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Types of Tactical Dog Commands You Should Know

If you’ve ever met a friend's dog chances are they understand a few commands like sit, roll over and high-five. Dog training commands are not just for our friendly at home dogs that want treats, they are very valuable for working and service dogs in law enforcement,hunting, the military and beyond. In this write up we will explore the benefits of using tactical dog commands, and the most common and non-common types of dog training commands. 

What are The Benefits of Tactical Dog Training Commands?

Dog training commands are important for working dogs for a number of reasons. Military and law enforcement officers use dog commands for obedience, protection and sniffing out contraband amongst many other reasons. Just like our furry friends at home, working dogs typically learn important tactical commands from tactical dog trainers and specialized training academies throughout the nation. Tactical working dogs learn commands from association and specific sounds. Dogs can learn commands from various voice tones and volumes. Militaries around the world use German voice commands like “Halt!” to command a dog to stop. 

Military,law enforcement and other working dog organizations benefit from tactical dog commands as they are able to communicate and control a dog that may be protecting their lives. Not all situations where tactical dog commands are that drastic, however commands help mobilize dogs efficiently through work spaces and various sensitive scenarios.



What are The Types of Tactical Dog Training Commands?

You may be asking what common and not so common working dog training commands exist in the field? Below we will unpack verbal, gib laut, non verbal, auditory and mobility assistance commands.

Verbal Commands

Verbal commands are the most commonly used type of dog commands amongst both working and non-working dogs alike. Verbal commands like sit, stay, heel and down are effective at commanding working dogs on the job. A verbal command is when a dog trainer uses their voice to signal a command to their dog. Verbal commands as a whole are also the easiest training commands to incorporate into your dog's training. The US Army uses a series of verbal commands coupled with visual cues (non-verbal) to communicate to their dogs important commands. 

Non-verbal Commands

Non-verbal commands are when a dog trainer uses hand signals and body language to communicate commands to their dogs. Non-verbal commands are often used in dog agility competitions and training. Common non-verbal commands for dogs include sit, stay, down and heel. For example many dog trainers extend their palm facing out to command a dog to stay and may ball their hand into a fist to signal their dog to come. Non-verbal commands are often utilized by owners who may be mute, and are also used tactically with law enforcement and military during situations where noise is to be limited. 




Auditory Commands

Auditory commands are very important for hearing dogs that alert their owners of a sound. For example a hearing dog may run over to their owners and nudge them when a doorbell is rung or when a smoke alarm starts beeping. Auditory commands are important because working hearing dogs can alert their owners of dangerous fire emergencies if the smoke alarm is activated.Here is an article from Jay, Maine where a dog alerted a hearing impaired woman of a fire at her home. Aside from emergency situations, hearing dogs can alert owners in routine occurrences such as when a baby is crying, or when a timer expires.

Mobility Assistance Commands

Mobility assistance dogs can support owners in day to day life that suffer from Cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, parkinsons and other mobile hindering conditions. These dogs are trained to aid their partners by assisting movement between locations by foot, crutches, cane or wheelchair. Owners may tie a leash to themselves and atactical dog harness for assisted guidance. Aside from helping their partners move, mobility assistance dogs may also be trained to perform various tasks such as opening doors, or picking up dropped items. Mobility assistance dogs can also be crucial during longer trips by plane or train. Many mobility assistance commands can be taught through both verbal and non-verbal methods. 

Gib Laut Command

The word “Gib Laut” means "speak in German. This command is used when you want a dog to bark on demand. Teaching your dog this command also makes it easier to command your dog to stop barking as well. The “Gib Laut” command may be used when someone approaches your home and rings the doorbell. Many tactical dog trainers will teach their dog to respond with a limited number of barks before cueing them to stop barking. This command is great for home protection while ensuring your dog does not continue barking disobediently. Law enforcement officers often use this command with their working K9’s when dealing with arresting suspects as well. 


Training your dog a variety of different commands is useful regardless if they are a working dog or not. Various types of tactical dog commands both verbal and non-verbal are used in routine law enforcement and military operations globally. Training dogs tactically also offers life-saving assistance for humans who are blind, challenged in mobility and deaf. Understanding various methods of tactical dog training commands can help enhance your life and the lives of those around you.