What is basic obedience anyways?
In my 10 years of training so far I’ve met a lot of different people with a lot of opinions on what commands should be. I think that’s great, because really the command name, and what it requires has a lot more to do with each person individually, which makes it fairly subjective. For example, I can call “sit” anything I’d like, because what makes it the command is how I follow through after I give it. So let’s say I decide to teach Vino how to sit, and I want to call it “BLANK”. I would lure him into the sit position (which includes my hand command) while telling him “BLANK”, I than mark the completed command and reward him. So I’m instilling in my dog that “BLANK” means put your bum on the ground, and his brain will connect my hand command, and “BLANK” to the action of putting his bum on the ground. Make sense? Great, so I have a specific outline that I follow personally, but allow my clients to change the name in the beginning of our work if they feel so inclined; I mean, it’s your dog, so you can call your commands anything you want. It’s just important that it stays the same to fight any confusion! However, there always seems to be a little bit of confusion on the two-legged side of the leash when it comes to remembering what exactly we are asking for. This is my general breakdown, and how I explain my commands to clients getting started…
Release word- This word, (In my house is “Release”) is the only way you are getting out of that stationary command little buddy…
Stay- Stay there, in that exact position, until I come back, and give you your release word. Nevermind the other things going on, you had better hold still!
Wait- Wait there, I’ll call you when I’m ready. I know your dinner looks great, but just hang tight, I’ll let you have it momentarily.
Place- I call this “Bed” at my house, and all I want is you to find said bed, lay down and wait for your release word. Forget that the bird is strutting his stuff in front of you, without permission, you’re going nowhere!
Come- I actually call this “Here” at my house, and it generally means drop what you’re doing, and hustle over to sit right in front of me. I like eye contact to follow, but that’s just me…my dogs LOVE to stare at me…
Leave it- Seriously dude, I will NEVER let you have that. Never.
Drop it- Gross, spit that out of your mouth…Now! The things Vino can find will never cease to amaze me…
Loose Leash- We can take a stroll, as long as you aren’t dragging me down the street. I will give you 6′ of leash space if you can respect that, and keep it loose. So sniff away within your leash space.
Sit for petting- All 4 on the floor, or no attention. Period.
Side- Get ready, I want you to run over and sit by my left side (yep, hug that leg), and be prepared for whatever command comes next.
Heel- You are glued to my heel as I walk. When I stop, you stop, and I’ll let you know when you are free with your release word. Keep that nose off the ground!
These are the most basic of obedience commands, and I generally expect all of my dogs to catch on to all of these fairly quickly with a decent amount of daily work. I work through all of this throughout my days, with meals, treats, walks, and runs, keeping the dogs motivated and well versed in their basic obedience! I love breaking my commands down like this when I introduce them to new pet parents, because they are relatable and easy to remember! Looking for a new challenge, and you don’t think your dog knows all of these? Print this out, and make it your new training challenge!