Commands in training

Commands in dog training are generally similar with some variations. Sit may be hup, come may be here and so on. This also transfers to gundog training.

A command is just a sound that is matched to an action. A friend of mine once trained his German shepherd dog in Hebrew and another friend purchased a dog trained in Hungary and he had to learn Hungarian commands. As long as you are consistent with your commands and you have taught them properly to your dog so they understand them then there shouldn’t be a problem.

So what commands do we need? In my opinion we want to use as few as possible. For example, I use just one command for retrieving, regardless as to it being a marked, memory or blind. My choice and it may not work for everyone but I have found it works for me.

Obviously, as a trainer most of my students use the ones I use, however I don’t insist on it. As long as they are consistent and understand what they need to do then I’m good with that.

Your commands can change from marked to that of for a blind command.for example, some say ‘fetch’ for the marked and perhaps ‘back’ for the blind. Holding a dog in a particular area may utilise a whistle command or maybe saying ‘there’ or ‘hi-lost’
I have both a whistle command and use the word ‘there’.

As with all dog training consistency is the key, and when teaching a verbal command, that may come with a body language key or physical cue, it’s important to make sure that the dog understands the command with and without the body language command and vice versa. An example of this is I train the word ‘sit’ with a verbal command, with a body language cue with the verbal command and with just a body language cue.

So what are my commands:

Sit: verbal/hand signal/whistle
Wait: as sit
Come: verbal/hand signal/whistle
There: verbal/whistle (to hunt a specific area)
Get on: verbal (to get them quartering)
Back: verbal/hand signal (send them on a retrieve)
Out: verbal/hand signal (send them left/right retrieving)
Get over/up: verbal (get them to jump a fence/over water/get into the car)
No: verbal (not allowed to do something)
Leave: verbal
Yes: verbal (marking behaviours)

This particular list is not exhaustive if you want to add to it, it’s just the ones I use. I may add to and remove as I need to or if a dog struggles with something. There are also commands that you may use at home such as ‘bed’ so it’s important to think about what you use!

I know some trainers that have a different command for different retrieves and if they stop the dog away from them they use another command to push the back further again. It’s personal choice.

So don’t be put off with the subject of commands and what they all mean. I’m a firm believer of KISS….Keep It Simple Stupid.

As usual, any questions please get in touch

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