The Wait Command – How to teach your puppy to wait

The wait command – Why is it needed?

The Wait Command - How to teach your puppy to wait
The Wait Command – How to teach your puppy to wait

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

Waiting by the door

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.

The best thing with this program is that you always have access to support via a forum, Skype or e-mail should you need it. It is convenient, effective and cheap. If this seems like something that could be of use to you, click on the link below:

Click Here to get the help of a professional dog trainer

Try it out and I am convinced that you will be very happy with this program and if I can be of any help you can contact me anytime. You will find the contact information on the menu under “Contact”.

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,


Comments 19

  • This is great I love puppies and its very good for a puppy to obedient as it would help their owner have a good time,I have had issues with like this before I had a baby Rottweiler and she was so troublesome and she was always running into things and not obeying commands not until I saw an article like this although it wasn’t as detailed as this but it help me so I believe this would work well

  • Apart from in my earlier years, when I was living alone, I have always had dogs. Now it’s hard to imagine not having one for any length of time. Some of my fondest memories when it comes to training and obedience were with a dog we had when I was young. She was a cross breed, having both Alsatian and Airedale parents. She was very trainable, although back then I don’t remember using the ‘wait’ command, it was always ‘stay’.

    Now we have two Huskys, one of them is crossed with a Staffordhsire Bull Terrier and it shows. Due to their nature, they remain on their leash unless in an enclosed set-up, this means the ‘stay’ command is fairly redundant but we do use the ‘wait’ one. With them I have found this to be most effective when used with a visual signal. When being fed they have to sit until the food is put in front of them. Initially this was difficult as they would dive in before being told they could. Once I introduced a raised arm and finger, together with the word ‘wait’ they were far more compliant.  I would follow this with ‘Go on then’ and at the same time drop my arm and point to the food, then and only then would they start to eat. Using the visual command made the whole process a lot easier.

    • Hi and thank you for sharing your experiences and knowledge. You do seem to have a lot of experience with dogs and using gestures together with commands like you do is very effective, the dogs will respond better to this than if you only use your voice to give commands.

      The “wait command” is similar to the “stay command” but generally speaking, “Wait” is for a shorter period of time. You might say “wait” just before letting your dog out of the front door or car where as when you use the command stay, you want your dog to stay in a spot for a longer period of time and you might want her to sit or lay down where as “wait”  means the dog stays on the spot whether standing or sitting for a few moments until you give the command that it is ok to move forward.


  • Hey jojo,

    Thanks a lot for this valuable article, I really found it useful. Because I’ve also a puppy name marphy. I have been follow some wait command like when any unknown guest come into my house I used to contact with his eyes first & tell him to say hello! It took a lot of time to tech him but know he is expert to do it! I really glad to know about a dog training site I think it’ll  help me a lot.

  • Hello again Jojo!

    Thanks for your informative post about how to address puppies with the Wait command! It is up to us to make animals listen to us exactly the way we want them to. Training a dog needs some patience and certain personal competencies – not all of us are in the mood to “teach” animals what to do – but you definitely have skills in this direction. When dogs are able to obey to a pretty large set of commands, that’s a real reason for their masters to be satisfied!

    Dogs are considered our best friends, and sometimes they are professionally trained (like police dogs) and very helpful to society when addressing issues like searching for dangerous / prohibited substances.

    Have further good luck with training doggies!


    • Thank you,

      dogs really are man’s best friend and a good upbringing and training is important to make life with your dog smooth and enjoyable. Patience is needed to train a dog but also knowledge. You have to learn how a dog thinks and functions in order to train it and socialize it.

      Professionally trained dogs for rescue or police work is another thing this type of training demands a lot from both the trainer and the dog. They are really to be admired for the work they dog.

      All the best,


  • It would be interesting to know what dogs are easy to train and which is not, So I can compare them with each other before I buy. It is so nice that people share this information cause it is needed. There are so many dogs out there, not even
    puppies but grown-ups that jumps on people, run out on the road or just poops everywhere.
    It is probably important for them to learn commands in an early age, and it makes life easier for the owners of the dog to.

