How To Train Your Dog To Wait Before Eating - Professional Dog Training Tips

- Teaching your dog to wait for their food

isn't just a great way to keep from getting dive bombed

when you put their meal down,

it's actually a great way

to build in some impulse control.

I mean, personally, I hate waiting for things,

but sometimes it's really important.

(microwave dinging) Yes!

Ow, it's like a buttery blast furnace in here.

In this video, I'm gonna show you two methods

to teach your dog to wait before they eat.

The first one's gonna be simple and fast,

you've probably seen it before,

but the second one I'm gonna teach you

how to level up your training with your wait command

so that you can use it anywhere.

I'm Ken Steepe and welcome back to McCann Dogs.

(gentle guitar chord)

(dog barking)

Now, you might recognize this little guy.

This is Levi from our First Day Home with a Puppy

video with instructor Kim,

and I thought he'd be a great demonstration dog

for this exercise.

So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna lower the food bowl down,

and when Levi chooses to remain in position,

I will reward him for that

at a couple steps along the way.

Now if he decides he wants to dive bomb in

and take hold of that food,

I'll just lift the bowl up again.


Yes, he saw that, what a great choice he made.

He knew he really wanted the food.

Oops, and there.

Yes, good boy.

Yes, good.

Good boy.

Yes, good.

Good boy.

Yes, good choice, pal.

Good sit.

Yes, good.

Good boy.

Yes, good choice.

What a nice job.

Good boy.

And then we'll end with our release word

so he can get his dinner.

Okay, get your dinner, okay.

Okay, (claps) get your dinner.

That's a boy, good boy.

Now this is the method that we're gonna try to level up

your wait training.

So this is the kind of wait that you're gonna use

to keep your dog from barging through doors

or maybe in the parking lot,

you're gonna ask your dog to wait

before you let them out of a car,

or, you know, at any point in your walk,

you can ask your dog to wait while you pick up something.

And this is what you're about to learn next.

I talked a little bit about the sit and start position

in one of our earlier videos, and I'll link that above.

But for this exercise, you're gonna start

with your dog in at your side.

And we really want to build this wait for,

on a foundation of success.

We want to, in the early stages,

we want lots of successful repetitions.

You want to make it easy for Funkee.

So here's what we're gonna do.

I'm gonna tell her to wait,

and then I'm just gonna wave my hand

in front of her face.

I'm gonna step in front of her, toe to toe,

so that she can't be wrong

and she can't go anywhere.

And I'm gonna yes and reward her, good girl.

Maybe I'll even move back while I remind her to wait.

Good girl, yes.

And I can reward her again for not moving.

Now what's really important about using this wait

is that your dog has a definitive ending,

so when I'm done practicing my wait,

after this first repetition, before Funkee decides to move,

I'm gonna use her release word, which is okay.

And that way Funkee knows when her job is over,

and I want you to be using that every single time

you're working on this wait exercise with your dog.

After you've practiced that a couple of times,

you can make it a little bit more challenging for your dog.

So with Funkee Monkee, maybe I'll tell her to wait,

and I'll step out a little bit farther.

I can praise her from here.

Good girl, good wait.

And then step in, yes, good girl.

And reward her for a job well done.

Other things you might be able to do,

wait, is wiggle your leash,

provide a little bit of distraction,

yes, and then I can step back in and reward Funkee

for remaining in that wait position.

And then when we're done, as I mentioned earlier,

I'm just gonna tell her, okay,

so that she knows she can move.

So now we've got a few repetitions in

where I've returned back to Funkee's side

and she knows how valuable it is

to remain there in that waiting position.

Now with our wait, using the McCann Method,

we'll use a stay if we want our dog to not move ever

until we get back to them.

But with our wait, we want to be able

to release our dogs remotely.

So I'll ask Funkee in this case to wait,

and then I'll step away from her a little bit.

And now, at any point, if she's made a great choice,

a tough distraction goes by, I can yes,

step back in, and reward her.

But ultimately, I want her to know that if I step out here,

that I can release her at any point in time.

Okay, and she comes to me,

she gets very excited when she hears that release word.

Now as we start to increase the challenges

in the real world for our dogs,

it's really likely that they're going to make mistakes.

So this time, I'm gonna ask Funkee Monkee to wait,

but then I'm secretly lure her out of that waiting position.

What's really important is that if she makes that mistake,

I don't pull food out right away

and lure her back to where she was sitting.

Remember, we've spent so much time teaching our dogs

that them making the right choice gets them a food reward.

So I'll show you what happens

when Funkee Monkee makes a mistake.


Good girl, good.

So I'll just lure her out, ah ah.

So I marked that moment with my voice,

and I'm just gonna guide her back to exactly where she was.

I'll show her how to be right.

What a good sit, good girl, wait.

And the next time, I'm gonna make it a little bit easier.

So I have a moment to reinforce that good behavior.

Good wait, yes, good girl.

And now I can step in and use my food.

It's really important,

the two elements of that that you need to keep in mind

are marking that moment with your voice,

especially as you're getting farther away,

and that you show them how to be right.

Rather than pulling out a piece of food

and guiding them back to where you think they were,

you show them exactly where to be,

and then you can reward them

after they've spent a couple of seconds in that position.

Now at the top of the video,

you saw us have the dogs lined up

a few feet away from their food bowls,

and they were all sitting in a wait,

and maybe that's a tough distraction for your dog,

so we're gonna set that up.

And while you're training all of these exercises,

whatever you think is a tough challenge for your dog,

make sure you hang onto the leash.

The last thing we want to do is ask Funkee to wait,

put a bowl of food down,

and then she breaks the wait

and then goes and gobbles down most of the food

before we have a chance to interrupt that behavior.

So let's try this one.

Wait, and I'll go put the food down.

I'll try to make it as enticing as I can.

Wait, good girl.

Good, and again, I talked about that timing of our yes,

good girl, and then I can step in.

Remember, with those dogs

who really, really love something like food

or love to barge through the door,

you want to reward them in that stationary position

more often then you let them out.

I'll show you what I mean.

Okay, Fun, can you sit?

Wait, good girl.

And at the beginning, you might even make it really easy.

Yes, good girl.

Just take one foot out the door.

Good, wait.

Yes, what a good girl, good job, buddy.

But it's really important that Funkee finds it

just as valuable for her to remain, wait,

on the inside of the doorway

as it is when she comes out.

Okay, good girl.

Now I think the wait is one of the most functional skills

that you can teach your dog.

I use it probably every single day with our dogs.

And I hope you find the same value in this exercise.

Now, if this is your first time on the channel,

make sure you hit that Subscribe button.

We publish new videos every single week

to help you to have a well-behaved

four-legged family member.

On that note, I'm Ken.

This is Funkee Monkee.

Happy training.

(upbeat music)