List of commands and tricks to teach puppy/dog - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-29-2017, 07:16 PM Thread Starter
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List of commands and tricks to teach puppy/dog

It’d be helpful to see a list of the top 10-20+ commands and “tricks” to teach a pup. The more the better. Hopefully mostly functional commands (sit, place, etc.) but tricks are fine too. Our dog knows most the basics and does pretty good, but I’m drawing the blanks with adding more functional ones.

Also - if they aren’t obvious, a little description would help, or if more advanced, a bit of input how you trained it.


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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-29-2017, 07:32 PM
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Mmm I made a small list for when I'm going to get my pup:

Engagement - not really a command but just show your pup you're the most fun thing around in all kinds of environments
“Place” - (where a dog goes to a designated place, like his bed)
Paw (and start getting him used to physical handling, there was a great post on this forum about how to go about doing this which I copied... but can't find it anymore) a
Watch me (i think this goes along with engagement)
Settle - (reward when dog goes to lie down and relax naturally, eventually he should get it not sure how effectively you can teach this to a pup tho, but something for later)

For fun tricks I think teaching a dog to "tug" on things and then to open cabinets, fridges etc is fun. Also of course left spin, right spin and the "touch" command.
Though if you're looking to do things with your pup I'd suggest looking into some kind of dog sport From what I've heard agility can be a lot of fun.

More experienced members might have better ideas though!
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-29-2017, 07:33 PM
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"Look" (or "look at me") and a bombproof recall command, for sure!
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-29-2017, 07:56 PM
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We have the following;

With Me
Look at me
Leave it
High Five
Sit Pretty
Bang Your Dead
Tag you're it
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-29-2017, 09:29 PM
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When I'm playing and having fun with my dog, I will from time to time, grab his tail as part of our game. I do this so he associates having his tail grabbed as a fun activity. In the unlikely event of a small child unexpectedly grabbing his tail, I want his muscle memory response to be 'Such fun!' not self defense.

Hop up .. for jumping onto something
Over .. for jumping over an obstacle
Lift .. for lifting a paw to free the leash (saves me bending over)
This way .. when my dog's on a long line and I'm changing direction
No .. mean no
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-29-2017, 09:36 PM
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A couple of years ago I started teaching Nitro 'Go Left". According to my husband I have left, and other left. I watched the YouTube segment carefully, Nitro learns quickly, and the moment came to show off our new trick to my son. Nitro performed flawlessly, but my son's 'exasperated and trying not to laugh' reaction was, "Mum, you got it wrong!' That's why I settled for teaching 'This way'.
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-29-2017, 10:06 PM
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I like to make them up based on each dog's natural tendencies. I've found that to be a great way with both puppies and older dogs to begin a dialog. The play dead command, for example, or bang as I call it, is easy because when you walk upto many dogs they have a tendency to lie flat or flop over, which is exactly what you want them to do for the "bang" command! So it's both a natural behavior and a desired behavior, win/win!
With my pup I followed that up with a "freeze" command, which means head flat on the floor and no movement other than eyes until released.

My puppy also will back up if/when I approach her, the backup command came into being, and she'll now back up any direction I point.

It's also helpful, as @Aly pointed out in another thread to teach your puppy to accept/handle most medical procedures. So stand, paw (hand you their paw for drying or examination) on both sides, let you mess with their paws so you can clip nails as needed, lie flat for examination or x-rays. A gentle command, or easy, so they're careful with your fingers when taking treats, and a "booty call" which as you might expect involves gently wiping their bum with a damp rag...a prelude for a rectal thermometer if needed at the vet.

I also have taught a "bow" command, since she goes down in front so much naturally anyway, and a spin, though my pup seems to prefer one side better than the other so far. Speak, enough (to stop speaking lol), roll over, stop, wait (which for my dog is similar to stay except on wait they can move freely in the vicinity, whereas with stay I mean stay EXACTLY where I specify, in the position I specify (i.e.sit, down, etc.)

I guess the rest I could or would list have already been covered. Though after this you get into sport specific things, if you're into that...
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Last edited by tim_s_adams; 11-29-2017 at 10:16 PM.
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-30-2017, 12:39 AM
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Shadow struggles with things that keep her still, or are boring so we change things up with fun stuff.
Spin-in whatever direction I indicate she will spin in a circle. This was a natural behavior that she does when she is excited. I just put a cue to it.
Belly tickles- she flops down and waves her feet in the air as you scratch her belly
Bounce-also a natural behavior I just taught a cue for. She hops on stiff front legs
Dance with me- again something she was doing anyway. She weaves between my legs as I walk, or walks between my legs with me while looking up at me
Your it- we play tag, bad idea if your dog has weak obedience by the way. To late now.
Touch-she touches her nose to my hand. I taught this originally as a means to refocus her when she was frightened. Now it is mostly just another trick.
Back- she is the only dog I know that runs backwards, so we put a cue to it.
She picks up laundry for me and puts it in the basket, she's too short to reach the washer but if I pass her the clothes she will put them in the dryer. She also takes them out and puts them in the basket.
She will pick up all her toys and put them on her bed if I tell her time to vacuum.
And if I tell her time for bed she gets a stuffy and goes to my bed.
Currently we are working on turn down the bed, she pulls the covers back for me.

She used to do a trick called hot paws, were she would lift her front feet in turn, repeatedly but I stopped letting her do it when she badly injured her foot and leg a few years back, now she doesn't seem to remember.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-30-2017, 01:01 AM
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I taught mine to wave via extension of the "give me your paw". This was later when the "paw" hand signal was rock solid. Stay silent and Just hold out your hand for the paw but just out of reach where the pup tries several times to place the paw in your hand. Mark it with a yes or clicker and treat. Hold out hand, pup tries several times (looks like he is waving) click and treat. When he is getting the idea of what you want, hold out your hand and as he is moving his paw like he is waving wave back with that hand click and treat. Keep doing this and when he gets the gist, just wave, if he waves back click and treat him royally If he doesn't just extend your hand til he starts to wave then wave back.

Add the word wave once he's got the whole concept.

I also taught my boy "bow" exactly as Tim did.

Another fun one is teaching to identify different objects. It makes the "find it game" more interesting.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-30-2017, 08:06 AM
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Here are some I use with my Aussie Samantha. She does all the standard obedience things. Also with small hand signal or finger signals. Recall is voice, hand, whistle and flashlight.

Wait. Stop right there while I do something. Open or close the door. Untangle the long leash. Or any time I need her to remain in place

Come on.....spoken as a single word. Used to go through doorways after the wait command.

One step.....used to go slowly down stairs. I have an injured knee so stairs are difficult.

Go easy.... Used to go up stairs.

Heel....heel on left side.

Right side ....heel on right side

Follow....heel directly behind me

Lead.... Heel directly in front of me

Back up....heel backwards. On left side

Do into bedroom and bring a piece of dirty clothes to the washing machine.

We are working on bounce on front feet. She does this when barking. But we are working on doing it silently. Eventually to do simulated CPR on me.
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Last edited by Bentwings1; 11-30-2017 at 08:09 AM.
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