1. Sit: Dogs need a visual cue to focus on. It’s easier for them to focus on gestures than words so I hold my index and middle finer up with my thumb and say sit so eventually Murphy will correlate the motion with the word. He gets a treat when sits.
2. Lay: To teach a dog the lay command, once they are in the sit position take a treat and hold it in front of their face and slowly bring the treat to the ground while saying lay. The dog will follow the treat. Trace the treat across the floor until the dog is in a full lay position then let them have the treat.
3. Focus: The focus command is one of the most basic commands of dog training. Once they are in the sit position, say their name and point to your eye while saying focus to get them to look you in the eye and focus on what you are saying. It’s a way to let the dog know that you aren’t just saying their name but need their attention.
4. Leave it: The leave it command is used when getting your dog to not be intrigued by an item that they shouldn’t be. The first step is to place something that the dog would be interested in on a chair and move it around to peak their interest. When they move toward the item wave your hand in front of their face and say leave it. Do this until they lose interest then give them a better treat. Eventually your dog should get to the point where you can place the treat on the floor in front of them and just say leave it and they will. Murphy isn’t there yet.
7. Stay: The stay command can be done in several different ways. First you have to make your dog sit and then tell them to focus on you while slowly backing away from them telling them to stay. If their eyes drift, then stop backing away and ask them to focus again. Another way is to hold a spoon of peanut butter in front of their face and walk around them in a circle while telling them to stay. Once again Murphy isn’t there yet.
8. Drop it: The Drop it command is used when teaching and playing the fetch game. When your dog has the toy in their mouth you take a treat and put it near their mouth and say drop it while putting it in their mouth. Swapping the toy for the treat.