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7 Common Commands for Dogs

Child holding a treat up in the air for dog on a leash to jump

Dogs are smart beings that are capable of learning new things, quickly. Therefore, you can train your canine by teaching him/her several common commands for dogs. Not only do these commands make your life easy, but they are also helpful for building a strong bond with your pooch. In this article, we will discuss some basic commands that are a must for every dog owner.

7 Common Dog Commands

These common commands for dogs are very important to ensure a smooth experience with your pooch. Continue reading to learn how you can teach them to your canine friend.


Golden retriever sitting in the grass in a grove of trees

This basic command is the need of your routine life. Your pooch must know when to sit because it can very embarrassing if your dog misbehaves in front of guests. Imagine your friends are visiting your place and your dog is running around in all directions. You don’t want that, right?

For tackling this problem, you can use the luring method to teach appropriate behavior to your pup. According to the American Kennel Club, you should start the training by getting down in front of your dog. Lure him/her with a favorite treat and raise the food a little above his/her head. This will force your dog to sit down and lift his/her head for sniffing or nibbling.

When your pooch sits down, give him/her the treat. Repeat this action twice. Once your pooch starts to follow your command (hand signal) regularly, fade the food from the training. Instead, say the command ‘sit’ loudly and reward your pooch for obedience.


Pug sitting in wild purple wild flowers with hand pointing finger at it.

Dogs are impatient creatures who can’t wait for their turn. Therefore, this command is extremely important to calm them down and is quite useful for teaching other tricks. For the sake of training, an owner should give the common dog command of stay to his/her pooch.

Inside Dog World explains that you must teach your canine to sit before teaching this command. Once the dog is in the sitting position, put a treat close to its nose, and give the command (‘Stay’). Now, take a few steps away.

If the dog obeys you, give him/her a treat. Otherwise, keep repeating the command and move away until he/she performs the desired task. Gradually increase the distance from your dog and the duration of a stay before rewarding.


German shepherd laying down in gravel

This command is often tricky to teach. You are asking your dog to go in the passive position, which is quite difficult for an aggressive pup. However, this common dog command can help train some special commands, like rolling over and playing dead.

The training of this command is quite similar to that of the sit command. All you need to do is to lure your dog and wait for him/her to lie down. It should be done in a room with minimum distractions, like a bathroom to ensure maximum efficiency.

When your dog lies down, use the treat as a reinforcing agent. Repeat the process several times to strengthen this behavior. Once your canine friend has learned the behavior, introduce the command ‘Down’ to the training.


Tan dog running across field of grass and yellow flowers

Calling your dog towards you can be fun while playing. It can be very effective on the walk, especially if you are not putting it on a leash. Whenever your pup is going away from you, you can say ‘Come’.

For training this command, you need to sit with your dog. Call out its name and say ‘come’. Be careful, because repeating your dog’s name several times can make this command ineffective. When your pooch comes to you, give it a treat. You can also design a game by holding its favorite toy in your hand and say ‘come’. If he/she obliges the command, let him/her play for a while.


Brown dog laying on bed with tongue hanging out to the side.

Gallant suggests that this common command for dogs allows you to keep your room tidy and clean. You can teach this command by holding the treat in your fist. Do not open your fist until your pooch gets down. Now say the word ‘off’ and reward him/her with a treat.


Jack Russell terrier heeling at the side of a person while walking through a field of grass

This command can be very helpful while walking with your puppy. It is one of those common commands for dogs that are needed daily. This is because your furry friend should know how to walk with you especially when you are outside.

This command is taught with the help of a leash and food. Show your dog its preferred food and start walking. Now, give a slight pull to the leash and say ‘heel’. Start walking briskly and keep showing him/her the food. If your pup keeps walking alongside you, slow down your speed and reward him/her. Repeat this behavior regularly for better results.


Woman in a red shirt kneeling at a rivers edge in front of a golden retriever with one finger held up while holding the dog's chin with the other hand.

This is an essential dog command because affirmation and negation are a part of daily life. You have to tell your dog that some behaviors are unacceptable and he/she needs to obey you. This is where the command ‘No’ is used.

To teach this command, you have to put your dog on a leash and place the treat on the floor. If your dog tries to nibble the food, pull the leash slightly and say ‘No’. If he/she doesn’t listen to your word, tap his/her back and try to repeat the process. Once your dog follows the command, give him/her the treat.

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