Wait (at curb)

Dogs don’t naturally have city-smarts, so crossing a street is just crossing a street. Waiting for a traffic signal or an “okay!” is not intuitive for them. It is just so exciting to get to the other side! Unfortunately, it can be dangerous for us, the dog, and other people on the road. The wait cue teaches your dog to pause or stop at the curb until you give the all clear.

How to teach it.

  • Start at home with your dog off-leash
  • Say the cue “wait” and then bring a treat down right in front of their nose and let them have it
  • Move around and repeat!

Now let’s do it on leash!

  • On leash in your home or yard, take a few steps forward and then say “wait” and then bring a treat down right in front of their nose and let them have it
  • Move around and repeat!

 Generalize it to a walk:

  • On a leashed walk (not at a corner) tell your dog, “Wait” and then stop and bring a treat down right in front of their nose and let them have it
  • Continue walking and repeat randomly

Now try at a safe corner!

Be sure you are at a safe distance from traffic! Do NOT test this one at the very edge of a busy intersection in case your dog misses the mark. 

  • On a leashed walk, approach a curb or corner. Tell your dog, “Wait” and then stop and bring a treat down right in front of their nose and let them have it
  • You may choose to feed a stream of 3-4 treats in the exact same place and when it’s safe to cross, give them a cue that means “let’s go” and then cross the street. 
  • Repeat at every curb and corner consistently. Over time you can wean them off the food slowly.