Dog Training

Wait and Let’s Go Basic Training

“Wait” and “Let’s Go” are basic training exercises for dogs. As with “Sit”and “Down,” if your dog already knows these exercises but in a slightly different form, don’t confuse him by reteaching them. Incorporate them into your daily teaching session using the cues and methods he knows.


Teach your dog to stop and wait when you ask, understanding that it’s a lack of
action that’s being asked for, until you give him the release cue. Over time, you
will be able to cut down on the treats and your dog will learn to wait on cue.

Your dog needs a reliable “Sit” (see here) before you can teach “Wait.”

  1. Stand in front of your dog, facing him, and ask him to “Sit.” Treat him, making sure he knows you have more treats.
  2. As soon as he’s in a full sit, walk backward a few steps (just one to start with), saying “Wait”—making the word long, low, and slow—as you do.
  3. Step forward again, and—provided that he’s still sitting and waiting—treat him.
  4. Allow a short “Wait” to count at first. As you practice more often, ask your dog to hold the “Wait” for longer until he can reliably stay in position for ten seconds (sometimes it helps to count out loud). Young,lively dogs can find it hard to contain themselves so be patient. Reward a successful “Wait” even if it’s short, practice regularly, and build the “Wait” times gradually.

“Let’s Go” is the release cue for “Wait.” Don’t try to add it as a cue until your
dog can manage “Wait” for several seconds, and treat only the “Wait,” not the
“Let’s Go.”

  1. Your dog is in a “Wait” and has been for a few seconds—you’ve drawn out the “Waaaaaiit” as long as
    you can.
  2. Treat him for the “Wait” and then say “Let’s Go” right away in a lively, upbeat voice. Your dog will
    respond to the tone and break the “Wait.”

When teaching “Wait” and “Let’s Go,” don’t try to increase both the distance
between you and the number of seconds your dog has to wait at the same time.
Dogs seem to learn the commands more quickly if you first increase the distance
between you (over several sessions) and then start to add to the waiting time.


To reliably stay in a position before being given the signal to move.

These are key commands that are invaluable in everyday life, as well as when
you’re teaching new games.


I'm a professional dog trainer who is sharing my journey as I transition to positive reinforcement based dog training methods.

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