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Best Language for Dog Commands

Directional signs on a pole that read ; English, Chinese, French , Dutch, Japanese, Italian, Korean, Spanish, Thai, German, Russian blue sky and clouds background

In dog training, trainers and handlers interact with their dogs using verbal commands. Each order or cue is associated with a particular action. Therefore, dogs can perform various actions when trained properly. These actions range from sitting to chasing down intruders.

Dogs do not understand a particular language. However, they quickly learn to associate actions with specific sounds (and words). This is why dog commands are very helpful if you want more control over your dog. Let’s find out which language for dog commands is the best.

Different Languages for Dog Commands

The following are some popular languages (alongside common commands) in which dogs are usually trained.

English

Hand writing the word English on a chalk board

Training your dog to learn dog commands in English has a few benefits. English is a very common language. This lets others around you give commands to your dog. As a result, this becomes a fun way of letting your dog communicate with other people.

Popular dog commands in English:

  • Sit
  • Stand
  • Stay
  • Heel
  • Quiet

German

Book laying next to laptop and flag on a table. The title of the book is Sprechen Sie Duetsch?

Trainers of experienced working dogs or show dogs, often use foreign languages (other than English) for cues. They can do so because of their breed’s or sport’s culture. For example, many dogs competing in the Schutzhund are trained in German. Training your pup in another language is a must for different teams, particularly those who use their skills in the game.

Popular dog commands in German:

  • Sitz (Sit)
  • Platz (Down)
  • Bleib (Stay)
  • Wart (Wait)
  • Hier (Come)

Czech

Lighted sign that reads "Do you speak Czech?"

Teaching a dog command in a foreign language can be an excellent way to “refresh” a habit of your canine. It will encourage the dog to learn in a new or more efficient way without the old memories. Learning a new skill can be a challenging (yet enjoyable) experience for both the dog and the trainer. It helps to stimulate the mind and reinforces the human-animal connection.

Popular dog commands in Czech:

  • Sedne (Sit)
  • Lehni (Down)
  • Stuj (Stand)
  • Zustan (Stay)
  • Ke mne (Come)

Dutch

Note book laying open on top of other books with the words Learn Dutch written in red and blue ink

Like every other language, you can teach your dog Dutch by repeating the same commands to reinforce the same concepts. Puppies are typically easier to train, but older dogs can be re-trained in a foreign language. However, you will have to be persistent and dedicated to get the desired results.

Popular dog commands in Dutch:

  •  Zit (Sit)
  • Liggen (Down)
  • Staan (Stand)
  • Blijf (Stay)
  • Hier (Come)

French

Close up of Français written on a chalk board

Maybe you are fluent in French, or perhaps you just want your dog to be fluent in French. In either case, you’ll have a fabulously enjoyable bilingual dog if you teach your dog the French dog commands. Just make sure that your pooch already knows the English version of those commands. Imagine taking your dog to the dog park and watching him/her perform for other dogs and their owners while you give only French commands.

Popular dog commands in French:

  • Assis (Sit)
  • Couche (Down)
  • Debout (Stand)
  • Reste (Stay)
  • Ici (Come)

Italian

Book titled Italiano on a desk with other books, a globe, and a miniature of the Roman coliseum.

People train their dogs to respond to commands in different languages for a variety of reasons. Some people use a foreign language so that the dog isn’t distracted or confused. Normally, it is a simple transition if you want to use another language, such as Italian, for teaching dog commands.

Popular dog commands in Italian:

  • Vieni (Come)
  • Seduto (Sit)
  • Giu (Down)
  • Fermo (Stay)
  • Sì (Yes)

Japanese

A green book titled Japanese Language and Culture leaning on a wall next to a stack of books and a pencil can.

Certain dog breeds learn faster than others. However, this does not mean that a Japanese dog breed, such as Shiba, will learn Japanese dog commands quicker than a Poodle. In fact, it was found that British dogs learn Polish police dog commands faster than English commands.

Popular dog commands in Japanese:

  • Osuwari (Sit)
  • Mate (Stay)
  • Fuse (Lie down)
  • Koi (Come)

Best Language for Dog Commands

Woman in yellow dress training a golden retriever in a room with a bright blue wall

The most commonly used foreign language for dog commands is German. There are several reasons why German is a popular choice for dog commands.

Firstly, many German dog commands sound more like “yelling” than English commands. We know that dogs seem to understand the tone of your voice more than the actual words. Therefore, they respond better to German commands because they can sense urgency.

Some people train their dogs in German because they believe others won’t be able to control their pooch. However, we don’t believe that this is true, in most cases.

Contrastingly, dog owners who engage in the Schutzhund sport, train their dogs in German as a matter of tradition.

Teaching dog commands in foreign languages also require the same level of consistency and praise. You must stay consistent with the words (and sounds) to get the best results. Regular practice in a variety of settings is also necessary to learn foreign language command. For example, you can practice the commands during playtime or on a stroll to make it more enjoyable.

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