Would you know a Russian dog breed if you saw one? Some dog breeds are easily recognizable and easy to associate with their countries of origin, including Chihuahuas, English Cocker Spaniels, French Bulldogs, and more.
However, sometimes scouting out Russian breeds can be a little harder. But don’t worry, we’ll make it easy for you: if your dog is a Siberian husky, Samoyed, borzoi, or black Russian terrier, then you can trace its roots back to Russia.
Of course, there are many more breeds with the same heritage. And one of the coolest ways to honor your dog’s Russian heritage is to teach them commands in Russian. Not only do Russian dog training commands sound unique and interesting, but there are many other great reasons to start using some Russian dog commands today.
Before scrolling down this list, check out these recommendations: Popular Italian Dog Commands for Training!
Why Train My Dog in Another Language?
Even if you speak English in your home, it could still benefit your dog to learn commands in another language.
Researchers have found that, in general, dogs have a similar intellectual capacity to two-year-old humans. Just imagine how quickly two-year-old kids pick up on language conventions and expand their vocabulary. It’s pretty much a daily occurrence.
Because dogs have been our companions for centuries, if not millennia, even though they don’t use words themselves, they rely on spoken language to understand what we need or expect from them.
Dogs don’t process language entirely the same as we do, but your tone is important for them. This means that we can use whatever words we want and assign their meaning for our dogs, and as long as we are consistent and patient, that training will stick.
But using a new language like Russian to train your dog is proven to help them overcome obstacles or regressions in training. It’s like taking them back to square one and wiping the slate clean. It removes all negative associations and lets your dog form a new relationship with and understand the term you use.
So if you’re struggling to see progress in your dog’s training, and particularly if your dog has a Russian lineage, it may be time to pull out Google Translate and start to learn some Russian words!
Today, we’re going to get you started with the most common and basic dog training terms, as well as a few more advanced ones, to help you learn Russian dog commands.
Basic Russian Training Commands
Just like humans learn, dogs often learn in layers. Forming a good foundation can help them progress with more complicated training. Here are some of the most basic commands you’ll need to master first before you move on to fancier tricks.
Often the first command a puppy learns, “sit” is the most basic of them all, so learning how to say sit in Russian is your first step.
In Russian, “sit” is spelled as СИДЕТЬ. Its phonetic representation in the English alphabet to help you pronounce it better is “see-DET.”
Sit and stay are two sides of the same coin, so many dogs will learn these two terms together.
To say “stay” in Russian, you say “MJE-sto,” which is МЕСТО. The direct translation of this from Russian means “to place,” which is a term that’s both easier for the speaker and still distinct enough for the dog to learn quickly.
The logical progression from “sit” and “stay” is “come,” which is a crucial term to learn to help redirect your dog both for obedience and safety.
The Russian term for “come” is КО МНЕ, pronounced as “ko-MNE.” Just like with “stay,” КО МНЕ doesn’t directly translate to “come.” Instead, it means “to me,” which is definitely in keeping with the command’s intention.
In some situations, your dog needs to be told when it’s appropriate to lie down instead of sit.
For these situations, give the Russian command of “lee-ZHYAT” (ЛЕЖАТЬ). This command simply means “down,” so you can train your dog to recognize this command either for lying down or for getting down as it applies to furniture or even people.
While you may not hear this term much anymore outside of professional dog training, it’s simply used to let your dog know that they need to walk calmly beside you. Although it’s used often for military or service dogs, it’s also a great term to know for working breeds.
In Russian, to tell your dog to heel, you say “RYA-dom,” or Рядом. The exact translation is “near,” which communicates to your dog that they need to be near you.
Some people prefer not to use the word “no” with their dogs, and some prefer to use more specific terms depending on the circumstances. So here are two ways you can communicate to your dog that they need to change their behavior.
“No” in Russian is “nyet,” or нет. To be more specific and tell your dog to “leave it,” say ФУ, which is pronounced as “FUH.” This is a Russian onomatopoeia equivalent to the English sound “ugh,” to convey irritation. Either way, it’ll get across to your dog that they need to stop what they’re doing.
Russian Communication Terms
Sometimes in training, your communication with your dog is less about what you want them to do and more about letting them know what’s coming next. Knowing their schedule and your expectations helps your dog to build trust with you, so use some of these terms to let your pup know what’s about to happen.
A simple phrase like this can communicate a whole scenario to your furry friend and help them anticipate what’s to come. They’ll certainly appreciate it!
To let your dog know that there’s a walk in their immediate future, say “HA-deet,” or ходить. Coincidentally, this word can also mean “run,” “play,” or “go,” so it’s likely to become one of your dog’s favorites!
Likewise, “outside” is a great, customizable term that can refer to going to play or going potty.
In Russian, the term many owners users to say “go outside” translates to “walk,” which is ГУЛЯТЬ, or “GUL-yat.”
Russian Praise Commands
A vitally important part of training your dog lies in the positive reinforcement that you offer when your dog obeys a command. So learning some terms for praise is an integral part of Russian dog training.
Good Boy/Good Girl
Many owners’ go-to phrase to let their pup know they’re pleased is by calling them a good girl or good boy. In Russian, the phrase молодец is used, pronounced “mal-uh-DYETS.” The translation is “well done.”
To say “good dog,” use the phrase хорошая собака, which is pronounced as “haro-shay sabaka.” Since it’s a little more complicated, choose whichever term is easiest to say since you don’t want to be stingy with your praise!
Advanced Russian Dog Commands
Once you’ve mastered more basic commands and praises, check out some of these more advanced phrases and terms that can help you take your dog’s training in Russian to the next level.
To tell your dog to bark in Russian, say “GOL-us,” or ГОЛОС. The literal translation is “voice.”
Once you’ve heard enough barking, it’s time to tell your dog “TEE-huh,” тихо, which means “quiet.”
To teach your dog to shake your hand, tell them “dye lahpo,” or дай лапу, meaning “give paw”. You could also choose to use the term рука (“ruka”, or “hand”).
Here’s a command your dog will want to know when playtime comes. Use принеси, pronounced as “pree-nee-see,” which means “bring.”
Conclusion for Russian Dog Commands
Remember that whatever language you use to train your dog, consistency and patience are key. Practice pronunciations and make sure to use terms that you can pronounce consistently and your dog can easily distinguish.
Still curious? Check out this video on Russian Dog Commands:
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Garrett loves animals and is a huge advocate for all Doodle dog breeds. He owns his own Goldendoodle named Kona. In addition, he volunteers at the Humane Society of Silicon Valley, where he fosters dogs and helps animals. Garrett enjoys writing about Doodles and believes that dogs can teach humans more about how to live than humans can teach a dog.
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