Waiting is Hard To Do
We started waits yesterday in class. The main things to remember with waits are
1) do not keep eye contact
2) to build duration before adding distraction or distance
If you maintain eye contact the dog accepts that eye contact as part of the "cue" and will try to keep that eye contact later and want to follow when you are adding distance and going out of sight.
By teaching duration first the dog learns to keep his or her butt in one place so that adding distance then becomes much easier. We want to build that time first so that the concept of the wait is firmly in place before moving on to distractions and distance.
Patience. We are asking the dog to do the hardest thing they know how to do. Nothing. They want to engage and interact with us. Doing nothing goes against all of that. Waiting really IS hard to do.
We start with 5 seconds (and sometimes 3, depending upon the dog) with a simple stop sign hand signal. When we have that consistent 5 seconds for at least 9 out of 10 attempts then we add 5 more seconds. Not until we have solid 20 to 30 seconds of "Wait" do we then add in distractions and distance.
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