When you have trained your puppy to ‘sit’ the next step in his training routine is ‘wait’. This exercise is a favourite command when you are ready to place his food down on the floor, or if you want to go through a door – humans first, dogs follow.
Ideally your dog should not be trained first thing in a morning when he is full of energy; he should be slightly tired and ready to stay in one place. The wait exercise is boring to a dog as you are asking him to stay in one position while you are moving around.
Ask your dog to ‘sit’. When he is settled, give him praise. The next command should be ‘wait’ in a firm tone of voice. If he moves try again, give him a signal with your hand repeating the word wait.
The normal signal is hand up, palm facing him, similar to a policeman halting traffic, but on a lower level.
Do not move quickly as you draw away from your dog or he will think the exercise is over and follow you. If that happens be patient and try again.
Rewarding a dog with plenty of praise and giving him a small treat shows him that he is pleasing you, raising his level of confidence.
When you feel he has grasped the idea of waiting and responds to your hand signal, it is time to move on. Before you give him his normal praise, move backwards, still repeating your wait command and, at a distance of a couple of feet, command him to come to you, then ask him to sit.
When your dog has obeyed you, even if he gets it wrong a couple of times, reward him with a treat.
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