Teaching Your Tornjak Basic Commands


Training your Tornjak to follow basic commands is a vital part of responsible pet ownership. As a devoted Tornjak owner, you want to make sure your furry friend is well-behaved and able to interact with people and other animals. In this article, we will go through step-by-step instructions on teaching your Tornjak basic commands such as “sit,” “stay,” and “come.” By following our guide, you’ll be able to create a strong bond with your Tornjak and enjoy a more fulfilling relationship with your pet.

Understanding your Tornjak

A Tornjak is a large and powerful breed that originated in Bosnia and Herzegovina. They were originally bred to protect livestock and are known for their loyalty and bravery. Tornjaks are strong-willed, intelligent, and independent dogs. Understanding your Tornjak’s characteristics is an essential step in a successful training process.

Physical Traits: Tornjaks are large and muscular dogs that have a dense, wiry outer coat and a thick undercoat. They come in a variety of colors, including black, white, brown, and gray. They can weigh up to 150 pounds and stand up to 30 inches tall at the shoulder.

Personality: Tornjaks are known for being independent thinkers and can be stubborn at times. They have a strong instinct to protect their families and can be wary of strangers. They need early socialization to overcome their natural wariness. They are generally good with children and other animals, but due to their large size, it is important to supervise their interactions.

Training Challenges: Due to their independent nature, Tornjaks can be challenging to train. They have a strong will and can become bored with repetitive training. It is crucial to keep training sessions short and engaging to keep their interest. Refer to our article on Tornjak Training Challenges for more detailed information.

Training Frequency: Training a Tornjak requires patience, persistence, and consistency. It is important to establish a routine and train your dog at the same time each day to achieve success. Regular training sessions should be conducted, and sessions should not exceed 10-15 minutes. Refer to our article on Tornjak Basic Commands Training Frequency for more detailed information.

Positive Reinforcement: Tornjaks respond best to positive reinforcement training methods. The use of treats, praise, and other rewards will encourage good habits and reinforce learned behaviors. Refer to our article on Tornjak Positive Reinforcement Training for more detailed information.

Understanding your Tornjak’s physical traits, personality, training challenges, training frequency, and the use of positive reinforcement are all essential components of successful training. By keeping these factors in mind, you can lay a solid foundation for your Tornjak’s basic commands and beyond.

Training basics

Training Basics
Before diving into the specific commands, it’s important to understand the basics of training your Tornjak. Training your dog can be a daunting task, but with the right approach, it can be a fun and rewarding experience for both you and your furry friend. In this section, we will discuss the importance of positive reinforcement and consistency in Tornjak training. These principles will serve as the foundation for teaching your dog basic commands like ‘Sit’, ‘Stay’, and ‘Come’. For more information on consistency in Tornjak training, check out our article on tornjak training consistency.

Positive Reinforcement

When teaching your Tornjak basic commands, positive reinforcement is essential. This means rewarding your dog for good behavior rather than punishing them for bad behavior. Positive reinforcement helps your dog to learn quicker, and it’s a more humane way of training your dog. Here are some tips to keep in mind when using positive reinforcement:

  • Timing is crucial. Make sure to reward your dog immediately after they exhibit good behavior. This will help them associate the good behavior with the reward.
  • Use treats as rewards. Dogs love treats, and they can help reinforce good behavior. Make sure to use small, bite-sized treats so that your dog doesn’t get too full.
  • Be consistent in rewarding good behavior. Consistency will help your dog understand what you expect from them.
  • Use praise as well as treats. Dogs respond well to verbal praise, so make sure to give them lots of positive reinforcement in the form of “good boy” or “good girl” when they exhibit good behavior.
  • Keep training sessions short. Dogs have a short attention span, so keep training sessions short (around 10-15 minutes) and break them up throughout the day.

Remember that positive reinforcement works best when combined with consistency and patience. With time and effort, your Tornjak will learn basic commands and become a well-behaved and obedient companion.

