The 10+ Best German Dog Commands Your Dog Can Learn Fast

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A growing trend and popular among trainers is to train your dog using a foreign language. Because Germany is the third-highest producing country of dog breeds, many owners and trainers like to train their dogs to respond to German dog commands instead of English. There are actually several benefits of training your dog to respond to a foreign language.
Best German Dog Commands

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We’ll break down the best German dog commands to teach your dog. These commands are fun to say and your dog can learn them in no time. Whether you have an old dog or a new puppy, training your dog in german commands is fun and rewarding.

Related: Dog Training

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We complied a list of German dog commands with pronunciation based on their necessity, brevity, and ability to remember the word. While you can start with any word on this list, The American Kennel Club recommends teaching your dog these basic commands first:

German Dog Commands

Dog Commands In German
  1. Sit: Sitz (zitz)
  2. Down: Platz (plah-tz)
  3. Stay: Bleib (blibe)
  4. Here/Come: Hier (hee-r)
  5. Heel: Fuss (foos)

Once your dog knows the basic commands, you can expand to these other great German dog commands:

  1. Fetch: Bring (pronounce like English word)
  2. Let Go: Aus (ow-ss)
  3. Jump: Hopp (hup)
  4. Speak: Gib Laut ( gib l-owt)
  5. Go: Lauf (low-f)
  6. No: Nein (Nine)
  7. Stop: Halt (pronounce like English word)
  8. Stand: Steh (Sh-tay)

If they do a great job, don’t forget Good Dog; Braver Hund (bra-ver who-nd)! Hund means dog in German. And everyone should have a good hund.

If you are having trouble understanding how to pronounce German commands, check out this video:

Note: If your dog has learned English commands, you may not want to teach them “steh” for stand up because it sounds too similar to “stay” in English.

What are the 7 Dog Training Commands for a Dog?

The seven most essential dog training commands are:

  1. Your Dog’s Name
  2. Sit
  3. Down
  4. Heel
  5. Come
  6. Stay
  7. Drop It

What are the Hardest Training Commands to Teach a Dog?

After mastering the basics of dog training commands, you may want to tackle more complicated commands and tricks. Here is a list of the hardest training commands to teach a dog:

  1. Wait
  2. Speak
  3. Army Crawl
  4. Spin

What is the Hardest Dog Breed to Train?

While teaching your dog German commands is fun and rewarding, some dog breeds are very difficult to train. The most stubborn dog breeds to train:

  • Beagles
  • Rottweilers
  • Siberian Huskies
  • Basset Hounds
  • Chinese Shar-Peis
  • Afghan Hounds

If you have one of these dog breeds, you may want to decide if teaching your dog German commands is worth the effort if they have already learned them in english. If your dog is still a puppy, then go for it. They need to learn the basics anyway.

What are the German Dog Commands for Police Dogs?

Because police dogs are usually German Shepherd dogs, they often come from Europe and come trained with German dog commands. Police dogs are taught the following German dog commands before they are ready for police service:

  1. Sit: Sitz (zitz)
  2. Down: Platz (plah-tz)
  3. Stay: Bleib (blibe)
  4. Here/Come: Hier (hee-r)
  5. Heel: Fuss (foos)
  6. Fetch: Bring (pronounce like English word)
  7. Let Go: Aus (ow-ss)
  8. Go Out: Voraus (for-ows)
  9. Track: Such (zook)
  10. Guard: Pass Auf
  11. Bite: Packen/Fass
  12. Jump: Hopp (hup)
  13. Speak: Gib Laut ( gib l-owt)
  14. Go Ahead: Geh Raus (gay rouss)
  15. Go Inside: Geh Rein (gay rine)
  16. No: Nein (Nine)
  17. Stop: Halt (pronounce like English word)
  18. Stand: Steh (Sh-tay)
  19. Narcotics/Dope: Rauschgift (roussh-gift)
  20. Find Narcotics: Such Rauschgift (zook roussh-gift)
  21. Building/ Blind Search: Voran (for-ahn)
  22. Kennel: Zwinger
  23. What is going on: Was ist los? (vas ist low-s)
  24. Good (praise): So ist Brav (zo ist bra-v)
  25. Don’t do that: Lass das sein (los das sine)
  26. OK: In Ordnung
  27. Eat Food: Nimm Futter 
  28. Helper Stand Still: Steht Noch (shtayt nock)
  29. Article Search: Such Verloren (zook ferloren)
  30. Leave it: Lass es (los S)
  31. Fast: Schnell (sch-nell)
  32. Quiet: Ruhig (Roo-ig)
  33. Slow: Langsam (laung-sum)

Why Do Police Dogs Know German?

Police dogs are generally three types of breeds:

  • German Shepherd
  • Belgian Malinois
  • A cross-breed of the two other breeds

“According to K9 Officer Randy Widdicombe, it’s a myth that non-English commands are meant to ensure no one besides the handler can command the dog to “attack” or “sit.” In reality, most police dogs, German shepherds in particular, are purchased overseas and were trained with those command words. It’s easier for the officer to learn a few German words than to retrain the dog with new commands.” (source)

What is the German Dog Command for Attack?

The German dog training command for attack:

  • Attack/Take Hold: Fass (fahs)

What is the Quiet Command for Dogs?

The german dog command for quiet is:

  • Quiet: Ruhig (Roo-ig)

What does Zook in German Mean?

