Schnauze! The One German Command Every Dog Should Know


Teaching dogs commands in German has a number of benefits. German commands can help dogs better distinguish between everyday words and commands. Using a foreign language for commands means the words stand out from normal conversation and everyday vocabulary, making it easier for dogs to recognize when you are giving a command. German commands also allow for very efficient communication, as the words tend to be short, distinct, and easy to pronounce quickly and clearly. This helps dogs respond faster. Additionally, teaching commands in another language provides mental stimulation and enrichment for dogs as they learn new words.

In recent years, more dog owners and trainers have begun using foreign languages like German for training commands. The unique words help dogs understand they are being given a command, not just hearing a regular word. German commands in particular have grown in popularity thanks to the sharp, clear sound of the German language. With distinct consonants and short vowels, German allows for commands that are easily understood and enable quick responses from dogs.

Basic Obedience Commands in German

When training a dog in German, there are several basic obedience commands you’ll want your canine companion to learn. These essential commands allow you to direct your dog’s behavior and establish basic manners.


The German command for “sit” is “sitz” (pronounced zits). Teaching your dog to sit on command is usually one of the first things you’ll train.

a dog sitting obediently after hearing the german command for sit


The German word for “stay” is “bleib” (pronounced blibe). This instructs your dog to remain in place and not move from their current position.


The German command for “come” is “hier” (pronounced hee-r). This calls your dog to come directly to you.


The German word for “down” is “platz” (pronounced plah-tz). This tells your dog to lay down on the ground in a prone position.


The German command “fuss” (pronounced foos) means “heel.” This directs your dog to walk closely by your side without pulling on the leash.

Knowing these essential German commands provides the foundation for training a dog responsive behavior and good manners.

Advanced Commands in German

Here are some more advanced dog commands in German that can be useful for training:

Fetch/Get itHol es (hohl es)

The German command “hol es” means “get it” and is used when playing fetch with your dog or asking them to pick up an object.

Roll overUmdrehen (oom-dray-en)

“Umdrehen” is the German word for “roll over” and can be used to train your dog to roll onto their back.

SpinDreh dich (dray dikh)

To get your dog to turn in a circle or spin, use the command “dreh dich” which means “turn around.”

JumpSpringen (shpring-en)

The German word “springen” translates to “jump” and is the command for asking your dog to jump up.

Other advanced commands include “crawl” – kriechen (kreech-en), “play dead” – tot stellen (toht shtel-en), and more.

Consistent training and positive reinforcement will help your dog learn these more complex behaviors.

How to Train Your Dog With German Commands

When training your dog with German commands, it’s important to use reward-based methods to reinforce desired behaviors. This means having treats or toys on hand to reward your dog when they correctly follow a command. Some tips for effective training include:

someone training their dog using reward-based methods

Start with basic commands like “sit” (sitz), “stay” (bleib), and “come” (hier). Only move on to more advanced commands once your dog reliably responds to the basics.

Use a clear, firm tone when giving commands. Pronounce the German words correctly and consistently so your dog learns to recognize them.

Reward your dog immediately after they successfully complete a command. This connects the reward to the desired behavior.

Keep training sessions short, about 5-10 minutes. Gradually build up over multiple sessions as your dog learns.

Be patient and persistent. It may take dozens or hundreds of repetitions for your dog to master a new command.

Use hand signals along with verbal commands at first. For example, hold your hand up for “sit” or “stay.” Fade out the hand signal over time.

Practice in different locations so your dog learns to obey regardless of distractions. Start at home, then move to more challenging areas.

With consistency and positive reinforcement, your dog will pick up German commands while deepening their bond with you.

Pronouncing German Dog Commands

When training your dog using German commands, proper pronunciation and phrasing of the words is crucial for your dog to understand what you want them to do. Here are some key tips on pronunciation to keep in mind:

The command for “sit” in German is “sitz” (pronounced zits). Be sure to pronounce the “z” sound clearly at the end. A common mistake is saying “sit” with an English pronunciation instead.

For “down,” the German command is “platz” (pronounced plahts). Pronounce the “tz” ending crisply. Don’t let the word trail off at the end.

The German word for “stay” is “bleib” (pronounced b-libe). Stress the first syllable “blei” and enunciate the ending “b” sound.

When saying “here” or “come” in German, the word is “hier” (pronounced heeer). Make sure to roll the initial “h” sound to differentiate it from the English word “here.”

Keep your voice calm, clear, and consistent when giving German commands. Speak at a normal volume without shouting. Using the proper speed and tone will help your dog listen better.

Take your time when first teaching the German words and gently correct your dog’s responses until they become accustomed to the new commands. With continued practice together, your pronunciation will improve.

Check out this helpful video on proper pronunciation of key German dog training commands.