Consistency is key

When it comes to training your Tornjak basic commands, consistency is key. This means that you should practice the same commands with your Tornjak every day at around the same time, in the same location, with the same tone of voice, and the same rewards. To ensure consistency, you can use an html table to create a routine or schedule for your Tornjak’s training sessions.

TimeLocationTone of voiceReward
EveningLiving RoomCalmPetting

In addition to using a routine, it’s important to use positive reinforcement consistently. This means rewarding your Tornjak with treats, praise, or affection every time they respond correctly to a command. This consistent positive feedback will make your Tornjak more motivated to learn and respond to commands.

Lastly, consistency means practicing the same amount of time for each training session. A good rule of thumb is to keep training sessions no longer than 15 minutes at a time. This will help your Tornjak stay focused and engaged during each session, which will lead to better results in the long run.

By being consistent in your training methods, your Tornjak will be able to learn and master basic commands such as ‘sit’, ‘stay’, and ‘come’ much faster and with greater success.

Teaching ‘Sit’

Teaching 'Sit'
Teaching your Tornjak the ‘Sit’ command can be a great way to establish a foundation of obedience and discipline in your furry friend. This basic command is one of the first lessons that most pet parents teach their dogs, as it helps them learn to pay attention and follow instructions. With a few simple steps and a lot of patience, you can have your Tornjak sitting on command in no time. Let’s take a closer look at how you can teach this important command to your Tornjak.

Step-by-Step Guide

When teaching your Tornjak basic commands, it’s essential to use a step-by-step approach. This helps your dog learn each command thoroughly and reduces confusion. Here is a step-by-step guide for each command:


  1. Begin with your Tornjak standing in front of you.
  2. Hold a treat above their head, so they look up.
  3. Slowly move the treat backward, over their head.
  4. Your Tornjak should naturally sit when they follow the treat.
  5. Once they sit, say “sit” and reward them with the treat.
  6. Repeat this process several times a day until your Tornjak responds to the “sit” command without the treat.


  1. Start with your Tornjak in a sitting position.
  2. Hold out your hand with your palm facing towards them while saying “stay.”
  3. Take a few steps back, staying within their line of sight.
  4. Pause for a few moments then return to your Tornjak.
  5. If your Tornjak stayed in position, reward them with a treat and praise.
  6. Gradually increase the duration and distance of the “stay” command.


  1. Begin by kneeling down next to your Tornjak and holding out a treat.
  2. Say “come” and gently pull them towards you with the treat.
  3. When they reach you, reward them with the treat and praise.
  4. Repeat this training exercise regularly until your Tornjak responds to the “come” command without a treat.
  5. Be sure to use positive reinforcement and reward your Tornjak for good behavior.

Remember, teaching your Tornjak basic commands is a process that requires patience and consistency. It’s important to repeat each step frequently and practice regularly. If your Tornjak seems to be struggling with a particular command, don’t get discouraged. Some dogs take longer to learn new commands, but with dedication and perseverance, your Tornjak will become a well-trained and well-behaved companion.


Troubleshooting is an essential part of dog training. Despite your best efforts, your Tornjak may still struggle with learning certain commands. Here are some common issues you may encounter and how to address them:

Your Tornjak won’t sit on command
  • Ensure that you are using the same command consistently.
  • Use positive reinforcement to motivate your dog to obey.
  • Make sure your dog is not distracted by other people or animals.
  • Consider breaking down the command into smaller steps for easier learning.
Your Tornjak won’t stay in one place
  • Start with a shorter duration and gradually increase.
  • Make sure your dog is comfortable and relaxed before attempting the command.
  • Use a release command to signal the end of the stay.
  • Practice in a quieter environment with fewer distractions.
Your Tornjak won’t come when called
  • Use a motivating reward to encourage obedience.
  • Practice in a low-distraction environment and gradually increase the level of distraction.
  • Make sure your dog has a strong recall foundation before attempting in high-distraction environments.
  • Avoid punishing your dog for not listening as this may decrease their willingness to obey.
Your Tornjak seems bored or uninterested in training
  • Make sure you are using positive reinforcement consistently.
  • Try using different types of treats or toys to keep your dog engaged.
  • Take breaks between training sessions to avoid overwhelming your dog.
  • Consider hiring a professional trainer for more advanced training or specific issues.

