New puppy?  New rescue adult? Teaching an old dog new tricks?  If any of these apply, you need to start with the basics: the dog training Ten Commandments!

Look Into My Eyes

dog looking at you

Make eye contact with your dog while doing training.  “LOOK” at me is key to get them started with understanding and focusing on you.

I Said Sit

dog sitting

Probably the first command you will ever teach:  SIT.  This is the base command of everything.  Once Fido masters SIT, you are on your way to Easy Street.

Going Down

dog sitting down

The DOWN command is a natural transition from sit. And if you want to get really fancy, train your dog the down command in German: “Platz.”


dog holding toy

Your favorite pair of shoes.  Your best underwear.  The TV remote.  Circumstances will demand that there are times when the DROP IT command is needed.  This one might be FIRST on the list to teach (otherwise plan on buying doubles of everything in your home).

This Way

dog going down steps

The recall command of COME is so important and critical to make sure your dog will always come when told.

Don’t You Dare

dog next to pizza

The doorbell rings. You just filled up your plate with a cheesy pepperoni pizza.  Do you worry that your fur kid is going to help themselves and feast while you are out of eyesight?  Well not if you’ve taught the LEAVE IT command.  Very helpful to earn this trust, especially if you don’t want to share your dinner.

Safe Spot

dog on dog bed

Give your dog a safe PLACE to always be able to watch the goings-on.  Instead of a gate or crate, a soft dog bed is a great spot for your dog to stay when the door rings or guests come over.

Hold Up

dog in the doorway

“ME FIRST, ME FIRST!”  Ever have to wrestle with your dog for position of who gets to go out the door first?  If you are nodding your head, WAIT is a great command to teach.  This isn’t a permanent command, it’s simply teaching your dog to WAIT and you will release them shortly.

Here You Go

dog with leash

TAKE IT is a great training command, especially if you want to be the envy of every single person you encounter on your daily walk.  Having your dog hold his own leash and walk himself is the cutest command ever.

Waiting Game

dog sitting

STAY. Another critical command for your dog to master for their safety and yours.  Make sure you give good eye contact when you issue the command.

Okay you’ve mastered the top 10 dog training commandments!  Now, you can level up and teach:  JUMP, ROLLOVER, SPEAK!  The fun possibilities are endless!  Happy Training!

P.S. Don’t forget to outfit yourself in the latest Dog Is Good gear when you are spending quality time with your best friend!