When to Use German Commands

There are certain times when it can be especially effective to practice German commands with your dog:

    a person practicing german commands during a training session with their dog

  • During dedicated training sessions – Set aside 10-15 minutes 1-2 times per day to run through commands like “sit”, “stay”, and “come”. Make sure to use treats and praise as positive reinforcement.
  • Before meals – Ask your dog to perform a simple command like “sit” or “down” before setting down their food bowl. This helps reinforce that you are the provider.
  • When leaving home – Give the “stay” or “wait” command before opening doors to prevent dashing outside. Use the “come” command to call them through the doorway.
  • On walks – Use “heel” when walking on leash to maintain control. Practice “come” in safe areas in case you need to recall them.

You’ll also want to use commands like “no”, “leave it”, and “off” during daily activities to curb unwanted behaviors. For example, saying “nein” when they beg at the table or jump on guests. Practicing commands during real-life situations helps dogs understand when and how to apply them. With regular German training, your dog will quickly learn when to listen for cues.


Troubleshooting German Dog Training

If your dog doesn’t respond to German commands, there are some troubleshooting tips that may help get training back on track:

First, go back to basics. Review the pronunciation guide and make sure you are saying the commands clearly and correctly. Dogs respond best to crisp, one or two syllable commands said in a firm, authoritative voice.

Work on attention and focus. Before asking for a command, make sure you have your dog’s full attention. Use their name, give them a treat, or use another reward to get their focus. They can’t obey if they aren’t paying attention.

Increase motivation through rewards. Show your dog that following German commands leads to something good happening, like praise, play, treats, being let off leash, etc. Find what motivates your individual dog.

Break commands down into small steps. For example, teach “sitz” by first capturing the sit position, then adding the command. Shape the behavior gradually.

Be patient and consistent. Re-teach if needed. Stick with training daily in short, fun, rewarding sessions. Don’t get frustrated or angry with your dog as that can hinder progress.

Get help from a professional if needed. An accredited dog trainer can observe you and help pinpoint what’s not working. They can suggest methods suited for your dog’s unique personality and needs.

German Commands for Common Situations

When walking, playing, or in an emergency situation, having reliable German commands can help keep your dog safe and focused. Here are some of the most important commands:


  • Fuß (foot) – Used to keep your dog focused on walking next to you instead of pulling on the leash. Pronounced “foose”.
  • Langsam (slow) – Tells your dog to walk slowly. Useful when approaching other people or dogs. Pronounced “long-zahm”.
  • Voraus (go ahead) – Allows your dog to walk and explore in front of you. Pronounced “for-owse”.


  • Aport (fetch) – One of the most useful commands for playtime. Pronounced “ah-port”.
  • Aus (release) – Gets your dog to release a toy or other object from their mouth. Pronounced “owse”.
  • Bring (bring it) – Tells your dog to bring an object directly to you. Pronounced “bring”.


  • Platz (down) – Gets your dog to lie down immediately. Useful in dangerous situations. Pronounced “plahts”.
  • Bleib (stay) – Tells your dog to remain in place. Important if they need to stay where they are. Pronounced “blibe”.
  • Komm (come) – Calls your dog directly back to you. Pronounced “kohm”.

Using these German commands consistently will help your dog respond appropriately during everyday activities.

Additional Tips for Success

When training your dog using German commands, the most important things are to be patient, consistent, and make it fun for your pup. Here are some tips:

Be patient – Training any new skill takes time, repetition, and practice. Don’t get frustrated or give up if your dog doesn’t immediately understand a new command. Stick with it and be consistent with the German words and hand signals, and eventually your dog will get it.

Make training fun – Dogs learn best through positive reinforcement and rewards. Use plenty of treats, pets, praise, and playtime as you practice the commands. This will motivate your dog to want to learn. Avoid scolding or punishment which can hinder progress.

a happy dog being praised and rewarded during german command training

Use treats and praise – Immediately reward your dog with treats and enthusiastic praise whenever he correctly follows a German command. This positive feedback will reinforce the behaviors you want.

Overall, be consistent with the verbal cues and actions, make sure your dog is having a good time through positive reinforcement, and know that training takes time and repetition. If you stick with it using patience and fun, you’ll be amazed at what your dog can learn!

The Benefits of German Dog Training

Training your dog using German commands can provide several benefits compared to just using English commands. Some key advantages include:

Improved obedience – German commands are distinctive sounding and easier for dogs to recognize. The unique sounds help dogs differentiate these commands from regular words used in conversation, improving obedience when German commands are given.

Enhanced bond with your dog – Working through German command training together strengthens the bond between owner and dog. Your dog will look to you for guidance and reward when you use the German words, deepening your relationship.

Mental stimulation – Learning a new set of commands keeps your dog’s mind challenged and engaged. Dogs thrive when given mental exercises along with physical activity. German command training provides mental stimulation to keep your dog sharp. Studies show dogs trained with German commands exhibit better focus and retention of the training.

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