9 Essential Commands Every Dog Should Know

Training a dog involves more than just teaching them to do tricks. It’s about communication, safety, and fostering a healthy relationship between you and your furry friend. Here are nine crucial commands that every dog owner should teach their pet for a well-behaved and responsive canine companion. If your dog can master these 9 commands then you should be able to handle almost any situation you find yourself in.

1. Sit : This is one of the first commands most dog owners teach. It’s fundamental for getting your dog to calm down in various situations. “Sit” is a building block for other commands and is used to instil discipline before meals, at street corners, or during interactions with others.

2. Wait : “Wait” teaches your dog patience and impulse control. It can be a lifesaver, especially at doors or when crossing the street, preventing them from rushing into dangerous situations. 

3. OK : Used as a release command, “Ok” signals to your dog that they can proceed with a previously paused action, like eating their food or greeting another dog. It reinforces your role as the decision-maker and ensures your dog looks to you for cues.

4. Down : “Down” is useful for encouraging calm behaviour. It’s more submissive than “sit,” making it ideal during times when you need your dog to settle for longer periods, like while you’re dining at a café or during family gatherings. Canine behaviourists often say that a good “down” is the most powerful command of all.

5. Stay : “Stay” is crucial for maintaining control when you need to step away from your dog. It’s essential for their safety and the comfort of those around them. Mastering this command requires practice and is vital for ensuring your dog remains put until you give further instructions. Your dog needs to learn that “stay” is a long-term position.

6. Leave : “Leave” helps your dog learn to avoid unwanted items or behaviours. This command is particularly helpful in preventing them from picking up dangerous or unclean objects during walks or at home.

7. Heel : “Heel” teaches your dog to walk beside you, rather than pulling on the leash. This is especially important for managing your dog in crowded or potentially hazardous environments, ensuring they stay safe and out of trouble.

8. Come : The “Come” command is essential for recall and can be a lifesaver in potentially dangerous situations. It helps in managing your dog off-leash and is crucial for their safety and your peace of mind.

9. Drop : “Drop” is necessary for getting your dog to release an object from their mouth. It’s important for preventing them from swallowing harmful items and is also useful during playtime to teach them proper play etiquette.



Teaching these nine commands will not only improve your dog’s obedience but also enhance your relationship with them. Each command plays a critical role in the daily life and safety of your dog, making them well-rounded and better adapted to living in a human world. So, grab some treats and start training, keeping patience and consistency as your guide. Remember, training is an ongoing process that benefits from regular practice and positive reinforcement.