What Commands Do You Teach A Service Dog?

As guide dog puppy raisers we teach our puppies 9 basic obedience commands before turn in.  Adelle’s service dog training manual lists 30 commands we are to teach our pups!  That’s right 30!!!

We’ve been raising and training guide dog puppies since 2006!  We get the privilege of working with these puppies from the time they are 8 weeks old until they are 18 months.  During this time we do our best to make sure they are rock solid with a handful of commands.  Just in case you do not remember take a peek back at our blog post: What Commands Do You Teach A Guide Dog?

There were only 9 commands on that list, but of course these are not the only commands our guide dog puppies will learn.  When our pups move on to guide dog college they will learn many more commands as well as advanced skills.

What Do We Teach Our Service Dog Puppies In Training?

As a puppy raiser we do not teach our puppies everything.  We have 3 main goals as puppy raisers:

  1. Teach our pup’s good house manners.
  2. Socialize our puppies.
  3. Teach them basic commands.

It is the same whether you are a guide dog puppy raiser or a service dog puppy raiser.  However, there are a few small differences.  One of them are the commands we teach our puppies.  As I mentioned before there are 9 basic obedience commands we teach our guide dog puppies.

As a Service Dog puppy raiser it is my responsibility to teach Adelle 30 commands!  That’s right!  Canine Support Teams has a list of 30 commands we are tasked to teach our service dog puppies in training.  In fact, learning how to teach these different commands is one of the main reasons why I was interested in raising a service dog puppy vs. a guide dog puppy this time around.

As A Service Dog Puppy Raiser What Commands Do I Teach My Pup?

Lucky for us we are given a list of commands that we are to teach our puppies including what our pup’s physical response should be, application, and notes.  So, now you’re wondering what exactly are these 30 commands Adelle is required to learn?  Take a gander at this list:

Basic Obedience

  1. WATCH ME
  2. SIT
  3. DOWN
  4. STAND
  5. COME
  6. COME HERE
  7. STAY
  8. WAIT
  9. RELEASE

Correction Commands

  1. NO
  2. DON’T
  3. OFF
  4. QUIET
  5. SETTLE

Movement Commands

  1. LET’S GO
  2. HEEL
  3. SIDE

Directional Commands

  1. GO THROUGH
  2. BACK
  3. FOLLOW
  4. GO AROUND
  5. MOVE
  6. CLOSER
  7. GO TO
  8. GO IN

Etiquette Commands

  1. THAT’S ALL
  2. LEAVE IT
  3. CAREFUL

Personal Commands

  1. GET A DRINK
  2. BETTER GO NOW

That’s it!  Not too bad eh?  Adelle is 5 months old and we’ve touched on many of these commands already.  We are very good at some, okay at others, and some we’re not too sure how to teach.  The good news is we will be attending special classes with Canine Support Team trainers where we’ll learn exactly the things we need to work on.

Of course that’s not all the commands we will teach our puppies.  When Adelle leaves my home she will move forward to the Prison Pup Program where she’ll learn advanced skills and commands.

I’m super excited to move forward with Adelle’s training!  And as you can see so is Adelle :)

Training Adelle

Adelle taking a nap during training?!?

I’ll talk to you more about the different commands we are working on in the coming weeks.

How about you guys? Are you teaching your puppies anything interesting or fun? Tell us about it in the comment section below.

Comments

  1. Reena says

    Thank you so much for Sharing this useful thoughts and or tips. I also need to some this type of information for training my Dog. Firstly means before one month I brought Dog Training Kit
    Once agin thanks !

    • says

      Hi Marilyn,

      “Come” is a more formal command then “Come Here”. Here’s how they are defined.

      COME: To advance to in front or to the side of you and sit. Will come in front or to the side and sit. REMEMBER do not confuse with COME HERE

      COME HERE: To call the dog to you, but in no special position. Will come close enough to touch him, but does not have to sit. Can be used any time you want him to come to you, unless otherwise specified.

      We also have a formal and regular COME when we train our guide dog pups. We use just the word HERE instead of COME HERE when we train our guide dog pups.

      I hope that helps clarify.