Remember, every dog is different and may have unique challenges when it comes to training. Patience and persistence, along with positive reinforcement, will help your Tornjak master these basic commands.

Teaching ‘Stay’

Teaching 'Stay'
One important command for your Tornjak to learn is the ‘Stay’ command. This command teaches your dog to stay in one spot until you give them the release command. It can be incredibly useful in situations where you need your dog to stay put, such as when visitors arrive at your home or when crossing a busy street. Teaching the ‘Stay’ command takes time and patience, but with the proper training techniques and consistent practice, your Tornjak will master this skill in no time.

Step-by-Step Guide

Teaching your Tornjak basic commands can be a fun and rewarding experience. With positive reinforcement and consistency, your furry friend can quickly learn to sit, stay, and come on command. Here is a step-by-step guide for each of these commands:

‘Sit’ Command:

Step 1Find a quiet area with minimal distractions
Step 2Hold a treat close to your Tornjak’s nose
Step 3Slowly move the treat up and back over the dog’s head. As the dog follows the treat, they should naturally sit down.
Step 4As soon as your Tornjak sits down, say “sit” and give them the treat
Step 5Repeat this process several times a day until your Tornjak consistently sits on command without the treat

Troubleshooting: If your Tornjak does not sit down, try moving the treat more slowly or getting closer to their nose to capture their attention.

‘Stay’ Command:

Step 1Start with your Tornjak in a sitting position
Step 2Hold up your hand as if to say “stop”
Step 3Say “stay” and take a step back. Pause for a second or two before returning and rewarding with a treat
Step 4Gradually increase the distance and time your Tornjak stays in place before rewarding them
Step 5Practice in different locations with increasing distractions, to help your Tornjak learn to stay no matter the situation

Troubleshooting: If your tornjak gets up, gently guide them back into position and repeat the command until they stay in place.

‘Come’ Command:

Step 1Begin by calling your Tornjak’s name in an upbeat voice, while clapping your hands or whistling to catch their attention
Step 2Moving backward, encourage your tornjak to come to you by holding up a treat or toy
Step 3When your Tornjak reaches you, say “come” and reward them with the treat or toy
Step 4Practice this command frequently throughout the day, increasing the distance between you and your Tornjak gradually
Step 5When your Tornjak responds to the command successfully, reward them with praise and a treat, reinforcing the behavior.

Troubleshooting: If your Tornjak does not respond to the come command, try clapping your hands or whistling to catch their attention. You can also try running away from them to encourage them to pursue you.


When it comes to teaching your Tornjak basic commands, there may be some issues that arise. Here are some common problems and how to troubleshoot them:

My Tornjak won’t sitMake sure that you are using positive reinforcement and rewards to encourage your Tornjak to sit. Also, ensure that you are not pushing down on your dog’s hips, as this can cause pain or discomfort. Instead, try holding a treat close to their nose and moving it upwards, which will encourage them to sit.
My Tornjak won’t stayIf your Tornjak won’t stay, you may need to start with shorter durations and gradually build up to longer periods of time. Additionally, ensure that you have given your dog a solid ‘sit’ command before asking them to stay. If your Tornjak begins to move, try using a verbal cue or hand signal to remind them to stay put.
My Tornjak won’t comeIf your Tornjak won’t come to you, it may be because they are distracted or have learned that coming to you means the end of playtime. To solve this problem, try using high-value treats or toys to reward your Tornjak when they come to you. Also, avoid scolding your dog when they do come, as this will deter them from wanting to repeat the behavior.
My Tornjak is stubbornTornjaks are known for their independent nature, which can make training a bit more challenging. If your Tornjak is feeling resistant, try using more enticing rewards or breaking the training down into smaller sessions. Additionally, make sure that you are avoiding punishment, which will only make your Tornjak more stubborn.

