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7 Intermediate Dog Training Commands

German Shepherd looking up at camera, waiting.

Dog commands play a significant role in establishing good communication between the owners and their canine friends. Basic dog commands help the owners to keep their dogs safe and develop consistency in training and obedience. Once your dog has mastered these commands, you can start teaching him/her some intermediate dog training commands.

Intermediate Dog Training Commands

Most intermediate commands are quite enjoyable for the owners as well as for the pups. These commands can also be used to relieve the boredom of your dog, especially if you have a high-energy breed. The following are the most common intermediate dog training commands for owners who want to take their pooch’s training to the next level.

Leave It

Blurred dog in background with bone shaped dog treats in the foreground.

Dogs are curious creatures and can get attracted to anything they see for the first time. This behavior is usually exhibited during walks and you will use this command to keep your pup safe. You can also use it to stop him/her from picking the waste on the sidewalks.

For training this command, hold a treat in each of your hands. Show one of the treats to your dog while keeping the other one hidden. When your dog comes towards the apparent treat, close your hand and don’t let him/her have it. Keep repeating this exercise until your pooch loses interest in that treat.

When your dog gets bored and moves away from the treat, say the command (“Leave It”) and give him/her the treat. Labrador Training HQ suggests that the owners repeat the entire process several times to strengthen this behavior.


This common intermediate dog command is an essential part of your canine’s walking routine. It helps your pooch, especially puppies and young dogs, to learn proper walking habits. For teaching this command, take your pup for a walk (in a distraction-free environment) and sporadically tell him/her to sit.

Show a treat to your pup and start walking. After taking a few steps, say “heel” while keeping the treat right above the head of your dog. If the pup continues to walk right beside you, reward him/her with the treat. Canine Weekly mentions that repeating the training with longer distances can help the dog to master this command.

Take It

This command is much easier than some of the others on the list. However, it can be quite useful because it is the prerequisite of other dog commands, like drop it or fetch.

Start the training by simply holding the favorite toy of your dog in your hand. Place the toy near your dog’s mouth and say the words “take it”. When he/she obliges, reward your furry friend with a tasty treat and words of appreciation. Repeat the process regularly to get the desired results.


Dachshund sitting in grass next to person barking

Sometimes, this command can be tricky to teach because you need to make your pooch excited. Therefore, you must figure out a strategy that could urge your dog to bark. This semi-fun command is very important as it can be used to locate your pup, especially when he/she is hiding outside the house.

For teaching this command, the first step should always be to monitor the barking time of your dog. Once you have found the right time/situation, say the word “speak” (in a loud voice) every time your dog is about to bark. You should also reward the good behavior with a treat if he/she barks after listening to your command. Repeat the process several times a day for proper learning.


It becomes easier to teach this command when your dog is already familiar with the “speak” command. This dog command is also quite useful if your dog has a habit of barking at night (or early in the morning).

For training this instruction, start by telling your dog to speak (if he/she is not already barking). When the dog starts barking, piercingly say the word “quiet” on every bark. Provide a treat to your dog when he/she becomes quiet on your command to appreciate the good work. Gallant clarifies that this intermediate dog training command needs multiple repetitions in a day. Otherwise, your dog will not catch the command properly.


Brown and white long haired dog shaking hands with woman outdoors in a park setting.

This dog training command is not only fun to teach but is also very cute. It assures a good time between the owner and the dog. The training of this command starts by telling your dog to sit. When he/she is on the ground, slightly pick up the paw of your pup and shake hands.

Simultaneously, say the word “shake” and offer an appreciation treat. Hold the paw for 2 or 3 seconds, use the verbal command, and reward him/her with another treat. Keep repeating the entire process until your pooch learns to shake paws on command.   


Just like shaking, waving is also a cool dog command. It is used to wave goodbye to someone who is leaving the home. Imagine your little furry friend waving at you when you are leaving for work. Due to its similar training procedure, this command is also called the modified version of the “shake” command.

You will start just like the shake command as you will pick the paw of your dog. Now, add a hand signal of waving by shaking your hand without catching the paw and use the verbal cue “wave”. If your dog waves back at you, reward him/her with a treat and some words of appreciation. It might take your pooch some time to learn this behavior. Therefore, patience is the key to this training.

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