Waiting at the Door

Part of our obedience class homework this week is to practice waiting at the door.      We’re also working on having the dog sit next to you, rather than always in front.

Yesterday’s training went something like this:

I asked Silas to sit. The goal is having him sit on my left side. Silas hopped up on the sofa, sat. Then he did all his other tricks, on the sofa. I moved to the kitchen, where there is no furniture he can get on. Silas sat on the sofa and waited for me to come back. I got the leash, clipped him in, and moved him off of the sofa. Once he realized that we weren’t going outside, he cowered, terrified, on the sofa. Then he ran to my husband, presumably to be rescued from the crazy lady.



Look at those worried ears.

So, I obviously can’t put him on his leash and work on waiting at an interior door, which is the first recommended step. I decided to skip to the second level of training, which is having the dog wait to go out into a fenced yard. He’s still supposed to be leashed, but whatever. We’ll skip that, too. He doesn’t usually rush out that door, so it’s a decent compromise. Next time he asked to go out, I looked down at him and said “Wait.” The plan was to not open the door until he was calm.

You’re ready for this one, right?

He turned tail and ran for his life. We tried another time or two over the course of the evening with similar results. There is absolutely nothing to be afraid of. “Wait” doesn’t sound like any word I have ever used to scold him. It’s a command we use, even, on the rare occasions that I scoff at the HOA and take him out the front door.

I thought, “okay, I won’t say anything. We’ll just work on the concept of not rushing out. I won’t open the door until he’s calm, and we can add the cue later.” Apparently, though, I now am not to be trusted at the door, and he watches me suspiciously from the back corner of the dining room table.

I guess he’s not rushing out the door, right?


2 thoughts on “Waiting at the Door

  1. Huh. That’s so strange. I’ve never heard of a reaction like that at the door. It must be something you are doing with your body that you aren’t even aware of. Or maybe some smell or something outside at the time that got to him and gave him a negative association? I hope it’s something he gets over.

    It’s funny, we’ve worked so much with Shiva sitting beside me that it’s now almost impossible to get her to sit in front and facing me.


    1. It really is weird. I think you’re right–I must be leaning toward him or something. Either that, or the few times that we tried to practice at class scared him enough to make him suspicious.


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