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5 Common Languages Used for Dog Training Commands

German Commands Dog Training

Trainers and handlers use verbal commands in dog training to communicate with their dogs. The dog learns to associate each command or cue with a specific behavior or skill. When the dog hears that command, they perform the behavior. Some of these skills are very simple, like position changes. Others are very complex, like running to the fridge to retrieve a beverage. When people think about dog training commands, oftentimes, English comes to mind first. You tell a dog to “sit” and they do it.

For professional working dogs or performance dogs, though, trainers often use languages other than English for their cues. Sometimes they do so because of the culture of their breed or sport. As an example, lots of dogs who compete in the sport of Schutzhund are trained in German. For other teams, especially teams that utilize their skills in real-world environments or in public, training commands in another language is a matter of necessity. Sometimes, it’s even a matter of safety!

Imagine a police dog responding to a fleeing suspect who yells “DOWN” or a Service Dog who turns to respond to a mother who asks a child to “COME HERE.” A large part of that can be mitigated with distraction proofing and handler focus, but many trainers find using another language for dog training cues to be simpler and safer overall.

Without further ado, here are lists of cues in 5 common languages used in dog training: English, German, French, Dutch, and Czech.


English Cues for Dog Training

Take It
Drop It

German Dog Training Commands

Sit – Sitz (See-tz)
Down – Platz (plah-tz)
Stand – Stand (Shtahnd)
Stay – Bleib (Bl-i-b, with a long “i” sound)
Wait – Wart (Vahrt)
Come – Hier (Heer)
Heel – Fuß (Foos)
Finish – Fuß (Foos)
Kennel – Zwinger (Zuh-ving-ehr)
Retrieve – Apport / Bring (Brink)
Take it – Nimm (Neem)
Drop It – Aus (Ous)
Go – Geh (Gay)
Search – Such / Voran (Sook / For-ahn)
Shake – Pfote (Pif-oh-teh)
Jump – Hopp (Hop)

French Dog Training Commands

Sit – Assis (ah-see)
Down – Couche (Koosh)
Stand – Debout (Da-boo)
Stay – Reste (Rest)
Come – Ici (ee-see)
Heel – Au Pied (oh-pee-aye)
Finish – Au Pied (oh-pee-aye)
Kennel – Chenil
Retrieve – Rapporte (aport)
Drop It – Halt (alt)
Go – En Avant (on-a-vahn)
Search – Cherche (scherch)
Jump – Saute (soat)

Dutch Cues for Dog Training

Sit – Zit
Down – Af
Stand – Staan
Stay – Blijf
Come – Hier
Heel – Volg
Finish – Volg (left) / Rechts (right)
Kennel – Hok
Retrieve – Apport
Drop It – Los
Go – Voruit
Search – Revieren
Jump – Over

Czech Cues for Dog Training

Sit – Sedne (Sit-neh)
Down – Lehni (lag-nee)
Stand – Stuj (stoo-ya)
Stay – Zustan (zoo-stahn)
Come – Ke mne (khem-nyay)
Heel – K noze (kno-zay)
Finish – K noze (kno-zay)
Kennel – Kotec (koh-tehk)
Retrieve – Aport (ah-port)
Drop It – Pust (poo-sht)
Go – Vpred (va-por-shed)
Search -Revir (reh-veer-eh)
Jump – Skoc (skohk)


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