Helpful Tips

How to Teach Your Dog Commands Using Positive Reinforcement Techniques

How to Teach Your Dog Commands

If you’re a new dog owner, then how to teach your dog commands may seem a little daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. In many ways, a new pup is a lot like living with a toddler. As a dog mom or dad, it’s your job to teach your pup the ropes, what is acceptable behavior and what is unacceptable behavior. Fortunately, our dog training commands tips can easily help you to guide your dog down the right path. These techniques will help you teach your new dog essential basic commands that can make it easier for your dog to adjust to their new environment while teaching them who’s in charge.

Key Takeaway: How to teach your dog commands is all about consistency, positive reinforcement, patience, and treats. You can easily teach a dog at any age how to follow basic commands as long as you praise your pet, boost their confidence and have some treats handy, rewarding your dog for a job well done.

With the right approach, a positive attitude, and some great treats, you’ll find it easier than ever to teach your pup some important basic commands.

Positive Reinforcement

Most dog trainers use the positive reinforcement method, which involves giving your dog treats whenever they’ve followed a command correctly or when they act appropriately. Many trainers have found this method to be the most effective, and it’s one that will give your dog the confidence he or she will need during their training. So, make sure you load up on healthy treats that are age appropriate. As an example, if you’re training a puppy, buy treats that are specially formulated for puppies. These treats often have a higher protein content, while treats designed for older dogs will have a lower protein content.

Basic Commands

The sit command should be the first one you tackle. This command is easy to teach and very basic. By starting out with an easier command you’ll give your dog a major confidence boost since all dogs aim to please their owners. To begin, grab a treat and hold it in front of your dog’s face. Next, move the treat from side to side, watching your dog as it follows the movement of the treat. This often causes the dog’s hind end to lower to the ground into a sitting position. Once your dog is sitting, say the command “sit” and reward him or her with the treat and plenty of praise and words of encouragement.


When you’re teaching your dog a command, repetition will always be key. This command must be practiced several times a day. Make your dog sit before they get a treat, before they go for a walk, and before they eat their morning and even meal.

If your dog is struggling to master this command, make sure you end the training session before your dog becomes frustrated. Continue to offer praise, even if your dog hasn’t gotten the hang of the command. This will help to keep your dog’s confidence up and make him or her eager to try again at a later time.


Next up is the come command. This command is one that’s very important since it can come in handy in the event that a dog that’s off leash happens to run by your yard or your dog ends up slipping their leash when you’re out for a walk.

Start by teaching your dog this command inside. This will be a two-person job. Begin by having someone hold onto your dog’s collar in one room as you stay in another room. Call your dog using the come command. Make sure you use a happy, positive tone when you say “come”. When your dog responds appropriately to the command, make sure you praise and reward them. Make a big deal about their achievement to give them that extra confidence boost. When you use this type of positive reinforcement, your dog will have every reason to come when called.

This command should be practiced only when you’re in a safe space in the home, one that’s free from distractions.

How to Teach a Dog to Catch

How to Teach a Dog to Catch

This is a more challenging trick and one that’s going to take some time. Some dogs are total naturals when it comes to catching, while others just aren’t. This is a fun activity that both you and your dog can participate in, so it’s perfect if you’re trying to earn the trust of a new dog. First, you’ll need to find a toy that your dog prefers, whether it’s a tennis ball, chew toy, or frisbee. Start off slow and low, throwing the object a few feet above your dog’s head. If your dog makes an attempt to catch the object, praise them and reward them with a treat. As your dog makes progress, you can gradually increase the height and length of the throw. Practice this trick for fifteen to twenty minutes a day.

Related Questions

Do I Need to Teach My Dog to Heel?

Yes. This command will be important when you’re walking your dog. This will prevent your dog from dragging you when you’re on a walk and teaches them how to slow down and match your pace. To do, you can practice this command with a short walk around the block. If your dog begins to pull you, make them sit down. Wait a few seconds and start walking again, using the heel command whenever your dog starts to pull you. Make them sit again, wait a few seconds and as they speed up their pace tell them to heel. This technique can take a few months to master, depending on the dog, but it’s well worth the effort. Remember to bring treats and reward your dog whenever they remain close by your side and match your pace. If you have trouble teach your dog how to heel when you’re jogging or running, a jogging stroller such as the ibiyaya Large Pet Stroller for one Large or Multiple Medium Dogs may be exactly what you need, especially if you normally jog at the park or another type of crowded public place. To learn more about dog jogging strollers, click here to read our buyer’s guide.

How Can I Naturally Keep My Dog Flea-Free?

During the summer months, getting rid of fleas can be a real challenge, especially if you live in a hotter part of the country or you have a lot of feral and stray cats that hang around your property. However, there are some great proven methods that can work. To learn more, click here to read our article on how to get rid of fleas on dogs.

Can You Teach an Old Dog New Tricks?

You can! You can do so using the same techniques as you would with a younger dog. However, if the older dog is stubborn, then it can take longer for an older dog to get the hang of new commands.

Final Thoughts

How to teach your dog commands is simple, as long as you use proper positive reinforcement techniques, plenty of praise, and use patience and understanding when you’re working with your dog. In the beginning, it can definitely be challenging, but consistency will play a major role in terms of how quickly your dog gets the hang of basic commands.

How to Teach Your Dog Commands Using Positive Reinforcement
Article Name
How to Teach Your Dog Commands Using Positive Reinforcement
Find out just how easy it is to teach a dog of any age how to follow some basic commands using positive reinforcement techniques, in as little as two weeks.