Door-dashing is a favorite sport for most dogs. It is just so exciting to get to the other side! Unfortunately, in addition to being irritating to us, door-dashing can be dangerous. Sometimes what’s on the other side is a busy street. The wait cue teaches your dog to pause or stop at the doorway until you give the all clear.

How to Train It:

  1. Have your dog on leash, and approach your front door.
  2. At the door, tell your dog, “wait” in a cheerful tone of voice and hold up one finger.
  3. Begin to open the door. If your dog starts to move to go out, close the door. Without repeating the cue, begin to open the door again. If your dog starts to move to go out, close the door again. Repeat this action, without repeating the cue, until your dog hesitates even briefly as the door is being opened. When your dog hesitates, say her release word (“release,” “break,” “okay”) and let her go out.
  4. Repeat. At first, only open the door a few inches so your dog can’t rush out. As your dog gets better, you can start opening the door a little more.

For this method to be effective, you need to be consistent. Ask your dog to wait every time, at every door (even ones that lead to safe places like your back yard). You can also ask your dog to wait on sidewalk curbs or before hopping in or out of your car.

Tip!

If you are struggling with having your dog wait, use treats and reward your dog while he is waiting, before you say the release word.

Wait versus Stay:

“Wait” and “Stay” can be used as two different cues with your dog.

Stay: hold your position and don’t move a muscle.

Wait: stop moving forward.

You may find each cue beneficial in different situations.