How to Train a Dog with French Commands

How to Train a Dog with French Commands
Medium difficulty iconMedium
Time icon2-8 Weeks
General training category iconGeneral

Introduction

Maybe you speak French or maybe you’d just like your dog to speak, or rather know, French. Either way, if you teach your dog the same commands you know in English in the French language, you’ll have a fabulously fun bilingual dog.

Imagine going to the dog parks and having your dog perform for other dogs and owners while you give only French commands.

‘Ohh-la-la,’ others will say. ‘You know French.’

‘My dog does. He knows French and English.’

Once your pup has mastered simple obedience commands in French, you can teach him fun tricks in French and put on a show. Your audience may not know what to expect unless they speak your dog’s new language as well.

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Defining Tasks

Training commands in another language like French isn’t much different than teaching commands in your native language. You will repeat the commands, get your pup into position or performing a trick, and then reward when he is successful. If your little guy already knows commands in English or another language, you will need to work with each command in the language he knows already as well as in French. After working with both languages, you will transition over time to only French so he knows he can perform that command with words other than the ones he knew before.

You can train any dog at any age commands in French. Just make sure the commands you use are consistent. A puppy is a quick student while an older dog, especially one who has only learned commands in one language, may take a bit more time to adjust to learning new commands for old tricks.

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Getting Started

You will need some delicious treats and scheduled time to teach these new commands. Since some of these tricks may be new to your dog, work with one command at a time. Plan your sessions in a quiet room free of distractions. This way your pup can focus on you and learning his new language.

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The New Commands Method

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1

Basic commands

If your little guy is just starting to train and doesn’t yet know basic obedience commands in any language, you can start him off on the right foot by using French commands only.

2

Sit

The French command to teach your pup to sit will be ‘Assis’ (Ah-see). Hold a treat over his nose and say the French command. Then slowly move the treat back behind his head to the back of his body. When he sits, give him the treat. Practice a lot and begin to use only the command without luring with the treat.

3

Down

The French command to teach your dog to lie down will be ‘Couché’ (Koo-shay). Once your bud has mastered the 'sit' or 'Assis' command, have him lie down using the 'Couché' command. While he is sitting, hold a treat on the ground and pull it away from his body. This should lure him down. Once his tummy touches the ground, say the command and give him the treat. Practice and reward often.

4

Come

The French command for come is ‘Ici’ (Ih-see). From a sitting or 'down' position, step away from your pup and use the command, ‘Ici.’ Hold a treat out letting him know if he comes to you, he can earn the treat. When he moves toward you, say the command and give him the treat. As with all other commands, practice often.

5

Stay

There are two French commands for the stay position. One is ‘Reste’ (rest), and another is ‘Pas Bougé’ (pah boo-jey), meaning 'not move'. Either is acceptable to teach your dog with the expectation to stay put. From a 'sit' position, take a step away from your pooch and give the command. Do not show a treat. Take another step away. Go back and give the treat. Repeat increasing the distance from him.

The Knows English Method

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Mixing commands

If your pup knows his basic obedience commands already and you'd like to teach those same commands in French, you will simply need to repeat the commands in both languages and have him work toward responding to both.

2

Get ready

Have some tasty treats ready for your dog to earn. Pick a quiet place for training so you have his attention as this may be confusing at first.

3

Give command

Start by giving your pup a command he knows well such as ‘sit.’

4

Perform

Once your pup performs the command, use the French word for the same command before giving him the treat.

5

Repeat

Keep this up using only one command until you are only saying it in French and not the English command he learned first.

6

Rewards

Be sure you are still giving your pup rewards for a job well done, but wait until he completes the command. As he learns the French command, wait until he does it upon hearing the French version.

The Conditioning Method

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1

Know commands

You will need to know the commands you’d like to teach your dog in the French language.

2

Coax

Whether your dog knows these commands in English or not at all, you can use treats to lure him into positions and to do tricks.

3

Treat

Use treats to lure him up or down or to do a trick you’d like to teach him to do in French.

4

Command

With the treat lure in place, get your pup into the position you’d like to see him in and say the command in French.

5

Working

Once your dog is performing the treat or hits the position, give him a treat.

6

Practice

Be sure you practice one command at a time several times before moving onto the next command. Always reward your pup for a job well done as he hits each new trick.

By Stephanie Plummer

Published: 04/11/2018, edited: 01/08/2021

Training Questions

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Training Questions and Answers

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Princess

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Chihuahua

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3 Years

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Question

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She doesn’t really want to try hard and do it she just lays down and wants me to rub her belly

Dec. 13, 2020

Princess's Owner

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Darlene Stott - Dog Trainer and Groomer

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104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, key to having a keen dog for training is to keep the sessions short. Train Princess for about 5-10 minutes per day, giving her treats that she really likes as a reward, along with a lot of praise. Always end the training session on a high note when Princess is doing well, not when she is tired of the process. Take her for a walk after the training as well. Because you are training her in French commands, you can either train her in French first, or if she has some training experience and knows her commands already, then use both the French and the English commands as you work. You may find this resource handy: https://quizlet.com/1439185/french-dog-commands-flash-cards/. Have fun!

Dec. 14, 2020

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Frenchy

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Poodle x Shih-Tzu

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24 Months

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How do I say good girl when she learns a command. I just adopted her and am teaching her commands in French only.

Sept. 15, 2019

Frenchy's Owner

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Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

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1133 Dog owners recommended

Hello Melanie, It is "Bonne Fille". Check out the article linked below for an audio clip of how to pronounce it. Good is Bon, and girl is Fille. https://quizlet.com/1439185/french-dog-commands-flash-cards/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Sept. 16, 2019


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