7 Essential Dog Training Commands for a Therapy Dog

A therapy dog is a well trained animal by professionals. It is trained to provide comfort, affection, and support for patients in many health facilities and schools. There are certain characteristics that the dog should possess, but the most important one is obedient.

dog training command

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In any condition, the animal must obey the handler’s order. The dog should be calm and it does not indicate any sign of aggression in any environment. The first step to test the animals’ obedience level is by giving order with some basic and essential dog training commands below.

1. Come

It is one of the most important dog training commands that all handlers should master. The “come” command is useful in many cases; regardless of the situations, an obedient dog will immediately leave anything and come near the handler anytime the order is given. A therapy dog usually visits health facilities or schools; in those environments, the animal will see many things and encounter new people. There are always possibilities that the dog will behave poorly due to the pressures of the new environment. Under any unfriendly situation, the “come” command will be very helpful. Many times, some patients may want to pet the dog; anytime the therapy session is done, the handler can simply order the animal to come.

2. Stay

A therapy dog is often working with doctors or healthcare professionals. Allowing the dog to wander around the facility is a bad idea; the animal may distract doctor’s concentration during health examination. When the professionals are doing the job, it is good to make the dog stay where it is.

3. Sit

The command seems simple but it does play an important role in therapy dog training. As a therapy dog, the animal should know how to behave during a visit to health facility. The handler should always in full control of the animal’s behaviors. A therapy dog must remain calm all the time; it is not allowed to jump or run around the places.

4. Down

It actually refers to “lie down” on the stomach. When on a sitting position, a dog can still jump, but it is not possible on a lying down position. Sometimes, this command can be a total behavior control.

5. No

“No” usually means “stop”. It will basically tell the dog to stop any of its current activity such as playing with toys, barking, and growling. A therapy dog should provide comfort to patients; when the dog is actively playing or barking, patient may find it less comfortable. On such situation, “no” command will be very helpful.

6. Okay

All animals can remember things. An “okay” command typically tells the dog that it is now fine to continue what it was doing previously. For example, the dog was playing with toys before you ordered the animal to stop. An “okay” command means that the dog is now allowed to continue playing.

7. Off

Depending on the situation, an “off” command is basically similar to “stop”, but it can also refer other dog training commands such as quit, move, or down. The command may tell the dog to move from its current position or stop any activity such as jumping or barking.

If you want to know more other commands, please see below video:


The mentioned dog training commands are the very basic ones. Therapy dog training is usually conducted by professionals and it usually works well. Knowing those basic commands can really help owners to control the animal’s behaviors in various situations.