Teaching your dog or puppy to wait is an invaluable training command that will not only improve his behavior, but can also save his life.
One of the most common problems that many dog owners have is preventing their pets from darting through the door at any given chance they get. As you can probably guess, this behavior can cause your dog to run from the house and face injury or even death from oncoming traffic.
The “Wait At The Door” Training Procedure
Step 1: Have your dog sit by your side as you face the door (inside of the house). Be sure that the door opens away from you. The idea is to show your dog that an open door does not mean it is okay for him to leave.
Step 2: Now give him the “wait” command as you reach for the door. If your dog does not move, say “Good Boy” and give him a treat. However, if he starts to move towards the door, give a cheerful “No No”, and get him to sit down again. Do not scold him, keep it positive. It’s supposed to be fun and productive.
Step 3: Repeat the process, but the next time do not reach very far for the door, a few inches with your arm will do. If your dog remains sitting then continue with the procedure while each time adding more length as you reach for the door. Your dog should be sitting until you actually touch the handle and jiggle it. Again, reward him with a treat for sitting still.
Step 4: Next, reach for the door and slowly opened it just an inch or two. Reward your dog if he sits still. If he starts to move towards the door then say “No No” and sit him back down again. Repeat the process while you continue to open the door more and more each time.
Step 5: Your dog should be doing quite well by now. When you are able to open the door all the way while your dog remains sitting, the next step is to walk through it, turn around and face him. Wait about 15 seconds and then walk back to the dog and give him a treat. Every now and again you should walk through the door and call your dog to come to you as you stand on the outside porch. Give him the “sit” command along with a treat.
The End Result
Eventually, with enough practice and repetition of the above five steps, your dog will automatically sit every time the door opens up. Because of the training procedure he learned, his instincts will tell him to sit patiently and await for permission to walk through.