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Obedience > Basic Commands

Here are some basic commands you can practice at home with your dog. As your dog advances through the classes, the exercises will become more challenging for you and your dog.

Tips

Never train your dog when it has a full stomach.

Use positive reinforcement; e.g. treats, a squeaky toy to reward your dog when it does something correctly.


Basic Exercises


SIT POSITION – Verbal command ‘SIT’.

Method: Using food – command the dog to sit – hold the food in front of the dog, and slowly move it up so it follows the food and sits naturally, then reward the dog.

Footwork: Stop on the right foot and bring the left foot in line with the right foot.

Hands On: Place the right hand on the dog’s chest – the left hand on the dog’s rump to help the dog sit. Reward the dog as soon as it sits.


STAND POSITION – Verbal command ‘STAND’ plus a hand signal.

Method: With the lead in the left hand, signal the dog with the right hand, with an open palm extended travelling in front of the dog’s nose, moving away from the handler’s body. Leave the right hand palm facing the dog in front of the dog’s nose for a few seconds while gently placing the left hand under the dog’s loins for support. Repeat the command STAND several times to reinforce the position. Reward the dog with food.

Footwork: Stop with the right foot forward and bring the left foot in line with the right foot.


DOWN POSITION – Verbal command ‘DROP’ or ‘DOWN’ plus a hand signal.

Method: With the lead in the left hand, signal the dog with the right hand with the fingers extended and the palm of the hand facing the dog, travelling towards the ground {food between the fingers will encourage the dog to go down}. When the dog goes down, reward straight away.

Footwork: Stop with the right foot forward and bring the left foot in line with the right foot.


STAY POSITION – Verbal command ‘STAY’ and a hand signal.(make hand signal like a STOP sign)

Method: With the dog in the sit or down position – use the left hand with fingers extended, put the palm of the hand in front of the dog’s nose, and say the command STAY. When the handler leaves the dog, their hands should be clasped behind their backs, and remain in that position until the handler has returned to the dog. Initially stand directly in front of the dog. Depending on the stability of the dog, the handler may return around the back of the dog to the heel position.


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