Did you know that your sims’ family dog can learn tricks & commands? Though players cannot control their pets directly without mods, your sims can interact with them by way of training. This is separate from “teaching” your dog things like not rolling in garbage or barking at strangers, as the skill itself is applied to your sim, not the pet. Stick around and we’ll show you the difference, and how to max your dog training skills in no time with the dog training cheat!
Pets have been part of The Sims franchise for over 20 years, and throughout that time their capabilities have varied from installment to installment. In The Sims 4 pets exist as non-playable characters, but we can still affect their behaviors through teaching and training. Not everybody likes this decision, and many players have modded their games to bring back pet control like it was in The Sims 3.
Teaching vs Training
Though pets are their own beings with their own motivations in The Sims 4, they can be taught things and trained to do things. It can be a little confusing knowing the difference, but there are a few big distinctions between the two.
Teaching your dog or cat a certain behavior is a more passive activity, with opportunities popping up related to specific actions. For example, you can scold your dog for rolling in a puddle or lecture your cat about being on counters when they are actively or have recently performed the behavior. Your pets have to be closely connected to the event for the learning to take hold, and would otherwise be confused—why tell your dog not to bark at strangers when they’re not barking at strangers? Pets don’t understand things the way sims do, and they need to basically be “caught in the act” to reinforce or discourage behaviors.
Bear in mind that this isn’t only for bad behaviors, and that you can also positively reinforce your dog or cat for performing specific actions as well. Some examples include praising your dog for going potty outdoors or encouraging your cat to be friendly with strangers.
More on SNOOTYSIMS: 30+ of the best pet mods for the Sims 4!
The most obvious difference between teaching and training is that cats are too busy doing Cat Things to bother being trainable (though cats can be trained in the real world if they deign to humor their humans)! The other big difference is that dogs can be trained anytime, regardless of what they were doing before. It’s an event completely separate from the situation and the things you train your dog to do aren’t really environment-focused (with some caveats).
Unlike situational teaching moments which are behaviors that are either learned or not learned, training your dog comes with different skill levels. Different behaviors are opened at different levels, so it’s more involved than passive teaching. Both teaching and training your pets will result in better behaved cats & dogs though, so if you want well-composed animals be sure to focus on each!
Dog Training Levels & What They Unlock
Skills for sims usually max out at either 5 or 10 levels, and for dog training it’s the former. The higher your sim’s dog training skill, the larger variety and complexity of behaviors can be trained into their dogs. Your sim must first reach a specific level before they can teach their dog the unlocked behaviors, so if there’s an action you’ve be wanting to train your dog on that you still can’t access it’s because your dog training skill isn’t high enough yet.
|Dog Training Skill Level||Unlocked Behaviors That Can Be Taught|
|Level 1||Sit, Speak, Fetch, Roll Over, Lie Down|
|Level 2||Heel, Shake Hands, Play Dead|
|Level 3||Explore (dogs will go out into the world and return with goodies)|
|Level 4||Show Off tricks to others, Attack specific sims|
|Level 5||Perform Tricks for passing sims|
Additionally at Level 1 your sim can show off their pet, and at Level 5 your sim will be able to train any dog much faster than they did the first time around.
The Dog Training Cheat
As with any other skill in The Sims 4 there is a shortcut to maxing out the skill: the Dog Training Cheat. This cheat is perfect if your sim is meant to be a “dog whisperer” type character, or if you’ve been stuck on a level and just want to nudge them to the next one. Be sure to have the desired sim selected, open the cheat console, and enter the following:
stats.set_skill_level skill_Dog #
Where # is the level number from 1-5 that you want your sim to be at. Level 5 is the top of the skill and will immediately make all options available for your sim to train their dog with! If for whatever reason you wish to lower your sim’s skill, simply enter the cheat with a level lower than where they’re at now. Dog Whisperer get stricken with amnesia or meeting a particularly difficult pup? Drop their skill back down!
If you find your sim’s pets more trouble than anything else, they might need a bit of training. Teaching them behaviors to continue or avoid is one way to help, but training them in skills will not only make your pets more disciplined but also strengthen your relationships with them. And a dog’s love is a special thing! If you’re too busy or can’t be bothered going through the rigamarole, using the dog training skill cheat is a snappy way to advance your dog’s training career. Give it a go and enjoy your well behaved pups. Woof!