      Take care,
      Colby

  2. says

    Hi Colby,

    Very interesting post! Wow, that’s a lot of commands to teach your puppy Adelle! I sure hope they give you an example of what your pup is supposed to do for each one, since some of those seem similar. Like “quiet” and “settle” and “come” and “come here” for example.

    Those ones kind of have me wondering what the difference between them are. Lol, then again, maybe I haven’t had enough coffee to think right yet today.

    One thing I’d like to teach our dogs is to stop rushing out the door. They get so excited to go out, even if they’ve just been out, they all rush to the door like a herd of buffalo.

    I usually make them sit and wait before opening the door, but it’s been a losing battle since no one else in the house takes the time to do this and just lets them rush out the door. Oh well, maybe I’m trying to train the wrong ones in the house, and I should be training the two-legged members of the family instead, lol.

    Best of luck in training Adelle, she is beautiful! She reminds me of my dog Jade. Love the pic, BTW!

    • says

      Hi Sherry,

      Yes, that definitely makes it difficult to train dogs when not everyone in the household is on the same page.

      Thanks! We think she’s pretty good looking too. Jade must be a beauty! :)

      Thanks for stopping by!
      Colby

  3. says

    Hey Colby
    This is such a helpful post for me. I can’t teach my first dog actually i didn’t have an idea, how to teach him and that time their was unavailable a good trainer . But this time I can train my cute puppy with this instruction. Thanks for sharing us.

    • says

      Hi Kate,

      I’m glad the post was helpful to you. We’re working with Adelle’s training and we’ll have more updates on what we’re doing and how she’s doing.

      Take care,
      Colby

  4. Rayna says

    Hey Colby!
    Just a little update for you! I have had my puppy from the “p” litter since August and he has been such a joy. His name is Pyxis and he is a lab golden cross. He is so mellow and really loves being with people! He went to a high school football game with me Friday and he is going to a volleyball game tonight! He does so well out in public it really surprises me sometimes! He gets many compliments everytime we go out! He is such a handsome boy;)
    Just felt like bragging about my puppy!:)

    • says

      Hi Rayna,

      Sorry for the late response. Congratulations! That’s great that Pyxis is such a good puppy. I don’t think we had any “P” puppies come to our group, but we did have a few from the “T” litter at our last meeting.

      Thanks for sharing your update!
      Colby

  5. says

    Puppies can be put in puppy training school to learn to socialize and after that, obedience school can follow. For service dogs, this is of course an imperative.

  6. says

    Hi Colby,

    I’m curious, what’s the meaning of the etiquette commands: ‘That’s all’ and ‘Careful’?

    ‘Leave it’ I’m sure of, but what would you teach a pup the other two to mean and how would you go about it? They’re quite abstract meanings where dogs really need simplicity mostly?

    Does that’s all mean ‘no more’ when eating / playing etc.? And ‘careful’, can you teach the puppy to slow down and be cautious? Seems incredibly hard, or have I got the meaning wrong?

    • says

      Hi Mark,

      Here are some definitions on the commands:

      “That’s All” – To stop the behavior

      • Tells the dog that it is time to stop behaviors that are permitted, but which, in certain circumstances, should not be allowed to continue such as scratching, chewing or licking himself
      • It is especially useful when you are in a restaurant or another place where it is inappropriate for the dog to do excessive licking or scratching.

      “Careful” – to approach a situation with gentleness and care.

      • When he is doing a “My Lap” taking something from your hand, or touching you.
      • Remember use a soft, calm, yet firm voice to get the dog to synchronize with you.

      I hope that helps.

      Take care,
      Colby

  7. says

    Very interesting! Of course, those 30 commands are words all dogs should learn. I had no idea there was such a difference between the guide dog pups and the service dog pups.

    • says

      I agree. All dogs should learn the majority of these commands. Adelle will end up learning about 120 commands when she’s done with her training.

  8. says

    Hi Colby,

    Well, thats a nice list of commands to teach your dog.. But, how can you make your dog learn not to bite you and other people around.. Can you please share your views when the dog is quite aggressive and keeps on barking on other people?

    Thanks :)

  9. Terra says

    Hey, thanks for all the helpful tips and the puppy is sooo cute! <3 I have a GSD who is a year old and she knows lots of tricks but I want to teach her some service dog tricks! Thanks again

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