The PAWS Blog

The Best & Easiest Way to Teach Your Dog Patience

Training a new dog the proper behaviors can be a daunting task for any dog owner, regardless of whether they’ve done it before. But the task of training can be fun if done right and can foster a healthy relationship between master and pet. Dogs may be fickle and inattentive at first, but they are smart. It is completely possible to teach them to wait and stay.

In this article, we are going to talk about the ways you can train your dog to be more patient.

Waiting for the Food Bowl

Having a dog pester your guests for food can be annoying, not just for you but for the people you mean to host. As such, it is important to train a dog how to properly wait for their food bowl so they don’t end up irritating your important dinner guests.

The steps to training your dog to wait for the food bowl are as follows:

  1. While your dog is sitting and facing you, hold your dog’s bowl (filled with food and their favorite treats), and say, “Wait” in a clear voice.
  2. Lower the food toward the floor by a few inches. If your dog stays seated, positively signal your dog (verbally or with a clicker), raise the bowl back up, and hand them a treat from it.
  3. If the dog gets up, say “Oops!” or another chosen word to associate negative behavior with, and tell them to sit again.
  4. Repeat this procedure until she stays seated every time. Make sure to hand the dog a treat every time they do something desired.
  5. Move the bowl closer to the floor again and again until you can place it on the floor a few feet away from them without them rushing to eat it before you can pick it back up.
  6. Finally, put the bowl on the floor and use your chosen word that indicates the dog is free to eat, like “Eat!”

This process has to be repeated once or twice daily depending on how often you feed your dog.

Waiting at the Door

If you’ve trained your dog to wait for the bowl, then it will be easier for the dog to associate your commands with other activities, like waiting at the door.

  1. Give your wait command in a clear but cheerful voice.
  2. Open the door just slightly. If your dog starts to go out, say “Oops!” or whatever your negative behavior word is and close the door.
  3. Repeat the last step until they stay in place. Reward them if they do.
  4. When your dog learns not to bolt for the exit when you open the door, try to open it wider and wider with each attempt. Reward if they perform the expected behavior
  5. Do this repeatedly until you can open the door completely without your dog moving from their place. Repeat opening the door wide and giving the wait command again and again just to make sure. Reward each time.

Waiting on a Walk

After you’ve done these two, it will be much easier to train your dog to wait when it’s on its leash. When you’re walking, say “Wait.” If your dog stops, then give it a treat and continue walking. If the dog continues to walk, just keep walking until she does—then give it a treat.

Your dog will learn to wait or stay in no time.


Training a dog to be patient can be difficult, given all the happy and excited energy a dog possesses. But with enough time and a little elbow grease, your dog can have much better behavior, while having a healthy respect for their owners and other people.

If you’re looking for dog training or dog daycare in Massachusetts, why not give us at PAWS Bed & Biscuit a call? We have over 20 years of experience in the dog care industry.

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