National Train Your Dog Month

January isn't just the beginning of a new year, but it also marks a month of raising awareness for the socialization and training of man's best friend. January 2014 is National Train Your Dog Month, and the fourth annual event focuses on teaching and reinforcing the basics -- those everyday commands like "sit," "stay," "wait" and "down."

National Train Your Dog Month: how to train your dog with basic dog commands.


So in honor of this year's National Train Your Dog Month, we've compiled some tips and tricks to begin your puppy training or give you a refresh on these basic dog commands. Before we get started, remember the importance of patience and persistence when training your dog.

Keep your training sessions brief, focused, and reward your dog when they behave appropriately! Knowing how to train a puppy properly will also help you train them as they grow up! The following is the most basic dog training commands list we could think of. These are the first things you should teach a new puppy, along with potty training!

How to Teach a Dog to Sit

  • Sit is the first command to teach a dog. It's also one of the easiest! Simply hold a treat close to your dogs face and lift it up, making them crane up their head. Their bottom will naturally drop down. Say "sit" and give them the treat!

How to Teach a Dog to Stay

  • Reinforcing the "stay" command is very important for keeping an energetic dog under control. You'll be thankful that they aren't running around the house during mealtime or while guests are over. To teach them, make them sit, then walk backwards away from them, repeatedly saying "stay." Reward them when you get far away and they stay seated.

How to Train a Dog to Come

  • This can be a difficult command for a stubborn puppy or a big dog. Sometimes, they just don't want to get up from where they have planted themselves. When they are just lying around, say "come," and when they respond quickly, give them a treat. If they are stubborn, showing the treat to them before saying the command can help them associate the two.

Teaching Your Dog Not to Jump

  • Some dogs get overly excited about meeting new people, and the best way to show that excitement is to jump! To correct this behavior, always try to have your dog either sitting or standing on all fours when guests enter the home. Sometimes, just holding them down until they calm down is enough. However, if they are persistent, distracting them with a treat and making them lie down will help keep them from jumping.

Teaching Your Dogs Manners

  • Sometimes a dog is taught all these commands and still has to beg! Begging is normal and instinctual for dogs, but can be annoying for guests at dinner (check out this funny video of some of our office puppies (totally not) begging). Simply enough, not giving a dog food when you are eating will eventually make the dog quit begging! Even taking your leftovers and putting them in their bowl will encourage them to only eat from there.
  • Wondering about cute tricks to teach your dog? Teach them to cover their nose!
Remember, this year's National Train Your Dog Month focuses on the basics, so think about how well your animal handles such commands, and consider giving your dog a refresher or their first lessons. Start with the few tips above and expand from there on other problematic behavior or full dog obedience training.
Nick Pullano

Written by

Nick Pullano


Pets: I have a half border collie, half angel named Mikey.
Fun stuff: My dog's tongue is slightly longer than her face, so frequently her tongue sticks out a little even when her mouth is closed.

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