Workout Wednesdays – Wait
Every dog needs a few good tricks up their sleeve, but one of the mainstays for every dog is “wait”.
This is a handy command that comes up in many places, and can even give your puppy a good reputation for good manners.
As with all our training, we suggest just 10 minutes a day over the week, broken out by 5 mins at mealtimes (ie: morning and evening).
When we started training ‘wait’, the command was built on the ‘stay’ command, which we had already learnt.
“Wait” comes in handy for a couple of things for Jaxon. Firstly when he’s waiting for a meal, and secondly for going through doors or gates.
We don’t use the command ‘stay’ for these moments, as the pup will move onto another order pretty quickly and when we use ‘stay’, it is ideally for a much longer time, and with some separation between human and pup. We’ll elaborate on the ‘wait’ for meals today.
First prepare with your puppy’s dinner, and a few extra treats for the training. It’s a good idea to reduce the total amount of food so you don’t overfed your pup.
Start with your pup in a sit position, and put the food in the bowl a little way away from the pup. At first you want to try for a gap between the bowl going down, and the dog eating. Use a marker word or clicker with reward to reinforce the pup’s decision not to eat the food.
It may take a little while to start to get a gap, but persevere with it. Ideally, you want to be close to the food to take it away if the pup moves, and also to treat your pup as they ‘wait’ for longer each time. Don’t treat your pup for any mistakes. Just let them work through the mistakes. The more you get your pup to connect to the ‘correct’ or wanted behaviour, the quicker they will connect the value in doing the ‘right’ thing.
Again, working at this at mealtimes is the best way to reinforce the new behaviour. Over a week, try to work up to a ten second wait.
Once you start to build up some good time, you may want to include a release word to get your pup to eat. This will be quicker now to reinforce as your pup learns to wait for the good stuff.
Our training is not perfect, and there are lots of resources out there to help you learn more about ‘wait’.
We hope this is a good starter for you.