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Obedience classes are the foundation for all specialty
training and usually consists of sit, down, heel, come, and stay with
major distractions. The purpose of advanced obedience is for the handler
to have control of his or her dog while performing off-leash work.
Advanced obedience is for those who have successfully mastered basic
obedience training with their dog and should be trained with a consistent
schedule, each week building on the prior's activities. Below you will
find some common basic and advanced commands. The specific command word is
not important, but consistency in usage is. There are certain commands
that are accepted as standard and commonly used. Advanced obedience is not
the amount of commands your dog knows, but emphasis on building increased
control of off-leash work, hand signals, and agility training.
The dog is in a sitting position.
A dog is typically down when its elbows (front feet) and
hocks (rear legs) are touching the ground or floor.
The dog's head or shoulder is parallel to the handler's leg
on the left side of the handler.
Come or Here
(referred to as the recall) Call your dog means "come" or
The dog must remain in the position (sit, down, stand) and
location under which the command was given until it is released by the
A dog that will simply stop whatever it is doing and lie down
on command no matter how far it is from its keeper is a dog that can be
Keepers of large dogs or dogs with a reputation for
aggressiveness can make strangers more comfortable by teaching the dog
to back up on command.
The inverse of backing up. Some owners teach non-aggressive
dogs to growl on a subtle command – not the word growl, usually a small
hand gesture – as a way of letting strangers know that you and your dog
value being left alone.
Directs the dog to shake whole body. Generally used after
bathing or swimming to prevent dog from soaking owner.
Shake Hands or Paw
Directs dog to lift paw and place it in the hand of the owner
as if shaking hands.
Keep near by. The dog can walk free, but not dash off.
Dog stands still. Useful for grooming. Many dogs are groomed
frequently and need to stand quietly during the process.
Go To Bed, Kennel, or Get In
Directs the dog to go to its bed or its crate and to remain
there until released. The dog has freedom of movement in that location
to stand up, turn around, or lie down, unlike when placed in a Stay.
Useful to keep a dog out from underfoot and safe in a busy or
Drop or Drop It
Dogs pick up all sorts of things, some of which they
shouldn't have. A dog that drops anything on command, no matter how
attractive (and "attractive" to a dog can be "rotten and smelly" to a
human), is a dog under control that the owner can prevent from eating
dangerous items or from destroying valued personal property.
An adjunct to "Drop", directing the dog to not touch an item.
Also useful before the dog has picked anything up. "Leave it" is also
used in conjunction with "Take it".
The dog leaves a desired object, such as a toy or treat,
untouched until given this command. Alternatively, the dog takes and
holds an object which it has no interest in. This can protect an
owner's, visitor's, or child's fingers.
The dog has an object in its mouth and "gives" it to its
owner by releasing the object into the owner's hand. Object of choice in
training is usually a light-weight dumbbell or a glove. This is useful
for when your dog has one of your belongings and you want it back before
the dog hides it or chews it up.
A dog, when taught this command, will bark once (or more)
when told to do so.
When taught this command a dog will lie down, roll over, and
stand back up.
A dog will attack something (or someone) when told to do so.
Common commands are either "Attack" or "Sic'em".
A dog will retrieve a thrown object (usually a ball or a
stick) and bring it back to the one who threw it.
The dog is trained to go to a certain place and stay there
until released, usually a place in the house selected by owner.
Used when walking your dog to keep them at your side and with