The following are the more common commands used with Service Dogs. These are used for basic training of such an animal. Once the basics are learned & they are partnered up with their recipient, then additional commands are learned to help with more specific personal needs.

Alert – dog should nudge your hand with his/her nose; tool for dog to tell you something

Back – tells dog to walk backwards

Behind – tells dog to move and/or walk behind wheelchair

Brace – dog should stiffen body to provide support and balance

Bring it here – tells dog to bring item to you

Car – sends dog inside your vehicle

Careful – cautions dog to prepare for precarious situation

Closer – tells dog to walk closer to you

Come – dog should move straight towards you and sit

Down – dog should lay completely on floor or ground

Dress – dog should put head through collar or pack

Drop it – dog should release item from mouth onto floor, table, or lap as directed

Excuse me – tells dog to move over to let you by

Find help – dog should run to nearest person and alert that you need assistance

Fix – dog lifts paw to allow leash to be untangled

Free dog – releases dog from work; he/she knows off-duty, can relax, play

Gentle – tells dog to take item from your hand more softly

Get it – instructs dog to take hold of an items in his/her mouth

Get your leash – dog locates and retrieves leash

Get your pack – dog locates and retrieves pack

Give – tells dog to release item to your hand

Go through – tells dog to exit door ahead of you

Go to (person’s name)– tells dog to go to designated person

Go to bed – send dog to bed, where he/she should down-stay until released

Go to your room - sends dog to designated area

Good, Thank you – motivators; reward

Heel – dog should walk on your left; command of position

Here – dog should move to designated lace by pointing a finger

Hold – instructs dog to hold item until further directions

Jump on - sends your dog completely (all fours) on top of an object

Kennel – sends dog inside crate

Kiss - instructs dog to lick or kiss you

Lap – tells dog to “up” on your lap

Leave it – tells dog not to touch something or to ignore something

Left – tells dog wheelchair is turning 90 degrees to the left

Let’s go – tells dog to start moving and follow you; command of motion

Light – instructs dog to turn light on

Name – dog should look at you; used to get dog’s attention

No – marks an error; interrupts a behavior

Nose it – dog is to pres forward with nose; used to close drawers, activate life alert

Off – tells dog to get off an object or you

OK – release from command of position such as stay, wait, kennel but dog still on-duty

Out – sends dog out of an area or room

Over – dog should roll onto back to show his/her belly

Paws – tells dog to place front paws on wheelchair foot pedals

Potty – potty command

Pull – instructs dog to pull wheelchair  ( Pull right, Pull left, Pull easy, Pull hard)

Push – tells dog to up on door and press closed

Quick – adds emphasis if dog is taking his/her sweet time

Quiet – tells dog to stop vocalizing

Right – tells dog wheelchair is turning 90 degrees to the right

Settle – dog should remain in down position and remain calm and quiet

Shake – dog gives you his/her paw

Side – dog should walk on your right; command of position

Sit – tells dog to sit

Snuggle – directs dog to place both paws on your shoulders

Stand - directs dog into standing position

Stay – dog should hold position and posture

Step – reminds dog to take one step at a time while going up/down stairs

Stop – tells dog to stop pulling chair

Switch – instructs dog to turn light off

Take to – instructs dog to take item to drawer or another person

That’s it – an encourager

Tug it – instructs dog to pull on item with mouth

Turn – dog should move to face the opposite position

Under – dog should go underneath what your pointing at (table, desk, object) and lie down

Up – dog should place front paws on an object such as a table or door

Visit – dog should place head on your lap

Wait – dog should not cross threshold; used at exterior doors, car doors, and kennel

What? – asks dog to show you what he/she wants

Yes – marks success; strengthens association