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Discussion Starter #1
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.

Thanks!


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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
Sit
“Place” - (where a dog goes to a designated place, like his bed)
Stay
Come
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
Down
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 :D From what I've heard agility can be a lot of fun. :)

More experienced members might have better ideas though!
 

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We have the following;

Sit
Down
Stay
Come
With Me
Stand
Free
Look at me
Touch
Place
Drop
Leave it
Give
Wait
High Five
Paw
Sit Pretty
Bang Your Dead
Find
Tag you're it
 

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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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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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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 playfully....so, 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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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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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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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 laundry...run 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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Things I've done with my pup

Sit- the very first thing I taught and believe it should be the first thing taught to a pup. Gets them into a focused position

Drop- give me the toy. She's slowly getting better at this
Easy- I have steps around my place, so instead of going crazy, and possibly getting hurt, I say Easy and hold her back so she's more calm going down steps

***

I started teaching these 4 at the same time. I feel these were the next important tricks

Down- get her to lay down
Stand- I do combos: sit, stand, sit, down, sit, etc... Start off with treat for each, and move to treat after combos of 2 or 3 and progress
Stay- Usually gesture with a single index finger, or open palm to her as just more of a reinforcement of my command
Crate

***

Then it was on to more fun things

Spin
Up- Point on top of an object and she'll get her front paws on it. Also can do a pat on my chest to have her jump on me. Jumping on me on command is ok, but if she's crazy dog jumping on me then no pets
Off- When I want her off the object she jumped on

Bed- pretty much a "Place" command
Come on/ come here- release after a stay
COME- come to me. I can't always reinforce with treats, but give lots of pets and praise

Paw- I need to make this a command as it's winter and the grass is wet, so have to dry her feet off at night/ in the morning. She's getting better, but if I add the command, would maybe go quicker. Would help at vet too

Although I don't do a command, I'll do targeting. Start to the sides, and then I move to putting my hand behind objects like chairs, tables, or my legs

***

I have some other tricks I'd like to teach her

Back- She sits while I throw a ball. After it settles, then I release her
Back up- walk backward
Wait- impulse control for food stuff
BANG- play dead
Sit pretty- site up on hind legs

Would be cool to get her to fetch items. I've seen border collies do it. Strew about a bunch of different toys, say "Frisbee," and she picks out the correct toy
 

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None of these were taught with treats, just praise and play. At 20 months Inga knows-

Get him (she runs to the person and circles them, not aggressive or anything)
Cross ( a 10 foot 2x4 set across two upside down tubs, She crosses, turns and sits, crosses again, sits)
Whoa (stop forward progression when we are out on horseback, works for horse too)
Enough (enough barking, also given with a 'dog shadow puppet' hand signal)
Sit
Down
Stay
Stand
Wait (all are also with just hand signals from distance)
Load up
Off load (from back of truck)
Jump (through hoops or into water)
Get it
Bring it
Kennel
Foot ( sticker removal)
Up (get up on something)
Off! (leave something immediately)
Out (stop doing something immediately)
No! (the all purpose no)
Come
Heel
Lets go ( this is actually a release command, lets go and she gets to wander around)
Relax (calm down)
No bite
Eat eat! (OK to eat now)
Crawl (such as under a fence or an obstacle)
Find it (on a scent rail)
Drag ( she does not drag something, bites tug flops on her side and allows herself to be dragged)
What is it? (We are out on a ranch. If she senses something suspicious out in the dark and she jumps completely off the floor with this huge bark. She is sent out (with backup) to find what it is)
 

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None of these were taught with treats, just praise and play. At 20 months Inga knows-

Get him (she runs to the person and circles them, not aggressive or anything)
Cross ( a 10 foot 2x4 set across two upside down tubs, She crosses, turns and sits, crosses again, sits)
Whoa (stop forward progression when we are out on horseback, works for horse too)
Enough (enough barking, also given with a 'dog shadow puppet' hand signal)
Sit
Down
Stay
Stand
Wait (all are also with just hand signals from distance)
Load up
Off load (from back of truck)
Jump (through hoops or into water)
Get it
Bring it
Kennel
Foot ( sticker removal)
Up (get up on something)
Off! (leave something immediately)
Out (stop doing something immediately)
No! (the all purpose no)
Come
Heel
Lets go ( this is actually a release command, lets go and she gets to wander around)
Relax (calm down)
No bite
Eat eat! (OK to eat now)
Crawl (such as under a fence or an obstacle)
Find it (on a scent rail)
Drag ( she does not drag something, bites tug flops on her side and allows herself to be dragged)
What is it? (We are out on a ranch. If she senses something suspicious out in the dark and she jumps completely off the floor with this huge bark. She is sent out (with backup) to find what it is)
I really hope you have a video of this because it sounds adorable. :)
 

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Wiena learned a lot of behaviors but the ones that I really liked were:

TOUCH; she learned how to do that and it was then easy to ring the bell
to go out, also high five

GO POTTY; she was so good at that, I never had to worry about accidents and
she became really fast at it because she knew she would get her cookie.
Although, sometimes she tried to fake me out and appeared to go potty, then ran
for the house to get the cookie. I loved that, but at night, it was hard to tell.lol

She had different barks depending on my tone of voice. If someone was at the door
it would be a regular bark. But if I said Big Bird, Bad Breath, Tough Girl or Zombies
she would go ballistic. She learned to do that all on her own. Also, if I yelled at the cat
using his name, Wiena would get up and bark, sending the cat down the hallway!!

I miss her so much.
 

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More useful might be the code words to which you have to resort when your dogs begin to understand conversational English.

We have to say things like:

"off leash recreational area for canines" (dog park)
"wine and beer store" (liquor store)
"supply store named for Charles and Donald" (Chuck and Don's, local pet supply store)
"pantry item" (bully stick)
"W" (walk)

I think there are others I'm missing, but those are the most frequently used codes at my house.
 

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I Inga to trained Drag by first having a good tug session with a rubber ring tied to a towel. Then have her Down while still biting the ring. Then pushing her gently onto her side while still giving little pulls to keep her engaged. Then say Drag while backing up. She hangs on while I drag her all over the lawn, even making walking motions with her legs to push herself along. Now I can toss the thing out there Get it and Bring it, then say Drag she flops on her side and away we go.
 

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I Inga to trained Drag by first having a good tug session with a rubber ring tied to a towel. Then have her Down while still biting the ring. Then pushing her gently onto her side while still giving little pulls to keep her engaged. Then say Drag while backing up. She hangs on while I drag her all over the lawn, even making walking motions with her legs to push herself along. Now I can toss the thing out there Get it and Bring it, then say Drag she flops on her side and away we go.
I have hardwood floors. This would be fun to teach :grin2:
 

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Great thread! I wish I'd heard many of these 6-7 months ago >:) It's also very interesting how lots of people tend to train similar behaviors with different words or slight twists to the result...great minds!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks for all the input! Our pup does pretty good with the basics but I definitely see a few here that will be worthwhile to add in. Great feedback.


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