Dog ownership is a big responsibility. It can be fun and full of joy and excitement; however, making sure that your dog knows several important commands can make the entire experience more enjoyable and safe. It is not necessary for your dog to know a bunch of tricks to be happy and manageable, but rather some basic commands that it can follow and do so consistently. This can not only help avoid frustration on part of the owner, and make sure the dog stays out of harm’s way.

If you don’t have the time to dedicate to doing the training, then you may want to consider enlisting the help of a professional trainer. You do not need to put in hours of work each day to have a successfully trained go. Only 15 to 20 minutes a day of training over several months can groom your dog into a well-behaved and attentive companion.

Sit: This is the first command any dog owner (or anyone else for that matter) tries to teach a dog or get the dog to do. It is basic, and an absolute requirement to help calm a dog, and make it understand that you are its pack leader. At the most basic level, if you don’t teach your dog anything else, at least it must know what the command ‘sit’ means, and obey it consistently, and quickly.

No: A generic ‘no’ command can be helpful in many situations, and helps the owner communicate to the dog when she is doing (or about to do) something unacceptable.

Come: There are many situations which will require you to call your dog to you, so it is important to teach it the ‘come’ command. No matter what the distance, if your dog can still hear you, he should come running when you ask him to come.

Stay: Akin to ‘sit’, the ‘stay’ command can be very useful in controlling your dog, especially in situations when you need him to remain in one spot so that you can either complete a task or just have him become calm.

Drop It: The ‘drop it’ command can be a helpful one as dogs are naturally curious creatures and will explore with the only means they have, their mouth/teeth. As part of their exploration, they may at times come across items that can be dangerous to their health and well-being, so it is important to be able to use a ‘drop it’ command to make them let go and drop whatever dangerous object they may have come across. It is also helpful when playing catch!

Leave It: Similar to ‘drop it’, ‘leave it’ can be a helpful command in telling your dog what she is allowed and not allowed to pick up or play with. For example, if you notice her going for shoes, then the ‘leave it’ command can help indicate to her that shoes are not her plaything and she should leave them alone.

Emergency Recall: There will be many situations during a dog’s life where an emergency recall (the word used for the recall can be anything) can save her life, or prevent injuries. For example, if your dog is about to step into the street with cars speeding down it, then having a recall command will get your dog right back to you and out of danger’s way.

If you spend some time teaching your dog these few commands, the entire experience of dog ownership will become much more pleasant, and the time you spend with your dog will be much more enjoyable.