Teaching Your Dog to Wait

The Wait command in dog training is similar to the Stay command.  The difference is that in a Wait the dog does not have to stay still, such as in the Stay command.  Teaching your dog to Wait is useful when opening crates, doors, crossing the street, etc.  Anytime you need your dog to stop for a few seconds.  For example you might want your dog to Wait in the kitchen while you answer the door, or get your mail.  Wait would allow her to move around while she’s waiting, just not to leave the general area.
If you’re going to work with your dog in the house, such as to keep him in one room, you’ll can use your training treats, as incentive.

But if you’re going to work with them on your way out the door, or when you’re releasing them from their crates, then going out, and getting out is their reward.  It’s best to practice in all situations that you’ll want them to Wait in. Such as every time you let them out of their crates, or every time you go outside.

Teaching your dog to Wait at the door:

  1. Whenever you’re ready to let your dog out of his crate, or when you’re ready to go through a door, start by giving him the Wait command.  I also hold up one finger, we have deaf and hard of hearing dogs in the house.
  2. Open the door a little bit, and if he tries to go for it, quickly close the door.
  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2. Keep closing the door if he lunges for it.
  4. If he hesitates, even slightly, reward the behavior.  Praise him and and give your release command, Okay/Go/etc., as you let him through the door.
  5. Once your dog begins to Wait when you give the command, start gradually increasing the time you make him wait.  You can also start to open the door a little wider.  But stay ready to close it quickly should he lunge towards if before you give him the release command.
  6. Keep working on until he Waits for the release command, even while the door is wide open.

Teaching your dog to Wait at the door dog training video:


Teaching your dog to Wait at a crosswalk dog training video:


This post is part of the series 10 Basic Dog Training Commands & How to Teach Them

Other posts in this series:

  1. Teaching Your Dog to Lie Down
  2. How to Teach Your Dog to Stay
  3. Teaching Your Dog to Wait (Current)



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