7 Basic Dog Commands: A Guide to Training Your Pup

7 Basic Dog Commands: A Guide to Training Your Pup


Bringing a new dog into your home is an exciting and rewarding experience. However, to ensure a harmonious and well-behaved furry friend, it’s essential to establish clear communication and teach them the 7 basic dog commands. These commands lay the foundation for a well-trained and obedient companion. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the seven fundamental commands every dog should know, along with tips and techniques to make training enjoyable for both you and your furry friend.

7 basic dog commands

7 Basic Dog Commands

1. Sit Command

Teaching your dog to sit is an essential command that provides them with self-control and helps prevent unruly behavior. This command is particularly useful in situations where you need your dog to stay calm and focused, such as when greeting guests or crossing the road.

To teach the sit command:

  1. Hold a treat close to your dog’s nose.
  2. Slowly raise your hand, bringing the treat above your head.
  3. As their nose follows the treat, their bottom should naturally lower into a sitting position.
  4. Once seated, say the word “sit” in a clear and firm voice.
  5. Reward your dog with the treat and praise.

Pro tip: Practice this command in various locations to reinforce your dog’s understanding and make it easier for them to follow your instruction in different environments.

2. Stay Command

The stay command is crucial for keeping your dog in place until you give them permission to move. It’s particularly handy when you need your pup to remain still while you answer the door, prepare their meals, or during training sessions.

To teach the stay command:

  1. Ask your dog to sit.
  2. Hold your hand up, palm facing your dog, and say “stay” in a calm and steady voice.
  3. Take a step back, ensuring your dog remains in the sitting position.
  4. If they stay in place, return to them, reward with praise and a treat.
  5. Gradually increase the distance and duration of the stay as your dog becomes more comfortable with the command.

Pro tip: Consistency is key when teaching the stay command. Start with short durations and gradually build up to longer periods over time.

3. Lie Down Command

Teaching your dog to lie down is essential for situations that require calmness and relaxation. It’s an effective command for settling your pup in a controlled manner, whether it’s at home, in public places, or during vet visits.

To teach the lie-down command:

  1. Start with your dog in the sitting position.
  2. Hold a treat in your hand, close to their nose, and slowly lower it to the ground.
  3. As your dog follows the treat with their nose, their body should naturally lower into a lying position.
  4. Once your dog is lying down, say the word “down” in a clear and firm voice.
  5. Reward them with praise and a treat.

Pro tip: Practice the lie-down command on a soft surface, such as a carpet or mat, to provide your dog with added comfort and encourage relaxation.

4. Come Command

The come command, also known as recall, is crucial for ensuring your dog’s safety and maintaining control in various situations. Whether you’re at the park, on a hike, or simply need your pup to come to you, a reliable recall command is essential.

To teach the come command:

  1. Attach a long leash to your dog’s collar.
  2. Squat down, open your arms, and excitedly call your dog’s name followed by “come.”
  3. Gently pull on the leash, encouraging them to come towards you.
  4. Once they reach you, reward them with praise and treats.
  5. Gradually increase the distance between you and your dog as they become more proficient in responding to the command.

Pro tip: Make sure to use a cheerful and enthusiastic tone when giving the come command. This will encourage your dog to associate the command with positive experiences.

5. Leave It Command

The leave it command is invaluable when it comes to preventing your dog from picking up potentially dangerous objects or eating something harmful during walks or outdoor adventures. It teaches your dog to resist temptation and focus on you instead.

To teach the leave it command:

  1. Place a low-value treat in your hand, close your fist, and show it to your dog.
  2. When your dog sniffs, licks, or paws at your hand, say “Leave it” in a firm voice.
  3. Wait for a moment of disinterest or distraction, then reward your dog with a higher-value treat from your other hand.
  4. Repeat this process, gradually increasing the difficulty by placing the treat on the ground or introducing more tempting objects.

Pro tip: Consistency and patience are key when teaching the leave it command. With practice, your dog will learn to ignore tempting items and focus on your command.

6. Off Command

The off-command is crucial for teaching your dog to keep all four paws on the ground and not jump up on people or furniture. It helps prevent injuries, keeps your dog’s behavior in check, and ensures they interact politely with others.

To teach the off command:

  1. Stand in front of your dog with a treat in your hand.
  2. When your dog tries to jump up, calmly and assertively say “off” while moving the treat away from them.
  3. Wait for your dog to have all four paws on the ground, then reward them with praise and the treat.
  4. Consistently reinforce the off-command by not rewarding jumping behavior.

Pro tip: Teach your dog an alternative behavior, such as sitting or offering a paw, that they can do instead of jumping. This redirects their focus and provides them with an alternative way to seek attention.

7. Heel Command

The heel command is essential for leash training and maintaining control during walks. It teaches your dog to walk calmly by your side, without pulling or lunging.

To teach the heel command:

  1. Attach a leash to your dog’s collar and hold it in your preferred hand.
  2. Stand with your dog on your preferred side.
  3. Begin walking, saying “heel” in a clear and assertive voice.
  4. If your dog starts to pull or move ahead, gently change direction or stop abruptly.
  5. When your dog returns to your side, reward them with praise and a treat.
  6. Gradually increase the duration and distance of walking in the heel position.

Pro tip: Keep training sessions short and gradually build up to longer walks. Consistency and positive reinforcement are vital to achieving success with the heel command.

Best Seller
E-Collar - ET-300-1/2 Mile Remote Waterproof Trainer Mini Educator Remote Training Collar - 100 Training Levels Plus Vibration and Sound - Includes PetsTEK Dog Training Clicker*
This is a bundle of 2 items, This training system has up to a half a mile range and fully waterproof with a remote that will float in the water, Use with dogs that are 5 pounds and larger.


Training your dog on the  7 basic dog commands is an investment that pays off in a lifetime of well-behaved and obedient companionship. By teaching your dog to sit, stay, lie down, come, leave it, stay off, and walk in the heel position, you establish clear communication and create a strong bond with your furry friend. Remember to use positive reinforcement, consistency, and patience throughout the training process. With time and effort, you’ll be rewarded with a well-trained and happy dog who understands and responds to your commands.

So, what are you waiting for? Start training your dog on these 7 basic dog commands today and enjoy the rewards of a well-behaved and obedient canine companion!


Q1: How long does it take to train a dog on these basic commands?

Training time can vary depending on your dog's breed, age, and temperament. However, with consistent training sessions, most dogs can learn the basic commands within a few weeks to a couple of months.

Q2: Can I teach my old dog these basic commands?

Absolutely! Dogs of all ages can learn new commands and behaviors. While it may take more time and patience with older dogs, they can still benefit from training and developing new skills.

Q3: Should I use treats for training?

Treats are a valuable tool for positive reinforcement during training. However, as your dog becomes more proficient in the commands, you can gradually reduce the frequency of treats and rely more on verbal praise and physical affection.

Q4: What if my dog doesn't respond to the commands?

If your dog is struggling to respond to the commands, it's essential to assess the training techniques and environment. Ensure that you're using positive reinforcement, consistency, and patience. If necessary, seek guidance from a professional dog trainer to address any specific challenges.

Q5: Can I train my dog without professional help?

While professional trainers can provide valuable guidance, it's entirely possible to train your dog on these basic commands without professional help. With dedication, patience, and the right techniques, you can achieve success in training your furry friend.

Q6: Can I train multiple commands simultaneously?

It's generally recommended to focus on one command at a time, especially when teaching 7 basic dog commands. This allows your dog to fully grasp each command before moving on to the next. Once your dog has mastered the basics, you can introduce more complex commands.

Read also

Scroll to Top