The school year is just around the corner – I can hear all the parents reading this shouting for joy. As kids go back to school and families get back into the regular schedule for work, school, and after school activities, it’s important to not neglect our furry students, too. Basic training can offer many benefits to young dogs and old, so we wanted to offer a few techniques for you to practice with your dog or foster dog.

Training and commands offer engaging activity for your dog’s mind and body. Even if your dog is already trained on these simple commands, you should take the time to reinforce his or her training to give them a little mental exercise and keep their responses sharp.


  • Holding an aromatic treat in your hand, bring your hand over the head of your dog. His eyes and head will follow your hand, bringing the head up and lowering the rear end. Once your dog’s behind makes contact with the ground, firmly say SIT and give him a reward.


  • After your dog has mastered the Sit command, you can start to teach Stay. Stay can be a much harder command to master, especially for high-energy dogs or puppies, because it really relies on a dog’s self control.
  • First, ask your dog to sit. Once seated, hold out your hand in a stop signal, Say STAY, and retreat a few steps. Gradually increase the number of steps you take before giving your dog a reward.


  • Put a leash on your dog, and walk away a few paces. Say COME while gently pulling on the leash. When he gets to you, reward him. Once he’s gotten the hang of it on leash, remove the leash in a safe and contained are and continue to practice.


  • Hold an aromatic treat in your closed fist. Let your dog sniff your fist, then move it to the floor so that your dog will follow it to the ground.   Once your dog assumes the down position, say DOWN and give him the treat.

Remember that repetition and patience are the keys to success! Even the most energetic dog can be taught these simple commands, which will make your life with your dog all the better.