Waiting at the Door
Is it sometimes a struggle for you to get in and out of doors with your dog? Does your dog try to leap out of your vehicle before you can get a leash on him?
Not only is this a dangerous problem (your dog could get hit by a car or just run away) but it also sends the wrong message to your dog.
Teaching Wait is much like teaching Stay. The difference is Wait is a command where the dog can be sitting, standing or lying down. Basically, Wait means, "don't move until I release you".
Wait can also be used when letting your dog out of the crate. At our day care we have 25 to 30 dogs a day and when they are in their crates, and it's time to go back out to the play area, the dogs can get pretty excited.
None of them are allowed to barge through the crate door. This just helps maintain a level of control with our day camp dogs. They also have to wait at the door before they go out to play.
So how do you teach this? SIMPLE!
First have an image of what you hope for your dog to do. Visualize you telling your dog to wait at the door with the door wide open and your dog not moving until you tell him he can. Or imagine your dog in the car and waiting for your release with the car door wide open.
Now, the training session:
Go to your door with your dog on leash. Although a particular position is not necessary, to speed up the training, have your dog sit. Then put your hand on the door knob. If your dog gets up, say AH, AH! And take your hand back off the knob. Have your dog sit again and try again. Do not open that door until your dog maintains the sit. Then once the door is open, he or she will probably get up again. Once again, stop, have your dog sit and continue.
Do not let your do go out the door until you say "okay" or "release".
Do this EVERY TIME your dog goes with you out the door. If you have multiple dogs, all the more reason to do this.
Try the same thing with the car door. Now you are on the other side of the open door so you may have to move fast if your dog starts to come out. Also, in this case, you don't have to have your dog sit first.
Just say "wait" and start to open the door. If you see your dog trying to barge through the door, say "ah ah! And stop opening it. Work up to getting your door open while your dog is waiting for his release. Be ready for quick attempts to "bust out".
Before you know it, your dog will have learned this really great lesson in patience and you will find going out the door with him or her a much nicer experience.
Give it a try.
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Beth Ostrowski-Parks, CPDT-KA
Certified Professional Trainer, CT (since 1994)
It's PAWSible! Dog Training Center