Patience is a virtue.
Self control doesn’t come naturally to dogs. We need to teach them how to wait politely. One of the first things I teach dogs that come through our house is to wait nicely. Wait for me to put their food bowl down, wait to go out the door, wait to jump into the car, wait to exit their crate, wait at a curb…you get the picture.
I like to teach dogs to wait at the food bowl first. Most dogs are quite interested in their meals and are quite invested in learning how to get to their meal in the fastest manner.
Here’s how I teach wait at the food bowl.
- Start with a food bowl filled with about 40 pieces of food.
- Lower the food bowl slowly toward the floor.
- Your goal is to get the food bowl to your knee without the dog moving toward the bowl.
- If your dog moves toward the bowl, pull the bowl directly back up to at least waist height.
- If you reach your knee without the dog moving toward the bowl, click, give your dog a piece of food and start over at your waist.
- Repeat two or three times.
- Your new goal is to get 1″ – 2″ lower than your knee. Click and give your dog a treat if you get to your goal.
- Pull the food bowl straight up if the dog dives in for the food.
- Continue until you’re able to put the food bowl on the floor without your dog diving in to the bowl.
Watch the video to see exactly how to teach your dog to wait until you release him to move toward the bowl.
What has worked for you when teaching your dog to wait for his food?