6 Tips On How To Teach Your Dog to Understand Words!


© John Academy

Just like kids, dogs tend to learn a certain word when they hear that certain word or phrase a lot.

That being said, dogs are not only able to learn these words but also can be very good at understanding the tone of a certain word.

We know you’re not a professional dog trainer, and even if dogs can learn up to 200 words, for you, it might be hard to teach them their name, let along 200 words.

But what if we told you that you could change this by incorporating some new dog training techniques?

Of course, your dog won’t learn new commands overnight, but by following these tips, you’ll be in a much better path to understanding how to train your dog to understand words successfully, over time.

1. Show Don’t Tell

Normally, we tend to look people in the eye when we want to make sure they understand something, maybe even pointing the finger at them and open our eyes widely so they know we’re serious.
With dogs, however, you might need a different approach.

If you want to crack the code on how to train your dog, focus on showing rather than just telling.

Think of it like this, instead of saying something while looking at them expecting them to do it, don’t you think it would be way more effective if you showed what the word is?

Yes, we’re telling you to roll over and sit on the ground whenever you say the word “sit” or “rollover.”

After all, a word is just a word until your dog understands the meaning behind it.

2. Pay More Attention To Your Dog

The key on how to teach your dog commands is to be patient and a little bit controlling.

Let’s say you’re trying to teach your dog to sit on your command.

Dogs already know how to sit, which makes “sitting” an easier word to learn instead of “playing dead” or any other trick they don’t know how to do naturally.

In this case, what you need to do is to pay close attention to your dog and what he’s doing. Whenever you see him getting into a sitting position, immediately say the word “sit.”

Be careful not to scream at your dog because that might scare them, simply start saying the assigned word to whatever movement your dog is doing that you’d like to teach them to do on your command.

They’ll start noticing you only say this word to them when they do a certain movement, and because dogs are respectful and obeying creatures, they’ll do that same movement just because you’re saying the word that’s connected to it.

3. Practice All Day In Every Type Of Situations

You might feel more comfortable training your dog in the comfort of your own house or at a park. However, your dog is probably frequenting more places than these two.

Let’s say you’re with your dog on the street, inside your car, and even in the vet. You might need your dog to sit, but every time you “trained” him to sit, it was in your house.
This might cause your dog not to obey whenever you’re in a different location.

Make sure you follow the two tips above not only in your household but also in different locations where you might need your dog to sit and remain calm.

4. Make Sure You’re Giving Clear Clues

Being consistent and clear with the words you use to train your dog is one of the easy ways to train your dog commands.

For example, let’s say you’re teaching your dog that the word “Down” means laying on the ground.

You can’t expect him to do the same thing when you say “lay” or “get on the floor.” They are completely different words that your dog won’t connect to be the same thing just because your human, adult mind does. Think of your dog as a child, and teach them with the same patience you would teach a kid.

5. Use Gestures With The Words

A great option on how to train your puppy is to always have a gesture for a certain word.

It doesn’t have to be a complex one. Simply moving your hands down while you say “down” or saying “paw” and moving your arm forward is enough to make your dog understand that your hands and voice are telling them the same thing, especially when you always do the two things, not only just the voice or the gesture.

This becomes handy later on when your dog is successfully trained. Then, you can simply opt by making the gestures, and your dog will obey anyway, which is great if you’re in a quiet space where you can’t make much noise or when you’re trying to be discrete.

So if how to teach a dog quiet command is important to you, make sure you come up with easy and clear gestures for your dog to associate.

6. Never Punish Your Dog

Whenever your dog doesn’t obey or is just getting the cues all mixed up, do not punish them by throwing something at them or screaming.

Just like us, dogs tend to remember traumatizing moments, so maybe the word “sit” didn’t stay on his mind, but your scream surely might have.

Sometimes, this “scream” of yours or punishment might even allocate with the word you were trying to teach your dog. So, every time you say the word “sit,” your dog will be scared, which means “sit” is no longer a viable word, and you’ll have to change it for some other word.

Always remember, when puppy training or teaching older dogs, don’t ever punish them. Instead, do the opposite and incentivize them with dog treats whenever they do something correctly. It is a much healthier and safer way to train your pup.

Now that you know all the tips on how to teach your dog words, and of course, getting them to obey them, you probably concluded that this is not a difficult job at all.

It is, however, a demanding job. Teaching your dog commands demands a lot of patience and consistency from you. Do not give up, and we assure you, your dog will end up surprising you someday.