Our Ambassadors Charlie and Felicia from Deaf Wigglebutts blog are here to show you how to teach your deaf dogs “wait and release” which will help you with upcoming trick training and impulse control with your deaf dogs.

Hello Deaf Dogs Rock community and Deaf Wigglebutts friends, today I want to talk about teaching your deaf dog “wait and release.” This is probably one of my favorite things Charlie knows because are able to use it in SO many ways. “Wait and release” is great for different tricks but also really comes in handy for many safety reasons.

Here are several of the ways to use “wait and release”:

Waiting and then getting the release to take a treat
Sniffari games   –   Going out the door safely   –   Going down stairs  –  Taking great photos of your deaf dogs
Getting in and out of the car safely
Being released to play off leash in a safe area
Doing his snuffle mat and also impulse control when playing with a flirt pole
Crossing the street or parking lot safely
Going in and out of stores safely
Waiting and being released to eat dinner

These are just a few examples, there are so many ways this simple and easy communication tool can come in handy in living with your deaf pup. We use this everyday and in many different ways. It’s important to note that Charlie knows “stay” as well they that they are used in different contexts. Many people may use “wait” and “stay” as the same thing, I prefer to teach both and use them in slightly different ways. With the “wait and release” they know they are eventually going to be released to; get the treat, get into the car, go play, etc. As with “stay” it’s normally released with a come then treat or not come and just a reward for staying. We want to use this in fun ways when training and regularly so your pup will know how to do it for safety reasons as well. As always only use positive reinforcement training with your deaf pup. Never force your deaf dog to do something they don’t want to do, never punish your deaf dog in anyway. Give lots of love, praise and treats to your deaf wiggle butt.

So let’s get into how to teach these two signs to your deaf dog. This is one that is super easy and simple to teach. For the “wait” portion I simply hold my finger in front of his face.

For the “release” I move my finger to make a circle and give an ok motion.

Now to get into the actual teaching portion you are going to need some high value treats. Charlie’s favorite things are lean hamburger, lean steak and chicken breast. To begin we are going to hold the reward in one hand and have our hand signing “wait” in the other hand. When beginning you want to hold back your treat farther than the “wait” sign. Hold it for a few seconds before giving the release and then let your pup take the treat.

As we move along we want to each time hold the treat closer to our deaf pup until we can have it even with our “wait” finger. Every time giving the release and letting your deaf dog have the high value treat.

Once your deaf dog has “wait and release” down in this manner we are going to move on to making it slightly more complicated. Now we are going to show them our wait sign and toss the treat onto the floor in front of them, hold a few seconds then give the release for your pup to go get the treat. Now practice your new sign in this way, you can slowly add more time before giving the “release” to get the treat. But remember, each time let your deaf dog have the reward. We want learning to be fun!

After your deaf dog is really understanding the meaning of “wait and release” we can start practicing it for other life situations. For example going in and out of the door while you put on your shoes. Have your deaf dog leashed, ask them to wait then put on your shoes. After you have your shoes on give them a release and motion to come out the door, reward with their yummy treat.

Practice going up and down stairs with your “wait and release” hand signs, same concept as above. Ask your dog to wait at either the top or the bottom of the stairs, give the release, walk up or down the stairs and reward.

Another way to practice is getting in and out of your car, same concept as above and always give lots of love, praise and high value treats.

“Wait and release” is so great for so many different things! We use it many times daily. These are just a few examples and ideas, I love that it can be used for fun games, tricks and for added safety. Remember to always make learning fun, don’t make training sessions to long, your deaf dog will probably get bored and won’t be enjoying learning as much.

Good luck and have fun!

Love, Felicia and her Deaf Wigglebutt Charlie