Teach Your Dog to Wait

Teaching a dog the “wait” command is useful for both the owner and the dog. This article explores the benefits of this command and provides tips on how to effectively teach it.

Understanding the Importance of the “Wait” Command for Dogs

Why is it important to teach a dog the command “wait”?

“Wait” Enhances the Dog’s Safety

Dogs may act impulsively, such as chasing an intriguing object or approaching unfamiliar individuals. Implementing the “wait” command helps regulate these impulsive actions. Specifically, the command increases the likelihood of averting dangerous situations, like a dog running into the street and getting hit by a vehicle. Therefore, the “wait” command contributes to safeguarding the dog’s welfare.

Useful in Noise-Sensitive Environments

Mastering the “wait” command not only curbs a dog’s impulsive tendencies but also encourages them to remain quiet and patient in locations like cafes and restaurants. It is also effective in preventing aggressive behaviors like barking or growling at other dogs.

This command enhances the owner’s experience in settings where tranquility is appreciated.

Pre-Training Considerations

Before beginning training, there are key factors to consider.

Consistency in Commands: “Wait” and “Good”

It is essential to uniformly employ the terms “wait” and “good” during the training process. In this context, “wait” serves as the signal to pause, while “good” acts as the cue to resume activity. Consistency in using these terms eliminates ambiguity, thereby allowing the dog to understand when it is appropriate to cease waiting.

This strategy offers a distinct separation between the “wait” command and the release cue “good,” facilitating more effective learning for the dog.

Patience is Key During Training

Dogs are inherently intelligent and adaptable creatures, and training becomes a mutual endeavor between the owner and the animal. Anxiety over the dog’s slow progress can negatively impact training. To circumvent this, it’s crucial to maintain a robust relationship built on trust and open communication.

Consistent, patient training yields the best results.

Teaching “Wait” Command in Dog Training


To initiate the “wait” training with a dog, begin by having the owner and the dog face each other. The owner signals the dog to “sit.” After the dog is seated, the owner should redirect their focus toward the dog. Maintain eye contact without displaying any signs of amusement. Once the dog’s attention is fixed on the owner, use the word “wait” while holding the palm in front of the dog’s face, indicating the dog should remain still.

Developing Patience in Dogs Through the “Wait” Command

Even when given the “wait” command, dogs can struggle with waiting. Many individuals face challenges in tolerating the wait command, whether dealing with puppies or adult dogs. Let’s explore the following key points that might assist in addressing this issue.

Creating an Optimal Training Environment for Concentration

Evaluate the training environment’s suitability for the dog’s concentration. Are there any distracting toys? Is the family avoiding interference? Both the owner and the dog should be able to concentrate in the environment. Establish conditions that encourage the dog’s focus. Scolding the dog for not waiting can disrupt its concentration and lead to negative associations. Similar to human children, distinguishing cues from praise is vital.

Tailoring Rewards to Your Dog’s Preferences

Assess whether the treats used for training are truly appealing to the dog. Just as humans have preferences, dogs also have favorite foods. Utilizing the dog’s most favored treat as a reward can expedite “wait” command training. Practicing “wait” with the dog’s preferred treat facilitates rapid learning and fosters trust, reducing stress between the owner and the dog. This approach enhances the likelihood of accelerated progress.

Appropriate Timing to Teach Puppies the “Wait” Command

For those raising puppies acquired from various sources such as pet shops, adoption, or acquaintances, the question arises about when to initiate commands like “wait.” It’s advisable to commence teaching commands like “wait” to puppies around the age of 3 months. Around 5 months of age, puppies develop fear towards unfamiliar sounds and people, which may lead to defensive behaviors. Teaching “wait” at around 3 months prevents such issues from arising.

Concluding Thoughts

This overview introduced the concept of training dogs to understand and follow the “wait” command. Training dogs in commands like “wait” requires patience but is essential for the well-being of both the owner, the dog, and those around them. Rather than solely indulging their cuteness, providing proper training is crucial. Keep in mind that a dog’s behavior can be positively influenced through effective training practices.