Dog Training and Dog Care advice from UK Professionals

How To Give A Dog Commands

Selected Article

This is something which is only a small topic, but which we felt needed an article of its own, as many people overlook the importance of HOW a command is given to a dog.

When most people give a command, their tone changes depending on varying factors such as urgency, mood, stress level, time of day. NO dog can make sense of these factors, and therefore they need to be excluded as much as possible by the handler. Try to give your dog commands at a similar tone, volume, and in a consistent mood.

This is easier said than done, but the harder you try, the more you will see your dog understand more easily what is required and you will prevent confusion which is carried in the tone of your voice. Try to remove all emotion and sentiment.

If you tell your dog to lay down for a treat, and 10 minutes later you tell your dog to lay down to prevent him running out the front door, you can imagine that the dog will usually hear two quite different sounding commands, even though the actual WORD you use may be the same. You will place more emphasis on S sounds or D sounds when you are stressed or angry, and less when you are not. Try to think of the WORD you use as only 20% of the command, the other 80% is given through your TONE and MOOD attached to the delivery of that word. This is where you must work on balancing the two and bringing everything as close to identical as possible as far as the sound of it is concerned.

Probably the biggest mistake most people make in their command delivery is repetition. How many times have you been to someone's house and heard them saying to their dog as it runs to greet you:
"Rover, Sit, Sit, Sit, Sit......." etcetera? This is a very destructive mistake to make in so much as every repeat of the same word reduces the power and accuracy of that command by half. It also teaches the dog that WHILST it disobeys and ignores the command it is being given (before being given the chance to do so in many cases) he is hearing "Sit, Sit, Sit, Sit" which can only possibly associate that word with something other than what you want it to be associated with in your dog's mind.

Give a command ONCE and ONCE ONLY. If a dog doesn't do it after hearing it once and assuming it has been trained to know that command, then you need to STOP using it, and go back to the drawing board for that command. In effect, you clearly have NOT taught that command yet to your dog and it needs either teaching again or radically fine-tuning until you DO get a response the first time. Either way, repeating it will do nothing but make your training task much bigger and harder.

Finally, give a command when your dog's attention is on YOU. You can't try to teach a dog to sit whilst it is running around, (well you can, but you are making a rod for your own back). Instead leave those harder scenarios for later, and begin by making it as EASY as possible for the dog to understand and obey the first time, then GRADUALLY introduce more distractions, difficulty factors and challenges.

It's a step by step process, so deliver a command with the dog looking at you and in a situation where it will be as easy as possible for him to obey the command you are giving, and say it once and once only. If it doesn't work, STOP using that command for general use, and go back to training it with treats, clickers, toys or whatever you prefer to use, from the very beginning.

K9 Shop... View Cart

Choosing Commands
Distant Sit
Hand Signals
How To Give Your Dog Commands
Recall - Old Vs New Methods
Using Your Dog's Name

Share this K9Obedience page

Free Email Tips
Today's 2 FREE Gifts...

Free Dog Ebook
Get our
most popular
Dog Ebook

Free 'Your Dogs' pageClaim a
'Your Dogs'
page FREE!

Just sign up for our FREE Dog Training Tips below...
(More Information)

Your Name:
Your Email:
Dog's Name:
Hot Products
Best Selling Dog Training Course Best Selling
Dog Training
Ultimate Dog House Training Guide Ultimate Dog
House Training
Dog Health Home Guide
To Dog Health
Border Collie Guide Border Collie
Owner's Guide
Secret Deadly Ingredients of Dog Food Secret Deadly
of Dog Food
Get a FREE Webpage for your dog! Get a FREE
Webpage for
your dog! Your Dogs Page Vet Secrets -
Home Vet Care
Get our Most Popular Dog eBook FREE Today!
Copyright ©2009
All Rights Reserved Worldwide
Site by FAD