    • The thing is that all dogs are individuals so even if you get a puppy from a breed which is considered easy to train there is no guarantee that this particular puppy will be easy to train. However with a bit of patience and the correct set of skills just about any dog can be trained.

      It helps if you start training when the puppy is still young, putting the correct behaviors in place and avoiding that puppy picks up bad habits that you have to deal with later on. Still it is certainly possible to train an older dog if you are patient and use gentle but effective training methods. Correct training and socialization is needed for all dogs and dog owners.

  • I actually tried this with my dog before, and it really worked. Especially, when you are reward your dog with a treat. Although, after reading the article I understand, why this is the case. Thanks for the helpful information.

    • You are welcome.
      I am really happy that things worked out with your dog. Correctly used treats is really a very effective way to train a dog or puppy.
      If I can be of any help to you, please write to me and I will do my best to help you.
      All the best,

      Kindest regards,


  • Heloo there thanks for this awesome article it would be of great help to the public as it has been of help to me.i have always have this problem with my all my puppies and I have given up on them,but lately I got a new pupoy Pitbull and he has be given me issues but I after reading this article I think I have gotten the solution because this baby Pitbull is driving me crazy.

    • Hi David,

      Many people feel exactly like you. Their dog is driving them crazy and nothing they do seem to solve the problem but please don’t give up, there is a solution. All you really need is to learn how dog think and function and once you do that you need a few simple tricks that will show your dog what you want from it. Once you have this, training your puppy is not going to be too difficult.

      Maybe you would like to write to me and tell me exactly which issues you have problems with? Is it unwanted chewing or potty trainining, some other issue or training in general? I would be happy to help so just write to me and I will do whatever I can to help you. 

      All the best,


  • This is a very good post and I have to confess that I have really enjoyed reading this/. I find this really good because there are a number of people who do not know much about the wait sign which includes me. I have a number of dogs at home but one question that I want to ask is if I am teaching them say the door training and one dog gets it faster than the rest, what do I do, do I stop? I think I need to join that forum you spoke about here.

    • Thank you,

      there is nothing strange with the fact that the dogs learn at a different pace but if this causes a problem then train them individually, one by one and once you they all master the command you try it with both dogs together I think that should work.

      The forum I mentioned is one part of the Online Dog Trainer, a great dog training site. At the forum of the Online Dog Trainer you can get help either from other members or from Doggy Dan himself. The Online Dog Trainer can certainly help you. You can try it for three days for one dollar. Here is the Link to the Online Dog Trainer.

      Also, if I can be of any help, just drop me a line and I will do what I can to help you.

      Good luck!


  • Thanks for summarizing such an amazing content about dog traning. I have a little pug and this wait command makes him very indifferent. 

    He is very active and never want to get eye contact with me and listen. I didn’t try until now with the door procedure. You really helped me with this solution and it works. Maybe we have to work more because he resist just a few second but i think if we will repeat everyday he will understand better this command.

    Thank’s a lot. I can’t wait too see more posts like this. 

    • Thank you, I am really happy that this post was of use to you and that you are having success training your pug. Just keep on training and this command will soon be second nature to your dog and he will obey it without even thinking.

      Take a look around my site, there are many other posts that I think you might find interesting and new posts are coming very soon.

      All the best,


  • This is in fact the first time that I am hearing about the wait sign. I only knew the sit sign because it is almost as at synonymous to the wait sign you have just shown. I will however want to try this on my dog too because just as you have said, it is a sign that can be of help. I want to know if it is okay to do this with a dog that is about 6 years old. Will he comply?

    • This command is not too difficult to teach and I think you will be able to teach your dog this, even he/she is 6 years old, you just need a little patience and if needed, use a treat. Most dogs will will feel very motivated if there is something good waiting for them for obeying the command.

      I wish you luck and please write to me and tell me how it goes.


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