The wait command – Why is it needed?
The command wait simply means that your dog remains where it is and does not move forward. The difference with the command “stay” is that when you use the stay command your dog should remain in the position it is and not move, so if your dog sits, it should remain sitting and not move from that position. When you give the command wait, your dog should simply stop moving forward but it does not matter if it sits, stands or lay down as long as it is not moving forward. The wait command is used for a short moment of time, whereas as the stay command is used when you want to your dog to stay in place for a longer period.
Wait is an important command which can even save your puppy’s life. Imagine your dog pushing through as you open your front door and runs out on the road before you manage to stop it. The command wait would surely work in this situation. When you get visitors this is also very useful. A puppy who is bursting through the front door, jumping on people or knocking them over can be scary for a lot of people, the wait command put you in control of your puppy.
The wait command is not only very useful but it is also easy to teach. Here is how to teach your puppy to wait.
Introducing your puppy to the command “wait”
There is no need for any special training session in order to teach this command since it is easy to integrate it with other training sessions and daily activities with your puppy. You can for example tell your puppy to wait every time you go out of the front door, every time you let your puppy out of its crate or at dinner time, where you simply make the puppy wait a short distance from the food bowl before allowing it to come forward and eat.
The best tool to train the command “wait” are the doors of your home.
Go to the front door and put your hand on the door knob. Get eye contact with the puppy and say WAIT Open the door slightly. If the puppy runs forward, you say No and then close the door again. Wait a few moments until your puppy calms down, get eye contact and put your hand on the door handle and then you repeat the command again. Open the door just a little, if the puppy runs forward you repeat the process, say NO, close the door wait until the puppy remains calm and repeat the command.
You can also hold up your hand like a “stop sign” to further mark what you mean by wait. The idea is to get the puppy to understand that if he/she moves then the door will close and in order to get through he/she must remain calm.
You repeat this until the puppy remains in place when you open the door. If the puppy stays in place call it over and in a happy voice say “OK” and let your puppy through. To start with, just make the puppy wait 4 or 5 seconds before letting it forward.
You gradually increase the period you let the puppy wait before letting it come forward. The aim is to be able to open the door completely and make your puppy wait until you give the release word (OK, come or what ever you prefer to use.
Once the command is mastered you should try it in other rooms/areas of your home to make the puppy get used to the command and after that you try the command in any other place where you and your dog go, such as your car or in the park.
Early on in the training you should reward the puppy even if it hesitates. Praise it and let it move forward. The reward when training the stay command is simply to let your puppy come forward, through the door or out of its crate. There is no need for food rewards when training this command. Like mentioned this command is important but fortunately also easy to teach.
Using the command wait for other things
Doors are a great way to teach your puppy the command wait but it is also useful for other things. The wait command is in fact a great way to teach your puppy self-control. Being able to control themselves is hard for many puppies but by making the puppy wait a little for something it wants you can teach your puppy self-control.
You can for example fill a bowl full of treats. You tell your puppy to wait and you slowly lower the bowl to the floor. If your puppy moves you take the bowl away. If it stays calm you continue to lower the bowl until it almost reaches the floor. If the puppy still does not move reward it with a treat. You then repeat this several times until your puppy has understood the meaning of the command wait and that waiting gets rewarded.
There are other occasions where the command wait is useful. You can make your puppy wait before putting on the leash and going for a walk. Before leaving the car, when going down the stairs to the basement of your house etc. Any time when you need to be in control of your puppy for the sake of safety you could use this command.
The command wait is useful for soo many situations so chances are that you will use it several times a day once it is mastered and soo soon it will become second nature to you and your puppy. If however, your puppy seem to forget then you simply repeat some of the training until he/she has mastered the command wait again.
Where to learn more
Knowledge is power and when you have both knowledge and support it will make raising and training a puppy much easier. Raising and training a puppy is not all that difficult but you have to know how dogs and puppies think and function and how to make them understand what you want them to do. Once you have this knowledge and skills then training will be easy.
So where do you learn this? Well, I would like to recommend a dog training site that has already helped thousands of people with their dogs and puppies. On this site, you learn by watching videos. By watching a professional dog trainer work with clients dogs you will learn how it is done. The site features a special puppy section where you will find everything you need when it comes to raising and training a puppy.
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I hope you enjoyed this post and that you found it useful. If you have any tips you would like to share about how to make your dog “wait” or about dog training in general, please post them below.
All the best,