Re: list of commands
Welcome to the board, Paul!
It really depends how far you want to go, and in what venue.
For living with, all you really need, is COME, SIT, DOWN, HEEL & STAY and a Release from command Que word.
If you accompany these with consistent hand signals, because dogs read body language better than words, they soon can be silent commands.
In Schutzhund though, there is no STAY allowed, nor hand signals, only verbal cammands, in whatever language. Hand signals are considered handler help, and points are deducted for using them. STAY is not allowed because if you issued SIT, it means SIT until something else is issued, be it another command, or a release.
Lots of folks use OK for a release, but it can become problematic because it is used so often in speech, and can mean so many different things, depending upon context. To expect the dog to discern the difference is unfair and causes confusion. I use FREE or FREEDOG, as it never means anything else.
A down on recall means the dog has been issued a COME, is in motion, but now is then told to DOWN. It must stop moving and DOWN. This can be a life saver if that motion is from across the street, and traffic suggests it should happen, NOW.
Over time, if you keep training beyond these basics, a dog can learn many different commands, spoken in different languages, to accomplish different things in different venues, like Agility, Schutzhund, OB rally, whatever. There are no limits beyond the handlers desire to train and the dog's willingness to learn.
Hope this helps.
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