Remember, training your Tornjak requires patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement. With time and effort, your Tornjak will begin to understand and respond to the commands you are teaching them.

Teaching ‘Come’

Teaching 'Come'
As a dog owner, you know how important it is to have your Tornjak respond to simple commands. Teaching your furry friend to come when called is one of the most essential skills they can learn. It can save them from danger, prevent them from straying, and ultimately give you peace of mind. However, teaching your Tornjak how to come on command can be challenging. In this section, we will guide you through the process step-by-step, so you can train your Tornjak to come to you confidently and obediently. Let’s take a closer look.

Step-by-Step Guide

Teaching Your Tornjak Basic Commands: Sit, Stay, and Come

Once your Tornjak understands positive reinforcement, it’s time to teach them the ‘sit’ command. Here’s a step-by-step guide to get you started:

Step 1Hold a treat close to your Tornjak’s nose, making sure they can smell it.
Step 2Move your hand with the treat up, which will encourage your Tornjak’s head to follow.
Step 3As their head goes up, their backside will go down. When it does, say “sit,” and give them the treat.
Step 4Repeat the process a few times each day, using the word “sit” each time your Tornjak sits. Over time, you can gradually reduce the frequency of treats until the verbal cue alone is enough.

If your Tornjak is not responding appropriately, here are some potential issues and solutions:

  • Not understanding the word “sit”: Make sure you are using a consistent verbal cue and rewarding your Tornjak when they respond appropriately.
  • Too distracted: Try training in a quiet, distraction-free environment, or increase the value of the treats you’re using to capture their attention.
  • Physical limitations: If your Tornjak has any injuries or physical conditions that prevent them from sitting, consult with a veterinarian first. They may be able to recommend alternative exercises or training methods.

Once your Tornjak has mastered the ‘sit’ command, it’s time to teach them ‘stay.’ Here’s a step-by-step guide to get you started:

Step 1Ask your Tornjak to “sit.”
Step 2With your Tornjak in the ‘sit’ position, say “stay” while holding your hand out flat in front of you, palm facing your Tornjak.
Step 3Slowly take a step away from your Tornjak while repeating the word “stay.”
Step 4If your Tornjak stays in place, even for a second or two, return quickly and reward them. Gradually build up to longer stays over time.

If your Tornjak is having trouble with the “stay” command, try these solutions:

  • Too distracted: Try training in a quiet, low-distraction area, or increase the value of the treats you’re using to get your Tornjak to stay put.
  • Moving too quickly: If you are moving too quickly away from your Tornjak, they may become anxious and follow you. Start with very short time increments and build up slowly.
  • Breaking the stay: If your Tornjak keeps breaking the stay, try repositioning your body to create a physical barrier that prevents them from moving, or placing your hand on their shoulders or back to gently keep them in place.

Teaching your Tornjak to come when called can be a valuable safety exercise. Here’s how to teach it:

Step 1Start by playing with your Tornjak or engaging in any activities they enjoy. Then walk away from them and call their name followed by the word “come.”
Step 2When your Tornjak comes to you, reward them with a treat or praise.
Step 3Practice the exercise with varying distances, increasing on each try until your Tornjak can come from several yards away. Then add noisy distractions and repeat the exercise.

If your Tornjak doesn’t respond or runs away when you say “come,” try these tips:

  • Avoid punishment: If you scold your Tornjak after they come to you, they may learn that coming when called is a negative experience.
  • Make it fun: Incorporate games or treats to make the “come” command a positive experience. Avoid using the command to end situations that your Tornjak enjoys (such as playing at the park) as it may reduce their enthusiasm for the exercise.
  • Gradual practice: Starting at shorter distances and increasing gradually will help your Tornjak feel more comfortable and learn to come when called more effectively.

Once your Tornjak has mastered the basic commands, you can start teaching them more advanced commands such as “roll over” or “shake.” Use the same positive reinforcement and consistency techniques for the best results.

