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1 min read

Dogs Aren’t Pre-programmed

Dogs Aren’t Pre-programmed

Dogs can learn very quickly that us using certain words or actions means we want them to do something in particular, they’re very smart! However, they do not come to us pre-programmed with these behaviours, they have to learn them.

Sometimes I get asked what is the word to make my dog do this or that. The answer is simply: the word can be whatever you want, as long as you teach the dog what you expect them to do when you give them that cue. 

It is important to realise that, no matter how many times you shout ‘roll over’ at your dog, or in how many different tones of voice, or volume levels, the dog is not going to roll over unless you’ve taught it to. The same goes for ‘sit’ ‘lie down’ ‘come back’ ‘on your bed’ and any other behaviour you want your dog to do.

Think of it this way:

If someone shouted ¡Sientate! at you over and over again, unless you speak Spanish, you would have no idea what to do. (It means ‘sit down’ by the way).

Try not to get annoyed at your dog for not doing what you ask, chances are they may not know what it is you want. I always say that if the dog isn’t doing what you’ve asked then you haven’t given them enough information. Put in the time to teach your dog consistent cues and behaviours. Then you will both have more fun and understanding of each other.


Laura is the Staff Training Manager for Pets In The City. She is responsible for training caregivers at Pets In City Wairau Park and Silverdale. Laura's philosophy is centred around building a relationship with your dog. She believes that it should be a collaborative effort rather than a situation where the owner demands obedience from their dog.

When she is not at Pets In the City, Laura runs her own successful Dog Training Company, Constructive Canines. To learn more about the training services that Laura provides, visit her website: https://www.constructivecanines.co.nz 

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