What are the seven basic dog commands?

Dogs are great creatures to have as a pet. Loyal, affectionate, and adorable, it’s hard not to love these furballs. However, for your dog to be a good boy, they need to be controlled and socialized and obey their owner’s commands. And for a dog owner to manage this, they must run a course of obedience training with their canines.

Dogs are incredibly smart and can learn and understand hundreds of commands that you might throw their way. But the truth is, to be well trained, they only need to learn a few basic ones that will ensure that they don’t pose a threat to people and other pets.

There are seven commands known as the “seven common commands” that need to be taught to our dogs. These are the commands we use with our dogs routinely. They aren’t hard to teach and require patience and determination on your end. Your dog can master these commands in a week or no more than two weeks with 10 to 15-minute sessions daily.

The seven common commands:


The first and most basic command to start with “sit.” This is taught first since it’s the most natural and straightforward thing for a dog, making it easy to understand. It is also essential to teach this command to your dog because it serves as a transition command.

To encourage your dog to sit, make use of a dog treat. When they are standing, hold the treat near their nose but not too close to prevent them from jumping. While holding the treat, run your hand slowly over the shape of their head. Your dog will follow your hand, and as they raise their head, their bottoms will touch the floor. When this happens, offer them the treat as a reward. Once they master this, use the word sit as they transition into the sitting position. 

Lay Down

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This command is important to teach because a dog in a standing position can bolt away from your control and could end up hurting themselves or someone. When they lay down, you have complete control of the situation. Once you teach your dog this command, you can transition to complicated commands such as play dead or roll over.

This command is especially needed for larger dogs as once you master this command; you can go out with them without the fear of them running wild or keeping you on your toes. All in all, it will give you freedom in social situations.


How to Train a Dog to Stay (with Pictures) - wikiHow Pet

Another important command to teach your dog to be able to control them in social settings. If in case your dog does get loose, you can still control them with this command. However, teaching this command to your dog is a bit tricky and might take time to master.

Start by asking your dog to go down and then use the word to stay in a steady voice with your handheld out in front of you, palm forwards. If your dog stays, then offer them a treat. After they understand the term stay, start moving away from them after they go down.


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Even the most careful dog owners have had an incident where their dog has slipped out away from them, whether it was an escape from the front door or managing to slip out of their leash. If your dog responds to this command, it will save them from any danger that might be in their way. This command is also helpful to ease into taking your dog out and about without a leash. It gives your dog the freedom to explore and the owner the comfort of knowing your dog will be able to come back to them.


An untrained dog can be a nuisance for even its owners. This rings especially true during walk time and if you have a large dog who has an instinct to pull on its leashes. Even the smaller dogs can be a pain to walk with all their pent-up energy, which is why your dog should be able to pace themselves and match your speed. This command will teach your dog to walk when you’re walking and stop when you do. Once this is mastered, it will be more enjoyable for your dog and your arms!


A clear indicator of a badly behaved dog is when they jump on furniture and guests and can’t seem to keep their paws on the floor. This is why you must teach your dog to abide by the “no” command to teach them that this behavior is not acceptable.

The way to follow through with this command training is when you find your dog on a bed or the sofa, in a firm and steady voice, ask them to get “off” and instead encourage them to come your way. When they do, reward them with praise or a click, and then use the other basic commands to ask your canine to lay down or sit next to you. Make sure not to mix up the “down” and “off” commands.


Mist dog trainers suggest leaving this command to be taught towards a later stage of dog training. Your dog needs to know that certain behaviors or actions are not acceptable. Other than the usual treat offering system, another way to teach your dog to understand no is through dog training discs. These five metal discs can be held without them making a sound, but when dropped, make a loud sound that your dog probably will not have heard before. So, you can use these discs to condition him into not doing certain things. Along with the discs, you should use the word “no” in a firm, steady voice so that your dog recognizes the two sounds are linked.

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