Training A Dog To Stand: Why Teaching This Command Is Useful, Even For Pet Dogs

Training a dog to stand is one of the basic commands that the American Kennel Club (AKC) requires for its Companion Dog degree. It is formally called Stand for Examination and your dog must not move a toe while the judge goes over his body.

Is Training A Dog To Stand Even Necessary?

At first glance, training a dog to stand does not seem a necessary dog training command for pet dogs. You may, indeed, decide to skip it. But before you do, here’s what you can use it for if you decide to teach it. The “Stand” is a wonderful piece of vocabulary to have when you want to groom your dog. “Stand” is nice when you want to cancel out the automatic sit on rainy days, when there’s mud underfoot, or when it’s too cold for your dog to sit outdoors. In addition, you may want your dog to stand for examination informally. If he’s shy of strangers, not well socialized or skittish, having people handle him and pet him while he remains standing still is one of the exercises that will help him overcome his shyness. It’s also nice for picture taking and it is easy to teach.

training a dog to stand

Get your dog onto his feet any way you can; lift him, start him heeling, place your hand under his belly, saying “Stand”, and exert a mild pressure upward. Work in a quiet room, without distractions. Be gentle and soothing. Above all, when your dog sits again, do not yell “No-Stand!” In fact, if your dog was standing and you yelled, the very first thing he’d do would be to sit or crouch. Once you get your dog standing, you can pet him or brush him, keeping one hand under his belly and repeating the command “Stand” in a soothing tone.

Try this routine for about five minutes a day, using the time to groom your dog, pet him, or sing to him. A great time to work on this is right after you come back from an outdoor training session. In about a week, your pet will happily stand on the floor and maybe even in the bathtub.

Training A Dog To Stand Is Helpful When Brushing Your Dog

Now that your puppy has learned to stand on command, next time you brush him, when you finish one side, tell him “Turn around” and gently swing him around with your hands so that his head ends up where his tail was and vise versa. Now, tell him, “Good dog” or “Smart dog” while brushing his far side.

There are other obvious bonuses to training your dog. As you can already see, the more you teach him, the faster he can learn. Once he has the basics down pat, many new commands, games and tricks will be learned almost automatically. Even the complex activities that take time will take less time. In addition, the more your dog learns, the more mutual pleasure

The key to it all is to systematically teach him how to learn and training a dog to stand is an additional behavior to help a dog along that road.

Using The Right Dog Training Techniques

Imagine using the right dog training techniques and being able to take your dog with you, anywhere you go… and know that he’ll listen and obey! Imagine being able to take him to a picnic and tell him to lay down… even if there are 30 children running around, dropping pieces of hot dogs and burgers.

Using the Right Dog Training Techniques
Makes For A Happier Dog

dog training techniquesYet your dog is so well trained that he just lays there with a lazy smile on his face! Or perhaps you decide to take your dog with you to pick up some bagels for a Sunday brunch. Instead of leaving Fido in the car, you take him with you. As you walk into the store, you motion for your dog to lay down outside, next to the entrance… and he actually stays there until you return!!!

(I did this with a German Shepherd I owned named, “Buck.” While I was inside, another dog trainer in my area happened to also be in the bagel shop. Not realizing I was a professional dog trainer, he showed his cards and walked up to me, inquiring how I was able to get my dog to stay down for so long! He was literally amazed, and thought that it couldn’t be the training, but rather just that the dog had a ‘lazy temperament’ to be able to stay there without his master repeating, “stay, stay, stay” at his side! — And he was supposed to be a professional trainer!)

With the right dog training techniques,
you’ll be able to walk with your dog to the local dry cleaner’s…
and not have to juggle your dog’s leash and your freshly cleaned shirts!

Yesterday, I took Forbes (my Bullmastiff/Pit Bull mix) past the grocery store to the Dry Cleaners in the local mini-mall. Kids on bikes rode by and commented on what a “cool” dog he was, because he stayed right by my side! And the funny thing is… people think it’s the dog! They think that Forbes must be a “really smart dog,” or “really laid back” — which he is… but that’s not the point.

