View Full Version : What is the most important thing to teach?

26th March 2007, 08:07 AM
Hi Everyone :)

I've been practising tricks with Ollie ever since his come home and this is what he has mastered, in order:

Roll Over
Shake/Hi 5
Other hand ---- shake with your other paw
Take a nap

He gets a little confused with take a nap and roll over because sometimes when he 'takes a nap' he keeps rolling and actually does roll over! He also gets excited when he knows we're about to do a 'training session' and will sometimes do all his tricks straight away and look hopeful for a treat! I don't reward him because I haven't actually told him any commands.

Anyway, I was wondering what you find has been the most important thing to teach? I know most of what I've taught is just for show ;) icon_whistling

So.. what's it been? Sit, stay, heel or something completely different?


Emily :flwr:

26th March 2007, 09:34 AM
The commands that save lives are the ones that whatever you call them, cause your dog to...
stop, sit & stay.

Then there are the ones that make life easy...
up - especially important for large dogs (getting up on vets scales)
stand - for grooming
roll over - for grooming & vet examination
open up - for examining teeth
foot - for cutting nails or trimming feet
be still - for not wriggling

I probably don't use the correct obedience class terms, but they work for me.

26th March 2007, 10:16 AM
I have always found "off" very usefull to have your dog understand......

"off" the chair,
"off" the stinky left behind poo in the park!
"off" from anything dropped and broken on the floor,
"off" from anything on the gound outside,

there are loads of them :D


26th March 2007, 12:10 PM
Off, Be still and Open up sound really useful! Any advice on how to teach them?

26th March 2007, 12:56 PM
Off, Be still and Open up sound really useful! Any advice on how to teach them?

Alison's "off" command is more complex than mine (& useful too). Off in our household is usually for when one of the dogs jumps up on a chair we don't want them on. In that case I gently tip the chair and say "off" as they are sliding to the floor. :D

"Be still" is said when the puppy is struggling and when he stops wriggling I just give a treat. They get to know what it means.

"Open up" is really easy. As you are opening the dogs mouth to insepct their teeth etc you just say the command. They never open for me of their own accord, but they do not resist me as I look into their mouths.

The "be still" and "open up" commands are just part of the handling that I do with a puppy when he is very young, so that they can be handled & inspected with ease.

Barbara Nixon
26th March 2007, 03:30 PM
I think the most valuable command is 'stay' or 'wait', preferably performed on the move after the static position is mastered. Should your dog be off lead, or have a lead/collar break , you will be able to prevent him or her from running into danger.

At class, we would put the dog in a sit and then recall. Between us and the dog would be a line ('The road') and we had to be able to 'down stay ' the dog before the line was reached.

I've twice found this useful. I fell and dropped the lead while out with Monty, years ago and, once, Teddy escaped when the clasp on his collar came undone , as I was getting him out of the car.

26th March 2007, 03:36 PM
Most important: come

26th March 2007, 03:48 PM
Emily, you're doing a fabulous job with Ollie. You are a good trainer! I agree that a solid recall ("come") and halt are critical. We work on those all the time to keep the dogs fresh. We train them with hand signals too so they will do it from afar when they might not hear our voice. Our dog got loose one time and was about to run across the street to us right into traffic. When we gave the hand signal for halt/stop, he immediately halted! He would not have heard us over the noise. Keep up the good work with Ollie.

26th March 2007, 05:10 PM
I agree with what has already been said--- recall-- "come" is extremely important. "LEAVE IT" is very useful. But that being said-- I have a tone of voice that I use only vary rarely. The dogs seem to realize that IF I use that tone of voice-- they almost always obey. NOW that I am housetraining puppies-- I have found that the pups can ignore the "alpha is p*ss*d" tone and so I am trying to only use positive reinforcement.

26th March 2007, 05:20 PM
NOW that I am housetraining puppies-- I have found that the pups can ignore the "alpha is p*ss*d" tone and so I am trying to only use positive reinforcement.

:rotfl: :rotfl:

Are you sure you don't steal Faith while I'm working during the day? You describe her to a T! :lol:

Drop it means "swallow it"
Come here means "run.. run away .. as fast as you can!"

And if I use "that" tone of voice it means immediately! hehe

I think one of the most important commands is stay - it can really make clean up easy for you. (: I make Kosmo stay on the rug after his feet are all wet and dirty after a walk.

Speak really saved my butt when Avi locked me out of the house and took off in -30 degree weather :yikes :yikes I could see Kosmo through the window in the door and I made him speak like crazy.. he of course thought something was wrong and was running back and forth speaking like a maniac looking at me. Thank God he knew that command that day because Avi was just about to hop in the shower.

26th March 2007, 06:25 PM
I have always found "off" very usefull to have your dog understand......

"off" the chair,
"off" the stinky left behind poo in the park!
"off" from anything dropped and broken on the floor,
"off" from anything on the gound outside,

there are loads of them :D

You are so funny Alison!!!! :lol: :lol: :lol:

26th March 2007, 06:43 PM
My trainer had me teach my dogs "Touch", which I use for recall. I like it better than "come" or whatever, because they have to actually "Touch" my hand, which gives them something to do other than just come to where I am. They know they need to actually touch my hand for their reward so they hightail it right over to me.

