This page on Command Training is part of the Advanced Course of the
D.S. Dog Training Workshop, and an element of the Dog Science Network

Comprehensive Behavioral Conditioning for Dogs
Section Two of the Advanced Course

Command Training
Page Eight of an eleven-page section

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The Command to Stand

When a well trained dog is commanded to Stand, he will rise to his feet and stand in place as he waits for further instructions.

If you are going to be taking your dog out in public, off-lead, it is absolutely essential that he master his commands to Come, Sit, Lie Down, and Stay, because his proficiency in the execution of those commands will provide you with a means of controlling his behavior, as well as a way to reassure anyone who might be nervous about his temperament and intentions, that you do, indeed, have him under control.

With those commands as well established components of his repertoire, if you see that your dog's movements have the potential to make someone anxious, you can call him back or immobilize him with a few spoken words.

The command to Stand is also useful, in case you want to attach a harness to your dog for scootering, or if you need to put on his collar, groom him, or dress him in some sort of protective or decorative clothing, or position him for any number of activities.

Also, standing on command is globally considered to be a basic obedience skill, so you can't really claim that your dog is perfectly obedience trained until he can reliably be counted on to execute his command to stand in proper fashion.

However, with that said, I have known dogs that were otherwise under perfect verbal control, in terms of their execution of all of the other obedience commands, who never did learn to stand on command.

It is not that you don't ever need to get your dog to stand up and remain in that posture, because in fact, you will find that you frequently do need your canine to do just exactly that. It is just that, for most dogs, the slightest indication that something might be about to happen is enough to bring them up to their feet, so it rarely requires a formal command to make that happen. And once your dog is standing, you can keep him there by simply commanding him to Stay.

Nonetheless, for those who have reasons for training their dog to stand - and many do find it necessary - here is how it is done.

Teaching the Command to Stand

Teaching your dog his Stand command is in every way completely parallel to the task of teaching him toSit and Lie Down on command.

In fact, the tasks are so much the same that you can learn how to teach your dog to stand simply by going back and rereading the previous sections that describe how to teach your dog Sit and Lie Down.

It is exactly the same, except of course for the fact that after you command your dog to Stand you will be moving him into a standing position. As before, to do the job right you will need to teach your dog to stand starting from both a sitting and a lying down posture.

The Command to Follow You Immediately

Many dog owners find that from time to time, they need to suddenly exit their present location and take their dogs with them - in a hurry. You might, for example, find yourself jaywalking with your dog across an open highway, when cars suddenly appear out of nowhere. Or, you may spot an unfit dog owner with an animal that likes to fight, headed in the direction of you and your dog. Thereby, necessitating your immediate departure. Or, in the way of a less dramatic example, you may need to get inside immediately to answer a ringing telephone, in a situation where leaving your dog outdoors alone would be ill advised. Again, as in the two previous examples, in a situation like that, you need your off-lead dog to instantly follow you as you head elsewhere.

The command Let's Go, then, has one or more of the following meanings:

Obviously, then, Let's Go is the ideal command when you need to say, Let us get the hell of Dodge in a hurry.

Teaching the Let's Go Command

Fortunately, teaching your dog the Let's Go command is the most simple thing in the world.

Most dogs are at all times overjoyed by the opportunity to leave their present roost and accompany someone they love to some other location. Hence, to train your dog to leave with you on command, all you have to do is to make it a point to always say the words to him, Fido - Let's Go, in your best command voice, every time you take him with you from one area to go to another.

If you make it a point to always say the words just an instant before your moment of departure, your dog will quickly come to understand what the words mean. And because he will always comply with a command so agreeable to him, he will quickly come to believe, in typical dog fashion, that because he has always done it, he should always continue to do it.

Just remember, never give the Let's Go command and then delay your departure, because those words should always be the last thing you say to your dog, just an instant before you go out the door together.

For obvious reasons, Let's Go is one of the few obedience commands that does not require a release.

It will probably not be necessary for you to go too much out of your way to reward your dog for complying with your Let's Go command. Of course, it never hurts to reward your dog for any sort of compliance by assuring him in gladdening tones that he is a good dog. But that should just be icing on the cake, because for pretty much any dog you are ever likely to encounter, the opportunity to go someplace new is reinforcing in and of itself. In other words, the opportunity to travel with his loved ones to a new location is almost certain to be intrinsically reinforcing for your dog.

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This page on Command Training is part of the Advanced Course of the
D.S. Dog Training Workshop, and an element of the Dog Science Network