Getting a new dog and cat can be a great experience for kids and adults alike, but it can also be a real test of patience as well. A good way to reinforce your role as a pack leader for our pets, as well as get it used to following your lead, is to start teaching it verbal commands. There are lots of verbal commands you can teach your pets, but in this article we’ll take a look at just a few of the basic dog and cat training commands that just about every owner will want to teach his or her pet.

One of the most popular basic training commands is the quintessential “sit.” Telling your pets especially your dogs to sit should not only have it plop down in front of you, but give you its attention for a second command. Most owners use the “sit” command as a sort of “stand at attention,” allowing them to move on to another command from there. To teach your pet to sit, you can simply call it over to you, tell it to sit, and see what happens. If it does sit, give it praise or a small treat to reinforce the behavior and let it know it did the right thing. If it does not sit, then apply a gentle pressure to its back legs (not too much pressure, as dogs’ hips can be injured by pushing down too hard) to remind it what to do. Repeat this as often as necessary until your pets can do it on the first try.

Other basic training commands include “stay” and “down.” Telling your pets especially your dogs to stay should keep it from moving until you give the word, and telling it to lie down should have it, obviously, lie down. These can be useful for when you want to keep your dog out of the way, or if you need it to wait for a minute.

Another common basic pet training command that can be particularly useful at home is “out.” You can apply this to several rooms, but it is often used in the kitchen. If you are cooking and your pets especially your dog smells it, he or she may come wandering in and start waiting for you to drop food, and generally get in the way and act like a pest. Telling your pet “out” should have it retreat out of the room until a later time.