You can also work on making the basic commands more advanced by increasing duration, distance, or distractions. This will help your Tornjak become more reliable and easier to handle in a variety of situations.

Training your Tornjak basic commands can be fun and rewarding for both you and your pet. With patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement, your Tornjak can learn to become well-behaved and obedient.


Encountering issues while teaching your Tornjak basic commands is nothing to be discouraged about! Here are some troubleshooting tips to help you get back on track:

  • Patience is key: Sometimes, it may take longer for your Tornjak to understand what you’re trying to teach them. Keep a calm and patient demeanor, and avoid getting frustrated or angry.
  • Break it down: If your Tornjak is struggling with a particular step in the training process, try breaking it down into smaller, easier-to-understand steps. Gradually work your way up to the full command.
  • Adjust your tone: Sometimes, the tone in which you give a command can make all the difference. If your Tornjak isn’t responding to your command, try saying it in a different tone or pitch to see if that makes a difference.
  • Use positive reinforcement: If your Tornjak is having trouble with a certain command, try using positive reinforcement by rewarding them for correct behavior with a treat or praise. This can help to encourage them to continue the behavior until the command is mastered.
  • Be consistent: Consistency is crucial in teaching your Tornjak basic commands. Make sure you’re enforcing the same rules and using the same commands every time you train.
  • Adjust your training environment: If your Tornjak seems distracted or uninterested in the training, try adjusting the environment to eliminate any potential distractions. This could mean closing doors or windows, playing calming music, or training in a different location.

Remember, every Tornjak is unique and learns at their own pace. Don’t give up on the training process, and continue to reinforce positive behavior. With time and patience, your Tornjak will master these basic commands and be a well-trained companion for years to come.

Advanced Training

As your Tornjak becomes more proficient with the basic commands, it may be time to move on to more advanced training. This can include teaching your dog additional commands, as well as refining and perfecting the ones they already know. With advanced training, your Tornjak will become an even better-behaved and well-trained companion. Let’s explore some tips and techniques for taking your Tornjak’s training to the next level.

Teaching new Commands

Once your Tornjak has mastered the basic commands of sit, stay, and come, you can move on to teaching them new commands to further their training. Here are some tips for teaching new commands:

1. Start with a clear signal: When introducing a new command, pick a clear signal to use consistently. This can be a verbal command, a hand gesture or a whistle. Stick with the same signal throughout the training process.

2. Break it down: Break down the command into smaller steps that your Tornjak can master one at a time. For example, if you’re teaching the command “roll over,” start by first getting your dog to lie down on command, and then gradually introduce the roll-over motion.

3. Use positive reinforcement: As with the basic commands, use lots of positive reinforcement to encourage your dog to learn the new command. Reward them with treats and praise when they get it right.

4. Be patient: Remember to be patient with your Tornjak as they learn a new command. It may take several training sessions for them to respond consistently to the new command.

5. Keep practicing: Consistent practice is key to your Tornjak mastering new commands. Repeat the new command in different situations and settings, gradually increasing the difficulty level as they become more proficient.

With these tips, you can successfully teach your Tornjak new commands and continue to build their skills and obedience. Just remember to take it slow, stay positive, and be patient with your furry friend as they learn something new.

Mastering old Commands

Once your Tornjak has successfully learned the basic commands of sit, stay, and come, it’s important to continue practicing and reinforcing those commands to ensure that they are properly mastered. Here are some tips to help you and your Tornjak take those old commands to the next level.

