‘Wait’ is One of the Most Important Cues You Can Teach Your Dog


Old-fashioned coaching (the type I grew up with) was largely “don’t do stuff” – as in “Sit, Stay, Behave!” – the place “Behave” meant “Don’t do something.” As a power free coach, I like that now we give attention to coaching canines to do fairly than don’t-do. Today, for our canines, “Behave” means “Do a behavior.” Ironic, then, that one among my most-used, and most helpful cues, is “Wait!”

In my canines’ world, “Stay” means “Stay in the exact position I left you in until I release you,” whereas “Wait” means “Pause for a bit.” I do nonetheless typically give a launch with Wait, but it surely’s far much less formal than a Stay. 

I take advantage of Wait a number of occasions a day. It’s actually a life-saver. “Wait” after I open the automobile door so that you don’t soar out into visitors. “Wait” on the door whereas I stroll out – you’re not coming this time. “Wait” on the prime of the steps whereas I’m going first so that you don’t journey me, inflicting me to fall. “Wait” whereas we’re climbing and you see a deer or rabbit, so that you pause and I can name you again to me and also you don’t get misplaced chasing prey off into the woods.

Related: The 10 Most Important Things to Teach A Puppy

It’s simple to show your canine to attend. Here’s how:

Wait for the Food Bowl

  1. With your canine sitting, going through you, maintain her bowl at chest stage (with meals in it, topped with tasty treats!) and say “Wait.” 
  2. Lower the meals bowl towards the ground two inches. If your canine stays sitting, click on your clicker (or use a verbal marker) elevate the bowl again up once more, and feed her a deal with from the bowl. If she will get up, say “Oops” and ask her to sit down once more. If she stays in place, decrease the bowl two inches once more, mark (click on), elevate the bowl, and deal with. 
  3. Repeat this step a number of occasions till she constantly stays sitting as you decrease the bowl. Mark and deal with every time.
  4. Gradually transfer the bowl nearer to the ground with succeeding repetitions till you may place it on the ground two ft away from her and decide it again up with out her getting up or attempting to eat it.
  5.  Finally, place the bowl on the ground and say a launch cue like “Free!” to inform her to eat. 

A extremely useful factor about instructing this habits is that you’ve not less than one built-in day by day coaching session (presumably two, since many people feed our canines twice a day).

Wait on the Door

When your canine is strong with Wait at her bowl, you’re able to generalize the habits. The subsequent simple place to apply Wait is on the door. Start along with your canine sitting or standing – whichever you favor. (I desire Sit.)

  1. Say “Wait” in a cheerful tone of voice. Begin to open the door simply barely. If your canine begins to exit, say, “Oops!” and shut the door (make sure she gained’t get caught by the door!). Say “Wait” and take a look at opening the door once more. If she stays in place, shut the door mark and launch. Repeat a number of occasions.
  2. When your canine constantly doesn’t transfer for a tiny crack-in-the-door opening, step by step open it wider with every trial, a bit bit at a time. Mark and deal with every time, however typically repeat one other Wait with out releasing. 
  3. Practice cueing your canine to Wait, and opening the door till you may open it utterly and she or he stays in place. Once she’s capable of Wait constantly with the door extensive open, take one step out. Return, shut the door, mark and launch.
  4. Gradually improve the time the door is open whereas your canine remains to be ready. Sometimes step out and return, typically stroll out and invite her to come back with you, typically stroll out and shut the door leaving her inside (this might be an auto-release cue).
  5. Practice Wait each time you head out, even when she’s going to come back with you. Consistency is the important thing to serving to your canine study shortly!

Wait on a Walk

To generalize additional, apply along with your canine on leash. As you’re strolling, say, “Wait,” take a number of extra sluggish steps and cease. If your canine stops, mark and deal with, and proceed strolling. If your canine continues transferring after you cease, let her stroll on. When she stops on the finish of the leash, mark and deal with, and stroll on. She ought to shortly study to cease if you say “Wait.”

Now, don’t wait – go practice your canine!

Read Next: How to Train A Dog to Stay





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