Words That Your Dog Should Know (Part 3)

Enough (Whatever you are doing was OK, but I’ve just changed my mind and now I want you to stop it, as opposed to “No,” which means whatever you are doing is unacceptable and should never be done). The command “Enough” is taught mainly, believe it or not, by tone of voice. It is usually learned rapidly and can stop excessive barking, a game of roughhousing that has gotten out of hand, or any activity that is usually OK but cannot, for whatever reason, continue at this point. It can calm a dog instantly. It can give you the full attention of a dog who was, up until a moment ago, acting up or acting out.

Out. This word can mean as in “Do you want to go out?” It is also used for getting the dog to give up what he has retrieved. In addition, “Go Out” by itself means leave this room and go to any other place in the house.

Biscuit or Cookie (Dog biscuit). The two words offer the fun of anticipating a treat. Therefore, when you say “Do you want a cookie?” he gets more than a dog biscuit. He gets to salivate a little imagining a dog biscuit.

Speak (Bark). This word should be taught verbally and then as a hand signal.

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Take It (Take this in your mouth). As long as you are going to play with your dog, to toss a ball for him to bring back or to encourage him to carry small packages or help pick up his toys, you might as well add the phrase for that skill to his vocabulary. “Take It” is commonly used as a fetch or pick up command. Young puppies love to chase a toy or a ball and sometimes bring it back. If you keep retrieving fun for the dog, and if you name this activity, you have a nice game plus the option of tightening play retrieving into reliable retrieving on command later on.

Wait. Some dog owners do not like to use the command “Stay” except in the formal sense, the freeze on command. When letting the dog know he is not going on an excursion or not getting out of the car just then, they say “Wait” instead of “Stay.” This can also communicate something important to the dog who is off-leash trained. It would make more sense to say “Wait” as your dog bounds toward the corner or toward the exit of the park than to say “Stay” which would be asking him to freeze in mid-leap. “Wait” tells him not to cross the street, leave the park, rush out the door, until you tell him to. But it allows him to be at ease while waiting. It’s worth teaching.