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Teach Your Dog Basic Obedience

Teach your dog basic obedience commands with these easy-to-follow dog training tips!  If you know how, you can use a clicker as a training aid.  Otherwise, you can use a treats from a treat pouch.  Treats should be given within one second of the dog performing the desired action.  The pouch should be kept out of sight otherwise, as it can become a distraction for your dog.

Teaching “Sit”

Hold a dog treat in front of your dog’s nose, just beyond his reach.  Slowly raise the treat above his head so that as his eyes follow the treat, his backside naturally sits.  As soon as he begins the sitting motion, say “sit.”  Once his bottom is firmly placed on the floor, give him the treat and praise him with “good sit!”  If your dog is jumping for the treat, you may be holding the treat too high above him.  If your dog backs up instead of sitting, try training him next to a wall that can limit his movement backwards.

Teaching “Down”

Begin with your dog sitting in front of you.  Hold the treat against the floor and close to the dog’s body.  Slowly move the treat away from your dog so that lying down would enable him to follow the treat.  As soon as he begins lying down, say “down.”  Once the dog is down, reward him with the treat and praise.  If your dog stands up instead of lying down, try again and note that this command will likely take some time to learn.

Teaching “Stand”

Begin with your dog sitting in front of you.  Slowly move the treat close to your body and take a step backwards.  Your dog should stand in order to follow the treat. As soon as he begins the standing motion, say “stand” or “up.” Once the dog is standing, reward him with the treat and praise him.

Teaching “Sit” from “Down”

Start with the dog in the down position.  Hold the treat in front of your dog’s nose and move it slowly above his head.  Like with the normal sit command, your dog should naturally sit up while he follows the treat.  As soon as he begins the sitting motion, say “sit.”  Once he is sitting, reward him with the treat and praise him.


The Michelson Found Animals Foundation's mission of saving pets and enriching lives is made possible by the generous contributions of Dr. Gary Michelson and Alya Michelson.

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