The point is that when you’re using the right techniques… and you’ve committed yourself to using these techniques and practicing with your dog on a regular basis, you can get seemingly miraculous results. Nobody seems to care that when I first rescued Forbes from the Animal Shelter, he was both extremely dog aggressive and also frighteningly hostile towards anything that moved past him quickly. (Such as kids on bikes, skateboards, and even joggers!)

But now he lazily holds a down-stay while kids on scooters shoot past him. He heels nicely in position as bikers whiz by. And people still think that it must be the dog. I really should have taken video tape of him to show a ‘before and after’ so that you could see what a difference using the right dog obedience training techniques can make. You can do this with your dog. Just remember to practice dilligently and USE the dog training techniques you’re learning from my book!

How To Train A Dog To Drop The Tennis Ball

Kvac wrote to me about how to train a dog to drop the tennis ball.  She writes: First, let me say that your books have been very helpful to me and my dogs. I would like your help on a specific problem, although my dog has made great strides with learning the down position and in retrieving– he has for some reason got a problem with wanting to release his ball once he is back to me.  And I mean he will not let go for anything.  So… how do you train a dog to drop the tennis ball?

Any advice?

Train A Dog To Drop The Tennis Ball

Dear Kvac, Try this:

#1: Tell him to drop it, then give him a tug on the leash. When he drops the ball, immediately kick it and let him chase it. Once the dog learns that you’re just going to throw it again, he will realize that the faster he drops it, the faster he gets to chase it again.

Train A Dog To Drop The Tennis Ball By Showing Him That: Giving You The Ball Does Not Mean “Game Over.”

#2: If the dog won’t drop it when you correct him, then put a flat collar on him and then lift him straight up. The dog’s head will look straight toward the groun and he will eventually drop the ball, at which point, you should immediately kick the ball and let him chase it again. NEVER ASK THE DOG TO DROP THE BALL AND THEN PUT IT AWAY. When it’s time to finish the game, fake a throw and then put the ball in your pocket and call the dog to go inside and then feed him dinner.

If You Want To Train A Dog To Drop The Tennis Ball, You Can’t Put It Away As Soon As He Drops It.  Dropping The Ball Should Signal More Play To The Dog

#3: If you still can’t get the ball out of the dog’s mouth, then just take the ball in your left hand and beng the dog’s lips around his teeth with your right hand. As soon as the dog releases the ball, you guessed it! Throw it, immediately and let him go chase it. Here’s the trick: You need perfect timing. As soon as the dog releases the ball (and I mean, that VERY SECOND) you should kick the ball off and let him chase it.  If you follow all of these steps, you’ll be able to train a dog to drop the tennis ball very quickly.

Why You Absolutely DON’T Want To Give Your Dog “Double-Commands”

Never give a command that you cannot enforce. Another way of saying that is: Always make sure that you have some way to enforce your commands, until your dog is 100% conditioned.

When training new commands–or even enforcing commands that your dog already knows–give the command only once and then make your dog do it. (Just Do It, as Nike says!)

I don’t advise repeating a command over and over again. Even for a puppy. Say it once. Don’t get in the habit of issuing double, triple or quadruple commands.

You need to teach the dog the right way, from the start.

Here is the chain of training: Command – Action/Behavior – Praise – Release.

For example: Say, “Sit,” once (command). Then make the dog sit. (Action/behavior). Then say, “Good dog!” and give her a scratch behind the ears. (Praise). Then say, “Take a break,” or “Free”. (Release). Then do it over again.

Will Her Mother-in-Law’s “Too-Easy Dog Obedience Training Rules” Undo Her Dog’s Training?

Tanx writes to me about her Mother-in-Law’s slack dog obedience training rules in the house :  My family and I want to add our thanks– to all the other thanks you constantly receive. You have produced a dog obedience training book that is SOOO easy to read, understand, follow, and with great analogies. I have read the book front to back.

She Used One Of My Dog Obedience Training Tips…
The ‘Ol “Tennis Ball On A Rope” Game

My concern will pertain to page 141, “Psychological Mistreatment Through Isolation.” Here it goes…. On the weekdays, I will get up in the morning anywhere between 0530 to 0600 (sometimes earlier, between 0500 to 0530). I will let my (now 6 months old) Jack Russell Terrier out of the crate, go out for his morning business, play, give him a lot of petting and rubbing and run him through some dog obedience training routines. I use the ball on a rope as you suggested. I thought this would create dog aggression problems, until I read the book.