Zook is the English pronunciation for the German command: Such. Such means to search or track. It is a common German dog training command for K9 police dogs.

Why Do Dog Trainers Prefer German Training Commands?

There are actually several benefits from training your dog to respond to German:

Your dog won’t mistake your conversational words with commands.

When speaking to friends or family, sometimes dogs hear their English commands and become confused when you aren’t talking to them. By using German, your dog will easily distinguish between when you are having a conversation and when you are calling commands.

German is a clear, distinctive language for dogs to understand.

When giving German commands, you’ll say the word in the imperative form, which is concise, distinctive, and easy to learn. And it helps that they can be fun to say or yell. Watch an Indiana Jones movie for proof!

Related: The Best Dog Training Books

You can reteach a particular behavior if your dog struggles with the English command.

For dogs that have learned to respond poorly to an English command, you can reteach the desired behavior using the German command. Your dog won’t confuse it with the English command because the German word doesn’t have pre-existing associations. This gives you a fresh start to train your dog with the proper response.

Impress Your Friends

Not only are dog commands in German fun to say, but it can impress your friends that your dog responds to a foreign language. It is a practical party trick and a great conversation topic.

Do Dogs Respond Better to German?

Dogs don’t necessarily respond better to German than English. That’s more a matter of how well you’ve trained your dog. But German commands are short, easy, and contain attention-getting hard consonants, so German commands are easy for your dog to identify that you are speaking to them. 
Training your dog to respond to German commands is a personal choice. But if you decide to teach your dog German training commands, start as early as you can because it will be less confusing for a puppy than an older dog.

Dog Commands In German

Training Your Dog Commands in German Step by Step

When training your dog using German dog commands, you’ll want to:

  1. Decide which words you want to teach first. Sit, stay, and down are probably the easiest and most essential to teach your dog first.
  2. Learn how to pronounce the German word correctly.
  3. Start with one command at a time. Focusing on only one command at a time will keep your dog from getting confused and keeps training simple.
  4. Speak clearly and consistently when training. If you are training a dog that already has learned the English command, then you will want to first use the German command then follow with the English word to help with the association. Then eventually remove saying the English word.
  5. Use repetition. During the training session, repeat the command several times in a row to help your dog make the association between the word and the action.
  6. Use treats to reward your dog for positive reinforcement. Treats motivate your dog by holding its attention and desire to train. Training treats are an excellent choice because they are small and often leave the dog wanting more.
  7. Be patient. Training takes time and lots of repetition. Make training fun by creating a game out of it with your dog and showering them with love. The more positive reinforcement you give, the greater your dog will desire to please you.

Depending on the age of your dog, learning the commands may be easy or slow. If you have an older dog that already knows basic English commands, you may want to choose other commands to teach or work with your dog to transition from English to German.

What is the Best Age to Train a Dog?

Puppies are the best age to train obedience commands because they are a clean slate. But young puppies have very short attention spans. An ideal age to train your dog is when they are about 7-8 weeks old. At this age, they are old enough to follow basic commands but are not set in behavioral patterns yet.

Using Treats is Effective for Dog Training

Dogs are easily motivated by food. That’s why many trainers use dog treats to reward dogs for performing commands. Small dog treats allow for several repetitions before the dog becomes disinterested. More often than not, you’ll be the one cutting them off. 

To avoid creating a bribe instead of a reward, keep the treat hidden. This way, the dog won’t expect the treat until they perform the command.

Related: How To Teach A Dog To Speak

You’ll also want to be careful about what treats you use. Many dog treats have high calories or can disrupt your dog’s digestion if they get too many while training. It’s important to choose training treats that are small and fragrant to motivate your dog.

German Shepard Shows Love

Using The Best German Dog Commands is a Smart Way to Train Your Dog

Because German dog commands make it easy for your dog to distinguish between a command and a conversation, training your dog using german commands is really smart. If you are training a puppy, using German will be easy, and you’ll find you can train your dog to respond to German fairly quickly.

Start When Your Dog is a Puppy

When starting with a puppy, teaching them in German will be no different than teaching them in English because they don’t have pre-existing associations. Use the German words to introduce the desired command, and remember to have patience.

Teaching an Old Dog New Commands

Because it takes older dogs longer to learn new tricks and commands, be patient. It may take more time and more repetition, but you can teach your old dog to respond to German commands. If you teach an old dog a German command for an English command they already know, you will want to use both the English and German commands together. Then slowly eliminate the English command to see if the dog responds to the German command correctly

Don’t lose hope if you want to teach your old dog to respond to German commands. Exercise patience, love, and lots of repetition, and your old dog can learn too. Once your dog understands its new commands, you’ll be able to impress your friends with your bi-lingual dog.

Rogue Pet Science recommends using their all-natural pet treats to help train your dog. Rogue Pet Science makes natural, high protein, and nutritious dog treats that improve your dog’s health and overall happiness.

References:

  1. https://bigthink.com/strange-maps/is-this-world-map-of-dog-breeds-too-eurocentric
  2. https://www.germanveryeasy.com/imperative
  3. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/teach-your-puppy-these-5-basic-commands/
  4. https://www.petmd.com/dog/can-you-teach-old-dog-new-tricks
  5. https://www.mndogtraining.com/dogcommands-german.php

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