26th March 2007, 07:19 PM
Barb -

That's such a good idea - I never thought of that.

Thanks :flwr:

26th March 2007, 10:12 PM
i use HERE.To come back.Wait is to wait.SHOW ME TEETH to open the mouth.LEAVE IT is good because he will take ellas dummies.SHOW ME when he has stolen something like socks,knickers pref.dirty ones oh and of course ellas dummies oh and what he takes out of the drain outside.

26th March 2007, 10:35 PM
LOL - this is a funny chain.

My sister uses "Leave it" for when her dog Razz tries to hump Lucky. It works - he "leaves it". :lol:

That said, "Leave it: has lots of other practical and potentially life saving applications - say for example if you drop something dangerous like a bottle of pills or household chemicals on the floor. That's a key command to ensure your dog knows.

Same thing with "come" - if the dog has a reliable recall then you'll increase the chances he'll return to you if he gets loose from his leash for some reason and is running up the street.

I think those are the two most essential commands

26th March 2007, 10:52 PM
So far Indy knows the following:

SIT - obvious, and when excited, goes straight to down
DOWN - obvious, but when anxious I only get a half down, or front down, back up, lol
COME HERE - to come, except when mommy says it in her mad voice, then she gets scared and wants to go straight to her kennel cause she knows she's in trouble
UP - to get on the bed, couch, in the car, etc.
GO HOME - when she is in trouble it means go to her kennel, and when we are outside it means go up to the house. The other day I used it to get her to go home while I stayed out with Charlie to get him to potty, and she went to the front door and waited for Charlie and I to finish.
DROP IT - to drop her toy or something she isn't supposed to have
POTTY - this is an obvious one
SPEAK - to bark, which Cathy can attest to is very funny, because Indy has to wiggle and dance around to get a good bark out if she's too excited

She also knows various toys on command, such as BALL and KONG and sometimes BEAR (used for any stuffed animal). She will race around the house trying to find the toy she is supposed to get. It's hilarious. :D

So far we are working on COME HERE, SIT and POTTY with Charlie. Once he gets those, we'll move on to more.

I tried ROLL OVER with Indy when she was a puppy, but she hated it. I think I might work on HEEL and SHAKE next.

27th March 2007, 02:58 AM
My dogs respond really promptly to "COOKIE!!!!" Doesn't matter what they're doing, they stop and pay attention to me. :lpy: We're working on the other important ones, which they somehow or other don't view as being quite as important...

Seriously, now that we've added Milly to the family I'm going to get out my clicker again and get down to business. Pepper needs a major refresher, and Milly...well, she does come pretty well when you call her name, but she needs to get a few commands down.

Scouty girl
29th March 2007, 07:46 PM
Both of mine understand 'treat', snaps them right into an attention mode.

I didn't realize how many times during the day I said 'ready'. Before we do anything I say 'ready' and they both look at me. I've been very lucky with Scout I have a very big back yard thats fenced. When I'm ready to go in I say 'ready' and she comes right in. I've often thought how easy it would be for her just to run around the yard playing catch me if you can, but for some reason she responds to 'ready'.

My most important word is 'stop'. I'm trying to teach Scout that now. Breeze knows stop very well. She also knows 'don't go on the road'. My front yard isn't fenced and she goes out there with me without a leash. If she goes towards the road i say , don't go on the road', and she turns around, sometimes walking along the edge, i guess that's an independence thing who knows.

30th March 2007, 01:02 AM
I wouldn't trust any dog off lead for a recall or stop/stay now. I always thought Holly had a good recall, and she always responded to 'stop'... for all it mattered, since she was only ever off lead in the park. But then came the day when she ran out of the park and on to the road to the car (cos the lazy princess knew mum and nanny were there!). If it had been any day but Sunday....

I now train them both to the whistle. It's known that dogs respond to your tone of voice, and it's very hard to stay clam and authoritative when you're terrified cos the dog has done a runner. The whistle will always sound the same. It brough Amber racing back once in the park when she took off acroos to the other side of a HUGE field after a big black ( :yikes ) dog. I know she would have ignored a verbal recall.

Words my pair know...


Bed time/ sleepy time- (they usually jump onto the sofa and lie down as if to say, 'We'll sleep here, honest!)

I'm going out- said before I leave.

Go and find your ring- Holly will go and find her rope ring, searching the entire house and garden if need be.

[name] need out?- re loo.

Amber go widdle?- obvious.

Sweeties- great excitement from Amber..

AhAh- buzz off and leave it. Or a sharp loud AH!- useful when I dropped an antibiotic the other day and Amber nearly got it before I did!

Go and get it and bring it back- for playing fetch.

sit, stay, heel.

give me five
Barking when the phone rings (Holly- SOOOO useful for me). I trained that by praising her the first time she barked at the funny noise, and then by ringing my phone from a mobile- and praising and treating when she barked. She's excellent at it now- and oddly will only EVER do it for me, and in my house. She seems to know it's something I specially need, and not a generic thing.

Actually, of all of these the only ones that were formally taught were the 'proper' commands and the phone thing. Everything else just happened.

Aren't dogs amazing?

1st April 2007, 03:23 PM
Self Control

Dog and Owner :lol:

Exercises such as

Loose lead walking (no verbal or visual cue)
Sit for greeting
Relax down