Feeding time, I will do the down-stay command, for 30 sec or so, then ask him to go in to the crate, and another stay command, for about 30 sec. Then I feed him inside his crate. After this, it’s back outside for his other business. Then play some more with the ball on a rope, some fetching, and more fun training. I practice the stay command like you said, where I will temp him. He is getting better with my release command of “OK”. [Editor’s note: Don’t use “OK” for a release command.

Use something that isn’t so easily confused with our everyday vernacular… such as, “Take A Break” or “Free!”] He will not move until I say “OK”. I want to make sure I get in as much detail as possible. At 0700 I have to crate him. Until I get home at 1700. When he is out at about 1700, it’s feeding time and then some training again as above, and a lot of touching (petting and rubbing). I know that’s 10 hours in the crate, however, when he’s out, my family and I play like crazy with him for about 2-3 hrs, by 2100 he’s looking up at the couch and my wife, waiting for the “up” command so he can rest with her. I know, I know, I read about not going to their level. When this happens I go to the chair, away from them. Then he will sleep through the whole night in his crate. I have the option to have him to go to my in-laws for the day. They own two dogs, a Golden Lab (2 years), and a Jack Russell (7 months). Both are NOT well trained.

The Lab barks at everything. The Jack Russell constantly nips at my dog’s hind legs, snarls, and bites and never stops. My mother in-law does not correct either dog. My biggest concern is that my dog will pick all the bad habits, because I am not there to correct him. My dog did not bark until he stayed with them for about a week or so. Also, 9 times out of 10 he will throw up in his crate, to and from my in-laws. So I decided to stick to my schedule, to crate him at home. The weekends however, he is out and playing with us. Here is my question (and dilemma)…

dog obedience training
dog obedience training

Should I take him to my in-laws with two untrained dogs? Where she may let him out for about 30 minutes or so a day for washroom breaks, and a little play time (if constant nipping, snarling & biting is considered play, this hasn’t stopped for the past month). Then back into the crate or I should I leave him at home in the crate until I get home, and do some bonding, quality playing, along with training and avoid the throwing up?

I know you will have a short answer. I just wanted to make sure you were made aware of the circumstances, to better judge me. I’ve followed EVERYTHING you say to do (ok, except the couch bit– that is my wife’s little bonding moment with him.) Again many, many thanks from the Martinez family, from Canada eh. For those people questioning if they should buy the book…. There is no need to question… Just buy the book…!!!! I live in the east coast and spent the best darn $90 Canadian for these books and tapes… It’s more than worth it… Thank you for your patience… and God bless you, your family and team.
— Tanx.


Can Dog Obedience Training Be “Undone” By Someone Else?

Dear Tanx:

Thanks for the kind words.

I may be off the mark here, but I think that the question you’re really asking is, “Will my mother-in-law’s ‘too-easy’ house rules undo my dog’s obedience training?” And the answer is: No, you have nothing to worry about. However, your dog may start doing things that he NEVER DOES at home. But it’s just like a child who goes to Grandma’s house and gets away with all kinds of rotten behavior… because she can!

But upon returning home, she’s smart enough to know that YOUR house rules apply. But often times, upon coming home, the dog will try to test you to figure out if the lax rules at Grandma’s house are now the same at home. And as long as you’re consistent with your rules and motivational with your corrections, it should only take correcting the dog for any unwanted behavior ONCE and the dog will immediately remember that the dog obedience training “house rules” in your house are to be respected.


The Truth About Training A Dog At The Dog Park

This idea of taking your dog to a dog park is not a good one. Why?

