How Many Commands Can A Dog Learn?

Besides knowing your dog’s temperament, it’s also important to know how fast your dog can pick up new skills or lessons. This will help you adjust the lessons accordingly. It also ensures that your dog can learn as effectively as possible. In this discussion, we’ll tackle how many commands or lessons a dog can learn. Also, we’ll explore the answers to questions like, “how do you know if your dog had enough for the day?” and “how can you improve a dog’s learning ability?”. Learning about these things can come in extra handy if you want to train your pooch yourself.   

How many words can a dog learn?

Have you ever wondered how many words your dog can learn? Does he/she understand you when you talk? According to studies, an average trained dog can learn about 165 words. Smarter dog breeds like Border Collies, German shepherd and poodles, on one hand, can master up to 250 commands without any problem. 

You can start with the basic commands like sit, down and stay. Then, you can introduce words like ball or bed by associating objects to the terms. Each time your dog learns a new word, make sure to acknowledge his/her efforts by calling out his/her name and giving lots of verbal praises.

Your dog can pick up other cues 

If you have been training your dog for a while, you may have noticed that sometimes, you need to say a command in a specific tone or manner. Otherwise, you don’t get a response. Dog behavioral experts explain besides words, dogs are more inclined to pick up cues from your body language and the tone of your voice. This is why, sometimes, they respond better to hand gestures, like when you point down on the floor to signal your dog that it’s time to sit. 

As a responsible and loving fur parent, you’ll need to be aware of your dog’s specific learning styles. This way, you can make use of an effective approach in teaching and communicating with your dog.  Don’t be afraid to experiment and adjust well-known dog training techniques so you can come up with a better version that caters to your dog’s needs. Use your instincts and take note of your observations. 

For example, find out what stimulates your dog better. Do you get more responses when you use hand gestures or verbal cues? What sort of words work better whenever you give out a command? Does your dog specifically respond to a lower tone or a higher one? 

How to boost your dog’s learning ability

Many things can affect how well your dog learns from you during each training session. For starters, you need to ensure that you’re working in a distraction-free place. Otherwise, you’ll never get your dog to focus. 

Another factor that you need to consider is your dog’s age. It will help if you start teaching basic things like how to sit or where to stay during the first few months of your pooch. If you have an older rehomed dog, then you might want to work on what your dog already knows and, from there, make the necessary corrections or adjustments.

It’s also good practice to expose your dogs to brain-stimulating activities. Some good examples of these include:

  • Nose work game – Set your dog on a fun and exciting treasure hunting game where he/she gets to find hidden doggy treats around the house or your backyard.
  • Maximize the use of food-dispensing toys – Let your dog figure how he/she can get more treats with a food-dispensing tool. It will test your dog’s ability to figure out puzzles and bring out his/her natural resourcefulness.

Help! My dog isn’t learning anything

Each dog progresses differently in terms of learning and catching up to whatever lessons you provide them. It could change or fluctuate depending on your dog’s breed, temperament, and learning style. Your skills and techniques as your dog’s trainer also play a huge role in your dog’s learning success. Hence, if you do not see any results from your training lessons, then there may be something wrong with the factors we’ve mentioned. 

For example, some dogs have a hard time picking up new skills because they feel anxious after getting rehomed. On the other hand, other dogs are hard to control because they have their own ways of learning things, and they’re not exactly the same as the methods you use. 

Then, there are also cases wherein a dog parent doesn’t use the right approach during training. It could be in terms of how you use positive and negative reinforcement when introducing new words. It could also be the consistency of the strategies you use. 

Whatever is causing the problem, you’ll need to identify as soon as possible if you want to see improvements. If it’s coming from your dog’s previous experiences before getting rehomed, you’ll need to address the anxiety problems. Be extra patient and help your dog adjust to his/her new environment. If it’s your training style and strategy, you may need to call in a pro to help you out.  

Delaware K9 Academy is here for your dog training needs!

While dog training appears to be an easy task that anyone can pull off, in truth, it requires a bit of practice and some dog-whispering talent. It’s art and science all rolled into one. If you’re not getting anywhere with your fur buddy’s training lessons, then it may be time to seek help from a professional trainer like Delaware K9 Academy. 

At Delaware K9 Academy, we use tried and tested techniques in training dogs. On top of that, we come up with a customized approach for each student to ensure that we meet and provide ideal results after the program. 

Let us help you tap into your dog’s learning potential. Find out more about our training lessons and how they fit into your goals and your dog’s learning style and temperament. Get in touch with us today for your questions. You can also join our dog training programs today.