Become The Alpha Dog

Wait: An Important Lesson To Teach Your Dog

Anything good is worth waiting for! This is true for people and dogs. Training and enforcing the Wait command promotes a situation where your pup will look to you as a leader and a provider every time they approach a threshold. Garage doors, sliding doors, stairs and car doors, (and if you’re really advanced, room boundaries like the kid’s play room) should all require your dog to wait until you give them the invitation to cross. If you think you’re advanced at this exercise, try having him wait when you open the car garage door. Usually the trigger of the buy Benzac online electric opener will have him practicing his best limbo moves! If you can have your dog wait in the garage while you bring the groceries in, you should give yourself a gold star for teaching him the value of being a well-behaved dog while keeping him safe. Don’t worry if you’re not there yet. Knowing it’s a goal is half the battle.

As with all exercises in dog training, start out small and work your way up with plenty of “good-dogs” along the way. Begin getting your pup aware of the expectations you’re putting on him by starting this exercise on-leash with normal-sized doors. If your dog is on-leash, you’ll be able to guide him correctly toward the behavior you are looking for and then work your way up to off-leash and more exciting thresholds when you think he is up for the challenge. Remember, we want to set him up to succeed and condition him at a reasonable pace. Imagine a world where your dog doesn’t bowl you over descending down the stairs. Nice huh?
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Difference between Wait and Stay:

Stay: Stay in that exact position and location. Stay like a statue.

Wait: Don’t cross this line. You can sit, down, play cards…just don’t cross this threshold.

A basic exercise to practice the Wait command:

Have your pup on-leash and walk him to the back sliding door. Any door in the house will do but avoid using the front door for now. (Try not to use the leash, just have it for back-up.) We want to focus on body language here, so as you open the door, pivot your body to become the door and block your pup from crossing the boundary. If you have to, take a step towards your dog to push him back if he seems overly eager to cross. Think of yourself like a goalie blocking his turf. Stand firmly, and obviously, no kicking allowed (as if I had to say that). Once your pup has mellowed out and isn’t counting the seconds to shoot past you, give him the invitation to cross by moving aside and using your release word.

If your dog has a habit of pushing past you, you may find you’ll be doing this exercise on-leash for a while. If you’re in the puppy phase of training your dog, start incorporating this exercise early on so you don’t have this bad habit to break when he’s full grown.

I cannot stress enough the importance of the Wait command. It can literally be a life saving exercise. Dogs that bolt out the front door or who are used to pushing themselves in front of you are just asking for trouble. Your dog doesn’t stand a chance against a car and it’s a match you want to avoid at all costs. If you feel you need help practicing or training this command, seek help from a professional who sees the benefit in training dogs to wait at doors.

In order to be successful, you must be consistent with your expectations. If you allow your dog to get away with not waiting at doors 4 out of 10 times, you are teaching him that waiting isn’t that important and that he doesn’t have to listen to you. If you practice the Wait command at every door, every time, you may find your pup beginning to offer you the behavior without you asking for it. If that happens, reward him really well.

Your dog will be much happier, safer and well-behaved because of your time and attention to the Wait command.

Chad Culp–Certified Dog Trainer, Behavior Consultant, Certified Holistic Chef for Animals with Thriving Canine.

For more dog training articles, visit www.ThrivingCanine.com

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This post was written by assistant on January 13, 2011

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