If you’ve done any training with your dog, you are most likely familiar with the “Wait” cue. Wait means “do not proceed forward until you have permission.” In my group classes, I teach this in Puppy Preschool Class and Basic Training Class. We continue working on it in the advanced classes. The Stay says to stay in one spot until I return to you. For the Wait, our dogs are waiting for permission to do something in most cases. Wait to be released to eat your dinner. Wait to be released to head out the door for a walk. Wait to be released out of the car. Wait for permission to cross the street when out on a walk. You get the idea.
However, there is an advanced version of the Wait that I teach my own dogs. I call it the Moving Wait. In most situations we use the wait (as listed above) the dog is already standing still for the most part. In the case of the Moving Wait, dogs are on the move already. We want them to not proceed any farther forward, so first they need to stop moving and then hold position until released.
As many of you know, daily walks with my dogs are typically off leash. Sometimes I will call them back to me if they are running around, getting too far ahead or heading in the wrong direction. However, sometimes I simply want them to stop moving forward and wait for my release to continue moving. I might use this, for example, if I want to get over the ridge first to ensure there are no deer nearby that might cause a desire to chase.
Romeo learned the Moving Wait years ago and is exceptional at it. I am just getting started teaching it to Zuzu on our walks. First, she needed to have a really strong Wait at the food bowl, doorways, and other locations. On walks, I start it (can be on or off leash) when she’s just behind me or at my side. I stop and then say Wait. She stops with me, she gets a treat and the “Go” to start moving again. As she does well with this, I will wait for her to be just a step or two past me before I say Wait. Eventually, I will be able to say it when she is a much greater distance away from me, but I need to work up to that.
Would a Moving Wait be beneficial to you and your dog? If s/he already has a reliable Wait, then it might be time to advance your training and add in the Moving Wait!