Training Your Dog At A Dog Park
Is Not A Natural Environment
From A Pack Perspective

#1) It’s not natural for the dog. We’re not talking about human children who need to be socialized with other kids throughout their infancy. Dogs learn dominant and submissive dog behavior and how to interact with other dogs from 6 to 8 weeks of age. This two week period is called a critical stage, and a small amount of exposure will have a lasting effect on your dog’s personality.

dog park

When you throw your dog in with all kinds of other dogs (from other packs) the first thing they need to do is establish who’s dominant and who’s submissive. And yes, they’ll tussle to do this, often. If you have two really dominant dogs, they may even fight to the death. Or if another dog gets flushed too quickly, he’ll get defensive. And then you have a dog fight on your hands, with hundreds of dogs and owners yelling and running around screaming…. and none of the dogs are trained… and none of the dogs are on leash… and all of the owners don’t know anything about dog handling (esp. a fight) but think they know everything. Trust me… it’s a bad situation you need to avoid.

Too Much Poop: The Dog Park Is Not
A Healthy Environments For Your Dog

#2) Health: They let anyone into those dog parks. And believe you me, you get the types who will find a dog in an alley and before giving it shots (rabies, parvo, etc..) … they think they’re doing a great thing by bringing the dog to the dog park where he can cough, lick and breathe on your dog.

No Screening Process: The Dog Park Will Let Anybody In,
Even Dogs With Dangerous Temperaments

#3) Temperament: Nobody does a temperament test on these dogs before letting them into the park. Duh! You’re playing with fire.

So you can see, there are a lot of risks. And just because the dog gets into a dominance scuffle, does not mean that he’s a dog fighter. But everyone else there will think so!  But that’s a different issue for another article.

I will use the dog park on rare occasions if I’m at the point in training where I need an extreme amount of distractions, for certain higher-level dogs.  But even then, only for a short period of time and not to just let the dog “hang out” with other dogs and owners.  Usually, it’s just not worth the hassles. My advice: Avoid the dog park.

Teach Your Dog Obedience Commands In This Order

Brandee N writes: “I bought your book about two weeks ago to learn more dog obedience commands. Finally, someone has written a dog training book that makes sense. Good job… I bet it took a lot of time to put all of it together, huh?”

dog obedience commands

The reason I am writing to you is because I am confused about some things that deal with teaching the down/stay and sit/stay. Tell me if this sounds like I have it right:

First, teach her (the dog) how to do the command doing repetitions and placing her in the correct position immediately after saying the command. Then, working up to the point you can just stand up straight and have her respond.

Next, work up distance and time then add distractions and practice in different places.

Finally, go to the long line and then the tab to get reliability off-leash.

Teach Dog Obedience Commands By Proofing, First

[Adam:] Actually, you should start proofing for distractions first, then move to greater distances& but only progress to greater distances with the long line. Without the long line, guess what might happen?

[She continues:] This is how I understand the process from what I have read in your book.

Should I move on to the next step once my dog performs the command quickly and correctly for one training session or keep drilling her without adding something new?

Teaching Dog Obedience Commands Takes More Than One Session

[Adam:] It’s going to take much more than one training session. When the dog learns something, it’s situational. So you’re going to have to work the same exercise& at the same point in the program& in several different locations before you’re ready to move onto the next step.

[She continues:] During proofing, is it okay to add distractions during the dogs learning phase after the dog does the command for me a couple of times correctly without being corrected?

[Adam:] You’re confusing two things. Is the dog in the learning phase, or is he in the proofing phase? The two are very distinct. Do not move onto one phase until you’ve mastered the other.

Here is the order: Learning phase– reinforcement phase– proofing phase.

[She continues:] How long does it take the “average” dog to be taught a new command and proofed in it?

[Adam:] This is impossible to answer. It depends upon the trainer, the dog, the exercise, the setting, how frequently the dog is worked, etc& You let the dog tell you when it’s time. This is why reading your dog is so important. It takes as long as it takes.

[She continues:] Do you teach the down/stay and sit/stay in one session or separately?

[Adam:] Separately.

[She continues:] In what order should I teach my dog new commands?

[Adam:] Walk on a loose leash, boundary and perimeter training, sit-stay, down-stay, heel, then come. The order that you teach commands is not written in stone, but I find that doing it this way allows for a very natural flow and learning progression.

[She continues:] Sorry my letter is so long…any instruction you can give me is greatly appreciated…oh, by the way I really like the book. Thank you

Brandee N

[Adam:]  No problemo.  I’m happy to help clear up some of the issues you were having with teaching dog obedience commands.

