Dogs are wonderful companions, and they are typically eager to please. So what’s a dog to do when you teach it to “stay” and then use “stay” in a conversation multiple times with your parents? Were you talking to your dog? Should they stay? A good solution is to use German dog commands!
An easy way to avoid this problem is to use a different language for your dog’s training. Since much dog training is done in German, it is an ideal language to use for your dog, though any different language will do.
Why the German Language?
Some law enforcement agencies use German breeds like German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois, which are trained overseas, often in German, and imported. It is easier to learn German commands than to retrain the dog. It also contrasts nicely with daily conversation in many other languages, including English.
German Pre-Eminence in Dog Training
German is the most popular language for dog training, possibly due to Germany’s history of training dogs for military and law enforcement since the early 1900s. Many of these projects were successful, and German is still used in many training programs.
7 Essential Commands
- Come (Hier, pronounced “hee-r”): this is one of the essential commands for your dog. Your ability to recall your dog on command greatly benefits your dog’s and others’ safety. This one is easy for English speakers because “hier” sounds like “here.”
- Sit (Sitz, pronounced “zitz” or “zit-zen”): getting your dog to sit at attention is a good starting point for other commands. All English speakers need to do is add a “z” to “sit” to get this right!
- Stay (Bleib, pronounced “blibe”): when you want your dog to stay in one place.
- Down (Platz, pronounced “plah-tz”): sometimes, you want your dog to settle in for a long time yet be comfortable. This command can be followed by “Bleib” to settle in with your dog for a quiet, companionable moment.
- Drop it (Aus, pronounced “ous”): sometimes, your dog gets ahold of something that you don’t want it to, whether because it’s harmful to your pup or endangering property. A brisk “Aus!” is an excellent way to get their attention.
- Heel (Fuss, pronounced “foos”): train your dog with this command to keep your dog at your side and within your control. This command is worth teaching if you want to show your dog in a competition.
- No (Nein, pronounced “nine”): sometimes you want your dog to stop whatever it is doing, and “no” is a wonderfully adaptable command to get that done.
Police and Military Commands
There is a long list of commands used by police and military units. Since many dogs used for such purposes are bred and trained in Germany, a list of German commands is helpful for those working with these dogs.
|Go Out||Voraus (for-owss)|
|Guard Alert||Pass Auf (pass-owf)|
|Out/Let Go||Aus (owss)|
|Settle (calm down)||Beruhigen (berhu-igen)|
|Still (quiet)||Ruhig (rui)|
|Target||Zielen auf (zeelen auf)|
|Jump or Up||Hopp (hup)|
|Go ahead||Geh raus (gay rouss)|
|Go inside||Geh rein (gay rine)|
|What is going on||Was ist los? (vas ist low-s)|
|Good (praise)||So ist brav (zo ist bra-v)|
|Find narcotics||Such rauschgift (zook roussh-gift)|
|Building/blind search||Voran (for-ahn)|
|Eat food||Nimm futter|
|Helper stand still||Steht noch (shtayt nock)|
|Article search||Such verloren (zook ferloren)|
Apart from the essential commands all dogs should know and those intended for a working dog, here is a list of commands that you may find useful for certain breeds or situations or just a lot of fun:
|Speak||Gib laut (gib-lout)|
|Go to Sleep||Geh Schlafen (ge shlaafn)|
|Go to Bed||Geh ins bett|
|Shake (Paw)||Pfote (fote)|
|Roll Over||Umdrehen (umdre-en)|
|Belly/ Dead (Play dead)||Bauch (bauj) / Tot (to-ot)|
The Final Word
When all is said and done, and your dog has performed admirably (as we know it will), nothing is better than to finish up with a hearty “Braver Hund” or “good dog!”
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The photo featured at the top of this post is © Schelmanova Natalia/Shutterstock.com
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- Fluent TU, Available here: https://www.fluentu.com/blog/german/german-dog-commands/
- Dog Training Excellence, Available here: https://www.dog-training-excellence.com/german-dog-commands.html
- MN Dog Training, Available here: https://www.mndogtraining.com/dogcommands-german/
- Rogue Pet Science, Available here: https://roguepetscience.com/2021/02/02/german-dog-commands/
- Wikipedia, Available here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herding_dog#Basic_herding_dog_commands:~:text=8%2C390)%5B14%5D-,Basic%20herding%20dog%20commands,-%5Bedit%5D