Teaching the Cue: Wait in ASL by Savvy Dog Training – with Savannah

This video shows you how to teach your dog the cue “Wait”.

I use this cue differently than stay. To me, stay means don’t move. Wait means more like “hold on.” In this video, I start to teach wait by using a gate from the living room to my room. I open it up a little bit, and if Sydney does not try to go though, I mark and reward.

I begin to open up the gate a little bit more each time. Then, to add some difficulty, I put a treat on the other side of the gate which entices her to try to go through more.


She does a great job and still waits when I open the gate. Toast the cat manages to get through, but that’s okay!

I then begin walking through the gate without Sydney coming along. When she waits patiently as I am on the other side of the gate, I mark her correct cue with a “yes” sign followed by a high value reward! If at any point Sydney wanted to walk away after I said wait and go sit on the couch or lay on her bed, that would be completely fine- that’s why its different than stay.

Your next step would be to move to a different room and door in the house and ask for the cue there. Dogs usually don’t generalize new cues well, so you will have to start small again. For the purpose of keeping the video concise, I don’t record this step.

Finally, I move to the front door. This is usually the most difficult as outside is much more exciting than going from one room to another indoors. I ask for a wait and open the door slightly.

Giving the “wait” sign before I open the door. Once I open the door, Sydney tries to go through the door. That’s okay because I just close the door and try again.

She is successful several times, so now I open the door wider and peek my head out to make sure the coast is clear.

She waits, so I mark it with a “yes” sign and reward her with a high value treat. Great job, Syd!



I also use the wait cue to teach self control around food.


I show Sydney her food bowl, ask for a wait (you can use a one hand sign for wait while you hold the bowl) , and set it down. She did not wait for my release cue (all done), so I just picked the bowl back up and re-cued my sit and wait.



She waited patiently for the food, so I release her and let her eat! Good luck, like and subscribe, and be sure to reach out if you have any questions!

Happy training, Savannah & Sydney


Follow me on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram – Savvy Dog Training – @SavvyDT I also offer tele-training – contact me at savannahlefors2@gmail.com or (904) 242-6772