Eleven Verbal Dog Obedience Training Commands That Professional Dog Trainers Use

Ever wonder what dog obedience training commands you should be using with your dog?  Teaching your dog to respond to commands achieves three important goals:

1.  It helps establish a more balanced relationship between you and your dog.

2.  It promotes a vocabulary that your dog understands… a way of communicating with him/her.

3.  It is a useful tool for exercising your dog’s mind and body.

The following is a list of 11 commonly used dog obedience training voice commands used by professional dog trainers:

These First Three Are The Most Fundamental Dog Obedience Training Commands You Should Teach

1. “Come”: This command is used to bring the dog to the owner.

2. “Down”: This command is used to make the dog go to the ground lying face down.

3. “Heel”: This command is used to make the dog walk to the owner’s left side. It is also used to make the dog go to heel position from the come-fore position.

dog obedience training commands

These Next Three Dog Obedience Training Are Fairly Basic:

4. “No”: This is used to let the dog know that he has done something wrong.

5. “Sit”: This command is used to make the dog sit down.

6. “Stand”: This is used to bring the dog up on all four feet.

7. “Stay”: This command is used (by some trainers) to keep the dog in either the sitting or the standing position.

Dog Obedience Training Commands Like
“Fetch” and “Find It” Are A Little More Advanced

8. “Fetch” or “Take it”: This command is used to make the dog take an object from either off the ground or the hand.

9. “Find it” or “Look for it”: This is used to make the dog seek for an object that he recognizes only by smell such as tracking or seeking a lost article.

10. “Hup”: This command is used to make the dog jump.

11. “Free”: (Alternate: “Take A Break”)  Used to communicate to your dog that the exercise is finished.

Practice these dog obedience training commands every day with your dog to ward off boredom and develop a more satisfying relationship with your canine companion.

How To Get Fast Dog Training Results

Want to know how to get fast dog training results?

Actually, it’s the very same dog training secret you need to know to have a successful relationship with your spouse, your kids, your parents and your friends.

Fast Dog Training Results?
Have I Got Your Attention?

Are you wondering:  What one thing could it be?  What one “element” could possibly be so powerful that it can completely change my relationship with my dog, my spouse, my children, and my parents and friends?

fast dog training

Aretha Franklin knew the answer: R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

Without respect, you can’t even begin to expect that your dog will listen to you, anywhere you go.

Forget about fancy techniques and tricks to get your dog to obey.

Without respect, your dog will do none of it.  (And the same for your spouse, you kids, etc…)

Hint: Gaining Your Dog’s Respect
Is The Key To Getting Fast Dog Training Results

Respect is something that you cannot simply “ask” for.  It must be demanded.  It is an invisible aspect that other animals (including humans) immediately sense.  However, when dealing with other animals that have a tendency to be more dominant, sometimes they will test you to see if you really deserve the R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

But let’s stick with dogs for now.  So, how do dogs do this?

There are literally hundreds of ways:

  • Reading your body language and how you carry yourself.
  • By seeing if you give a command once, and then make your dog do it
    immediately, if they don’t instantly respond.
  • By correcting disrespectful and rude behavior when it happens…
    and not rewarding it, ignoring it, or letting it fester.
  • By being the one who goes first, and is the first to reach for
    the prize.  Remember: the lead dog always gets the best of
    everything.  As a good leader, he may choose to share it with his
    pack, but he is always the one who makes that decision.  If another
    dog sees him not being the decision maker, then the other dogs will
    lose its respect.
  • Etc., etc, etc…

But the most important way to get fast dog training results is to show your dog that you’re willing and able to enforce every command — and do this until your dog is 100% responsive.

Why A Balanced Approach To Obedience Training Your Dog Is Best

Here’s an example of why a balanced approach to dog training is the best way to go: Because it allows you to use the tool that best fits both your dog’s temperament and the behavior you’re trying to teach.

In this video, I’m working on three issues:
1. Getting the dog to come in tighter, for the sit-front.
2. Once he shows me that he’s starting to understand that he should come in tighter– then I start getting a little more demanding by making him line up straighter.
3. Tightening up the heel position, which I felt he was too loose in his positioning.

To discuss more about this video, join us on our discussion forum.