The “Wait” Command


Wait is a very important behavior. It tells your dog that he must stay in one spot momentarily and that you will tell him when it is time to move on. In the lesson below, we use this to teach proper door behavior but you will find it has many everyday uses.

The training technique below uses the clicker training method. If you choose not to use a clicker you can replace it with the word yes or good, but clicker training may help activate your dogs mind and help them understand a behavior quicker.


  1. Use an inside door to begin as this will prevent your dog from accidentally running out into the street.
  2. Place your dog on a six foot leash to prevent running through the door. If necessary you can step on the leash to keep your dog from bolting.
  3. Step up to the door, and tell Sparky to. “Sit.” (Leave about 4 ft of space between your dog and the door.)
  4. Tell Sparky to “ WAIT”, using a circular motion with your hand.
  5. Open the door just an inch. Wait a second and close the door. If  Sparky does not move toward the door click and treat.
  6. Again tell Sparky to sit and wait using your hand signal. Open the door about 2 inches. Close the door. If he does not move from his spot click and treat.
  7. Continue this pattern opening the door a bit more each time until you can open it all the way.
  8. Close the door again. Tell Sparky to sit and wait using your hand signal. Open the door all the way. Step through the door. Your dog should not follow you. Step back inside. Close the door. Click, treat and praise the behavior.
Success! This would be a good time to jackpot your puppy. Tell Sparky to sit and wait using your hand signal. Open the door and step out then call him so that he will know that he is now allowed to step through the door. When he comes running to you click and treat and jackpot again.


  1. Remember a jackpot does not mean more clicks it just means the pup gets more treats.
  2. If your dog breaks his wait at any time during the exercise make a quick correction noise, step in front of him to stop any forward motion and close the door. Go back a few steps and only open the door a small amount. Repeat the procedures above until Buster sits patiently and waits to be called.
  3. Leaders lead and the pack follows. You must always go first out the door as this tells your pet that you are a responsible leader. You can also have him wait while you put his leash on him or want him to stay in one spot for a moment. Use this when going through doors inside your house as it will teach Buster not to charge a door while someone is trying to walk through it.
  4. This is not a stay command. Stay is long term and position specific. What this means, is if I say, BUSTER, SIT, STAY”, he must remain in a sitting position until I release him. If I tell him down, stay he must remain in place in a down position until I release him. With the command wait I do not care if he sits, downs are stands as long as he stays where I told him to until I tell him to follow me.