  • Practice in a variety of environments: Once your Tornjak has mastered a command in a familiar setting, such as your home, try practicing the command in a new environment. This could be in a different room or even outside. Gradually increasing the distractions in the environment will teach your Tornjak to listen to your commands no matter what is going on around them.
  • Introduce new words: Your Tornjak is capable of learning new words, even if they only know a few basic commands. Start by introducing a new word and training them to respond to it just as they would with the basic commands. This will help keep training interesting and challenging for both you and your Tornjak.
  • Focus on timing: Accurate timing is essential in training your Tornjak to master old commands. Be sure to praise and reward them immediately once they have correctly executed a command. This reinforces their good behavior and helps them understand which actions earn them praise and rewards. Consistent and prompt feedback will help them maintain their focus and motivation.
  • Increase duration and distance: Once your Tornjak has mastered a command, gradually increase the duration of the command. The next step would be training them to stay in a command for a longer period of time or from a greater distance. This is a more advanced level of training but will strengthen their obedience and response to your commands.
  • Make it fun: Remember to always make training fun and positive for your Tornjak. Use treats, toys, and praise to keep them engaged and focused on learning.

Mastering old commands takes patience, consistency, and a lot of hard work, but with practice and dedication, your Tornjak will become a well-trained and well-behaved companion.


After following the steps outlined in this article, you should now have a well-trained Tornjak who can confidently obey basic commands such as “Sit”, “Stay”, and “Come”. Keep in mind that every dog is unique and may take varying amounts of time to fully grasp these commands.

Remember to always use positive reinforcement when training your Tornjak to reinforce good behavior, and stay consistent with your training regimen to help your furry friend succeed.

Additionally, don’t be afraid to take your Tornjak’s training a step further with more advanced commands once they have mastered the basics. With patience, persistence, and a little creativity, your Tornjak can become a well-trained companion that you can take pride in.

Overall, training your Tornjak basic commands is an ongoing process that requires patience, consistency, and most importantly, love for your furry friend. With the tips and techniques outlined in this article, you can build a strong bond with your canine companion while ensuring their safety and well-being. Happy training!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How often should I train my Tornjak?

Training sessions should be short and frequent, ideally 5-10 minutes several times a day. This helps keep your Tornjak focused and prevents boredom.

2. Should I use treats to train my Tornjak?

Yes, positive reinforcement with treats is an effective way to train your Tornjak. However, make sure to use small and healthy treats, and gradually decrease the frequency of treats as your Tornjak masters each command.

3. How do I know if my Tornjak is ready for advanced training?

Your Tornjak is ready for advanced training when they have fully mastered the basic commands and are eager to learn more. Advanced training should always build on the foundation of positive reinforcement and consistency.

4. Can I train my Tornjak on my own, or should I hire a professional trainer?

While it is possible to train your Tornjak on your own, it may be helpful to hire a professional trainer, especially if you are a first-time dog owner. A professional trainer can provide personalized guidance and support.

5. How do I keep training sessions fun for my Tornjak?

Make sure to keep training sessions varied and interesting, and incorporate play and rewards. Remember to always end on a positive note, and never punish or scold your Tornjak during training.

6. Is it okay to train my Tornjak outside?

Yes, outdoor training can be very beneficial for your Tornjak, as it exposes them to different sights, sounds, and smells. However, make sure to choose a safe and secure training location, and always supervise your Tornjak.

7. Can I teach my Tornjak new commands even if they are older?

Yes, Tornjaks can learn new commands at any age, though it may take more time and patience. Remember to always use positive reinforcement and reward your Tornjak for even small improvements.

8. What should I do if my Tornjak refuses to listen during training?

If your Tornjak seems uninterested or stubborn during training, take a break and try again later. Sometimes, it may be helpful to change the training environment or break the commands down into smaller parts for easier learning. Remember to stay patient and consistent.

9. Can I train multiple Tornjaks simultaneously?

It is possible to train multiple Tornjaks at the same time, but it may be more challenging to give each one individual attention and ensure they are all making progress. Consider starting with individual training sessions before moving on to group training.

10. Is it necessary to crate train my Tornjak?

Crate training can be beneficial for both you and your Tornjak, as it provides a safe and comfortable space for your Tornjak and also helps with potty training and preventing destructive behavior. However, it is not necessary for all Tornjaks and should be approached on an individual basis.


Matthew Farthing

Matthew Farthing

Сontributing author at DogCareHacks, Certified Dog Behavior Consultant.

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