What Are The 7 Basic Dog Commands?

woman training her dog
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Training your dog will make you look like a better owner. You don’t want your dog to be wandering around town or pulling you around when you take them downtown where there are a lot of people. You want a well-behaved furry friend that you can take anywhere. When a dog owner is interested in dog training, they learn that there are 7 basic commands to start out with. So, what are the 7 basic dog commands? Below, we discuss them in more detail.

By teaching your pup the 7 basic commands that all dog must know, you are teaching him life skills much like teaching a teenager how to behave accordingly in crowded places or one of those posh clubs you like to go to.

woman training her dog

When Should I Start Training My Dog?

Training could start as early as 8 weeks. Once all the shots are done and you have taken your puppy home, you can start training simple tasks and behaviors. Start with socialization and move on to different behaviors after that.

Starting to train early is pivotal to a dog’s behavior as they get older.

If you do however miss the opportunity to train them young or adopt a rescue that clearly hasn’t been trained, you can train them no matter how old they are. However, this proves to be more difficult for some dog owners as their adult dogs basically have their own identity by now and have gotten used to how things were.

Why Is Dog Training Important?

Training is important because you want a dog that you can show off to other people. I do not mean boasting but it’s more of being able to share your love for your dog with other people.

Some untrained dogs will be jumping on your house guests constantly and that can be very frustrating for some people.

If your dog is trained there will not be a need to hide them in the garage or in one of your child’s rooms every time you have guests coming over.

Training your dog is about creating an open line of communication with them giving them a signal of what they should and should not do.

Basic Commands All Dogs Must Know

There are 7 basic commands that your dog must know and master for him to be a good doggie citizen. So get your leashes and your treat pouch and let’s begin:


This is the most basic of all commands and the first behavior that all dogs usually learn. This allows your dog to be semi-relaxed. From sit, your dog can move on to other commands like the next one on our list.


Moving on from a sit, you can tell your dog to down or to lay down. This will place your dog into a more relaxed position much like parking your car. This will help you take better control of your dog and transition into more advanced tricks like “play dead” or “rollover’.


Teaching your dog to stay is essential. It can be a sit-stay or a down-stay, whichever you prefer. I much prefer the down stay because it is a better position for your dog in the long run. You can start off with 30-second stays and gradually increase the time as you train more. This is best to use when dealing with something in the house where your pooch can prove to be troublesome when they are around.


Off is a command that is used for dogs who like jumping on tables and counters. You teach your dog the command off to tell them that it is not okay to jump on those areas. It can also be used to tell your dog to get off the bed or the couch.


Heel is one of my personal favorites. It is a command where you can train your dog to calmly walk beside you. No leash pulling and no saying “no” constantly. In my opinion, dogs must all learn to heel starting in the puppy stage. So as they grow older you can teach them to heel and move on to other movement commands such as “pivot”


A command that is very basic. Teaching your dog to come to you, wherever you are. If you are in an off-leash dog park, and you are quite a distance to your furry friend, this command will come in handy.

No, or Leave It

Finally, a word that we are all too familiar with. No. Use this command when you see your dog doing something that they shouldn’t. Alternatively, you can use “leave it” when you want to tell your pooch to leave something he might eat or he is sniffing. Much like a toy in the dog park that isn’t his.


Tips and Trick For Dog Training

Of course, we wouldn’t leave you without any tips and tricks on how you should tackle dog training. Here are some that you might find handy when having your training sessions.

  • Do Not Confuse Your Dog – You don’t want to be saying “sit sit sit” in one breath in just one second. Only say the word once and wait a few seconds before you say it again. Make sure that you have his attention before saying the command.
  • Dogs Have Short Attention Spans – Keep the training session brief. A good 30-45 minute session would suffice for the day. Notice also the condition of your dog if he is in working condition before starting the training.
  • Break It Down – If you cannot find time to train them continuously, you can train them 3-5 times a day in 10-15 minute sessions.
  • Be Patient – Patience is the key to being a good trainer. Understand what your dog is trying to say and listen to. He might or might not get it the first time. Not all dogs are the same. Every dog that you train can have different progress speeds and all you have to do is to be patient.
    Always have your treat pouch – having your treat pouch in close proximity is best. Because even if you don’t say the command, when they show good behavior or perform a behavior that you really like, a treat would come in handy.

If you need more tips on dog training, click here to check out our article on “How Long Should You Train Your Dog Each Day?“.

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