WAIT is much more than just a single cue or command. It’s a MINDSET (for both you and your dog).
Learning “wait” as a basic cue (or command) focuses on the immediate action of pausing upon hearing the word. It’s a response. A response that leads to a mindset.
When wait becomes a mindset, it helps to shift from a single action to a state of being. Dogs don’t just pause because they heard you say the word.
They learn and actively work on impulse control, waiting for further instructions, staying present and engaged with you (team work!), and being safe.
More benefits of teaching and positively reinforcing wait:
Safety: a dog who doesn’t rush out into a potentially dangerous or harmful situation
The word can become an anchor for them and can help them to stay calm and focused, even in potentially exciting or scary situations
Exercise in building and maintaining cooperation, trust, and respect
Places and situations where this is helpful:
stopping at street corners
before going through the front door
before getting out of the car
before getting out of their kennel or crate
slowing down or stopping on a walk (helpful when navigating stairs, going down a hill, or across ice)
when you need to pick up poo
if they run to the door to greet guests
It’s a practice to stay present, focused, and grounded. But mostly importantly, to stay safe.