Why is it so important to teach your deaf and hearing dogs the “wait” sign cue? Because a dog knowing the “wait” sign can keep your dog from dashing out the door, jumping out of the car when you least expect it, running in front of a car and getting hit, and worse yet getting killed.  Basically the “wait” sign cue can literally save your dog’s life. Another great use of the “wait” sign is being able to take fun photos of your deaf dogs.



Above photo: Although Nitro wasn’t thrilled with this Lion mane he sat there while I took several photos because I gave him the “wait” sign. 

I now make all six of my hearing and deaf dogs “sit and wait” before I put their food dish down. This is how you begin training for the “wait” sign cue. If I lean forward to put the dish down and they lunge forward before the dish hits the ground, then I stand back up with the bowl in my hand. I give them the “wait” sign again which is what a police officer uses when standing in a cross walk to stop traffic. I put my palm of my hand facing the dog which means a “wait” sign. I will also give a “sit” sign before the “wait” sign. Since I do the “sit” and “wait” cue at every single meal they are all very good at “wait” now. This is all done in conjunction with Nothing In Life Is Free training. 

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It is important to note that the dog does not get to come out of the sit and wait cue until after the food dish has been put down on the floor and the dog looks up to you for an “okay” or some kind of release sign like “all done” or a “thumb up” sign to let your dog know he did the right thing (as in good dog) and it is okay for the dog to eat.   There is a huge upside to the “wait” sign if you have people or children always going in and out of the house or when you are taking pictures of your dogs to share on Instagram. I make my deaf and hearing dogs strike a pose with a dog treat, sign the cue for “wait” and they all freeze. This sign cue can save your deaf and hearing dogs life one day. If one of my dogs tries to bolt out the door and I put my “wait” sign up they freeze. Even long distance (think of your dog loose in traffic and you need him not to cross the street into traffic).

My dogs are so good at the wait sign I can open the front screen porch door and let the little dogs out on the porch and put my hand up for the wait sign and the big dogs freeze.

Also if you love taking photos of your dogs the “wait” sign cue is your most important resource when taking photos!

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Photo above: Using the “wait” sign on all of my dogs…see how they FREEZE?

Happy training! ~ Christina Lee – Deaf Dogs Rock