5 Easy Commands to Teach your Dog - PetFirst
Pet Care & Health

5 Easy Commands to Teach your Dog

by MetLife Pet Insurance
2 months ago

If your dog has mastered the basic dog commands, such as “sit,” “stay,” “come,” and “heel,” then you might be ready to branch out and start learning some fun dog commands! Here are some more advanced dog commands you can teach your pet today.

1. How to Teach your Dog to ‘Shake Hands’6

Teaching your dog to shake isn’t as difficult as you might think, and if you have already finished teaching your dog to sit, then you’re halfway there! 

  1. Tell your dog to sit.  
  2. Stand in front of your dog and hold out your fist with a treat inside. Wait to see what your dog does — most dogs will curiously sniff your hand.  
  3. When your dog paws at your hand, give them the treat and praise them.  
  4. Continue repeating this process, waiting a few seconds longer to give your dog the treat each time. Your goal is for your dog to leave his/her paw on your hand.  
  5. Eventually, you can begin saying “Shake” as you hold out your hand.  Saying “Shake” out loud will help your dog learn the verbal cue.   Over time, you’ll be able to carefully move your dog’s paw up and down. 

2. Learn How to Teach Your Dog to Speak7

Most of the time, we would prefer our dogs not to bark. However, barking on command can also be a fun, useful trick for a dog to have. To teach your dog to speak, simply follow the steps below. 

  1.  Do something that will make your dog bark naturally (such as knocking on the door)
  2. When your dog barks, say “speak” and offer a treat with positive verbal re-enforcement.  
  3. Continue steps one and two until your dog associates the word “speak” with a treat.   
  4. Stop knocking on the door (or whatever makes them bark naturally) and continue to say “Speak.”  Wait until the dog barks, and then offer a treat.  
  5. If your dog is not responding to the verbal command alone, try going back to step 1 and using a different stimulus (like ringing the doorbell, or picking up their favorite toy.)  

3. Got Some Room? Here’s How to Teach your Dog to Roll Over 

 Roll over is a fun party trick to teach your dog.  It also happens to be one of the most popular dog commands. Here’s how to teach your dog to roll over: 

  1. The first step to teaching your dog to roll over is to make sure they know “down.”  If your dog knows “Down,” you can skip ahead to step two.  If not, you’ll need to start with teaching your dog “down.”  
  2. Once your dog knows “down” you’re ready to go. Begin with your dog in the down position.  
  3. Next, take a healthy, homemade dog treat and move it from your dog’s nose to their shoulder and say “Roll Over.”  This movement will cause your dog to follow the treat with their nose, forcing them to lean back on their side to get it.  
  4. Once your dog is used to this motion, move the treat all the way to the floor and say “Roll Over.” Praise your dog every time he/she rolls onto his/her back to get the treat.  
  5. Soon you’ll be able to take the treat away and simply direct your dog with the empty hand movement and the command “Roll Over.” Eventually, you may be able to remove the hand gesture and simply use the verbal cue “Roll Over.”  

4. Need Some Love? Teach your Dog to Give a Kiss!9

“Kiss” is one of the simplest commands you can teach your dog. After all, many of our dogs lick our faces on a regular basis anyway — so attaching a verbal cue to this behavior and doing it on command shouldn’t be that hard!  

  1. Piggyback on your dog’s natural behavior by making a point to say “Give kisses” whenever your dog licks you.  If they need a little encouragement, put a small bit of peanut butter on your cheek to help. 
  2. Praise your dog for giving you licks and say “Kiss”
  3. Give them a treat when they’re done licking

Repeating this process a few times should get your dog to catch on.

5. How to Teach your Dog to Spin10

Teaching your dog to spin around in a circle is a bit trickier, but can absolutely be done! 

  1. Get your dog’s attention by holding a treat in front of their nose. 
  2. Stand over your dog, and move your hand in a large circle. Your dog will most likely follow your hand, spinning in a full circle in front of you.  
  3. When your dog is facing you again, praise them and give them the treat.  
  4. Once your dog is comfortable with the idea of turning in a circle, begin saying “Turn” as they go.  
  5. Eventually, the goal is to get your dog to turn by following the motion of your hand and the verbal cue.  
  6. If your dog gets good enough at turning, you may soon be able to get them to turn by simply giving the verbal cue of “turn.”

These 5 fun dog commands will help strengthen the bond you have with your dog, while building their confidence and having some fun!  For more helpful tricks and tips, check out our blog.

Do you have an energetic, active dog? Consider looking into a monthly pet insurance premium to make sure you’ll be able to afford any vet bills should an accident happen1. To learn more about pet insurance and to get a free, personalized quote, click here

Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances.

1PetFirst Healthcare, LLC (“PetFirst Pet Insurance” or “PetFirst”) is the program administrator authorized to offer and administer pet health insurance policies underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company, a Delaware insurance company, with its main office at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, or New Hampshire Insurance Company or The Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania, each with its main administrative office at 500 West Madison Street, Suite 3000 Chicago, IL 60661. For costs, complete details of coverage, and a listing of approved states, please contact PetFirst Healthcare, LLC. 

2Like most insurance policies, insurance policies offered by PetFirst Healthcare, LLC contain certain exclusions, exceptions, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force.   

6American Kennel Club: How to teach your dog to shake hands, January 9, 2020, Sassafras Lowrey 

7 The Spruce Pets: How to train your dog to speak or be quiet, May 6, 2020, Jenna Stregowski 

8American Kennel Club: How to teach your dog to shake hands, January 9, 2020, Sassafras Lowrey 

9The Spruce Pets: How to train your dog to give kisses, May 8, 2019, Amy Bender 

10American Kennel Club: Teach your dog to spin around, August 11, 2015, AKC staff 

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