of locations and with distractions.  Your dog should maintain that position until you give it its release word.  And make sure you choose a release word that’s easy for your remember and not something you would say to your dog for any other reason than to release him/her.  For example, don’t use the word, “okay” as you probably say that to your dog for other reasons.  The word release itself makes a good release word.


Again another important exercise is the recall. It is a very important exercise because it could actually keep your dog from running into the street and getting hit by a car. This is the exercise you should work on repeatedly so your dog comes to you as soon as you call. 

Making sure your dog has this command down pat could also prevent a bite situation or an attack on another dog.


The leave it command is by far my favorite and also probably the most important to teach your dog.  The leave it command has a bunch of uses.  The main ones are to keep your dog from getting into something it shouldn’t.  It could also mean to ignore something, for example another dog when you’re out for a walk.

The leave it command, similar to the recall command can play an instrumental role in preventing an attack on a person or another dog. 

I don’t believe any dog should be off leash in public if they don’t know the leave it and recall commands without fail.

In fact, last year my dog was attached at a park by two dogs off leash who had no recall or leave it training.  To this day I am not sure if these two dogs were running at him to engage him in play, just out of curiosity or to fight. 

The end result was a fight and my dog, Frisbee, had a gentle leader around his nose making him basically defenseless.  Since these dogs were off leash it wasn’t helping for me to keep pulling Frisbee out of the pile.  The owners of the other two dogs were able to secure them and there were no injuries other than Frisbee having a mark around his nose for about a week from me tugging on the leash and the gentle leader. 

Had those two dogs been trained with the recall or leave it commands, I believe this could have been avoided.  Of course, dogs are unpredictable by why not put the odds in your favor.


These are all exercises that should be taught to your dog at a young age and can be found in almost any good basic obedience class. Take the time to train your dog and you’ll have a dog that your entire family can enjoy for the rest of its life. 

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