Anyone who has visited a house with an unruly dog knows it is not an enjoyable place to go. No one enjoys being jumped on, barked at, or having their belongings chewed on. For these reasons, people will stop visiting the owner of the bad dog. That is one reason it is good to teach your dog some basic commands.
There are a few necessities when teaching your dog any command: food, patience, time, and quiet. The food is the dog's reward, so make sure it is something it really enjoys. Also, always use the same words every time you give a command. Your dog will get confused if you say "come" and then say "come here".
Teaching Your Dog to Sit
Teaching your dog to sit is one of the easiest commands to teach. All you have to do is go to a quiet room in your home with your dog. Make sure to bring the treats! Let your dog smell the treat to let it know you have it. Then hold the treat above its head and move it backward. Your dog will instinctively sit so it can tilt its head back further to look at the treat. When it is sitting, give it the treat and lots of praise. Repeat this process until you believe your dog has a good grasp of the command. Eventually you should have it sit in your yard, then on the sidewalk, then in a busy place such as a park or crosswalk. If your dog sits with a lot going on around it, you know it has grasped the command. After a while, you can stop giving your dog a treat every time. Give one every 4 or 5 times and vary it. That way, the dog will continue to be interested in doing what you say because there is a chance it will get a reward.
Teaching Your Dog to Lie Down
There are a number of reasons you should teach your dog to lie down. It helps it relax after playtime, it can make your dog less intimidating to your friends, and it can lie with you if you so choose. This command is best taught after the sit command has been mastered. That way you can have the dog sit and it only has two more legs to bend to be lying down. First, have your dog in the sit position, then bring the treat down to the floor in front of your dog. Your dog’s head should follow the treat to the floor and cause it to lie down. If not hold the treat in your fist on the floor until it does. When it lies down, say the command. When you are ready for your dog to get up, say "ok". As always, repeat this until you are confident in your dog’s ability to do the command. An easy way to teach your dog to go lie on its bed is to walk it over to its bed while saying "go to bed". When it is standing on its bed tell it to lie down. Eventually stop walking the dog to the bed and stop saying lie down.
Teaching Your Dog to Come
Teaching your dog to come is an essential command. When you say come followed by your dog’s name, it should stop what it’s doing and come to you the first time you say it. Always make your dog happy about dropping what it was doing to come to you. Easy ways to do this are to give it a treat, go for a walk, or play with a toy. When first starting this command training, it is best to be in a fenced outdoor area. You will need a friend to help you with this one. Whether you have a puppy or an adult dog, you should hold an extendable leash while your friend holds the dog. Put some distance between you and them, then turn around and say "come" and your dog’s name in a very cheery voice. When your dog comes to you, give it a treat and a lot of praise. Remember: repeat, repeat, repeat!
Teaching your dog basic commands should be fun for you and your dog. Train your dog, it can be both easy and rewarding.