How to Train Your Dog to Be Patient

Medium
3-6 Weeks
Behavior

Introduction

Dogs can be some of the most impatient beings on the planet. When you ask if they want to go for a ride, they are practically in the car before you can even turn to find your car keys. If you have food that you are preparing for yourself or for them, they are literally drooling before you can even get the package open. 

If your dog is not patient, he could become obnoxious and dangerous. Dogs who are impatient tend to jump all over their owners because they can't wait and are so excited they don't know how to control it. Some dogs aren't patient enough to wait for food and will bite the hand that feeds them. Teach your dog to be patient and to wait so he not only has good manners, but is also a little calmer until he gets what he wants.

Defining Tasks

Training your dog to be patient can be as simple as training your dog to wait. There will be different scenarios when you do need your dog to be patient, whether it's opening the door for him to go outside without ruining the screen, the curtains, or your pants or waiting for food without jumping on you or the counter or stealing food from your hand before you're ready to give it to him. Teach your dog to be patient with the things he's most excited about. This could include activities, tasks, and food. Do not give in to your dog and allow him to have the things or activities he wants until he is patient. Giving in will only teach him that behaving obnoxiously will get him what he wants. 

Getting Started

To train patience with your dog, you will need lots of tasty treats and actions or activities your dog will be eager to do. If your dog is one to jump all over the screen door before you can get to the door to open it, then that is the place where you need to start your training. If your dog often goes for car rides and is so excited that he's jumping all over the car, that's a great place to train as well. Start training your dog to be patient when it comes to food and then work on activities.

The 'Watch Me' Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Attention
Take a walk together and get your dog’s attention by saying his name.
Step
2
Stand still
Once you have his attention, stop walking and don’t move. Wait until your dog stops and stands or sits with you calmly.
Step
3
Treat
Hold up a treat to your face close to your nose or eyes so your dog looks at your face. Say the command "watch me."
Step
4
Reward
Once your dog looks at you and gives you his attention, give him verbal praise and the treat as a reward.
Step
5
Repeat
Repeat these steps in various situations, practicing the ‘watch me’ command. When your dog stops and gives you his attention, give him a treat.
Step
6
Practice patience
Begin to have your dog practice patience by using the ‘watch me’ command any time he is too excited or impatient. This command gives pause to the event taking place and forces your dog to wait patiently until you are ready.
Recommend training method?

The 'Wait' Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Start on-leash
Put your dog on a leash and take a short walk together. You can do this in your home or in your yard. This doesn’t need to be a long walk.
Step
2
Stop
After taking a few steps, stop and face your dog.
Step
3
Hand signal
Hold your palm out toward your dog and say the command "wait."
Step
4
Stop dog
Block the dog’s path while keeping your hand up, palm facing out toward the dog.
Step
5
Dog stops
Once your dog stops walking, give him a treat.
Step
6
Walk more
Walk a bit more with your dog and continue to stop and ask him to wait. When he stops with you, give him a treat.
Step
7
Practice
Continue to practice the 'wait' command while on walks together. Begin to use the command more in everyday situations such as when he wants to eat, get in the car, or go outside to keep him from being too excited and reacting in an obnoxious manner.
Recommend training method?

The Bowl of Treats Method

Least Recommended
1 Vote
Step
1
Bowl
Get your dog’s food bowl and place some high-value treats in it, but do not set it down right away.
Step
2
Start to Lower
Lower the bowl in an effort to set it in place. Expect your dog to react and rush to the bowl.
Step
3
Negative behavior
If your dog rushes the bowl or shows impatience, pull the bowl back up and take a step away from your dog.
Step
4
Be patient
Tell your dog to 'be patient' and try to set the bowl down again.
Step
5
Repeat
Repeat the steps above until your dog is patient and allows you to set the bowl down without rushing you or the bowl. This will take lots of practice and encouragement to be patient.
Step
6
Reward
Once your dog waits patiently for you to set the bowl in place, let him eat the treats from the bowl.
Step
7
Practice
Keep practicing the ‘be patient’ key phrase and use these steps for other times your dog is impatient.
Step
8
Manners
Expect your dog to be patient any time he is overly anxious and excited for something he wants. For instance, if he is used to jumping on the door when he wants to go outside, ask him to be patient and take a step back away from the door ,waiting for him to back up and wait patiently for you to open the door. Just be careful making a house training puppy wait to go outside.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Milo
Beagle mix
3 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Milo
Beagle mix
3 Years

Hello,

It's been about a month now since I got my dog, Milo! He is very sweet and cute, I love him, but he is a difficult dog to deal with it at times. I was given him by another owner who lives in my apartment building(The owner had to give him away because he didn't have time to give Milo the attention he needs). Milo has many things I need to work with: 1. He has separation anxiety, especially with me, he barks whenever I leave. It's not severe though, he doesn't chew things or hurt himself(Thank God). He just freaks out when I leave. I have given my toys to to distract him, but it doesn't work. 2. He is very impatient. He barks at anybody whp tries to take him out. Putting the leassh on him is hard and annoying. And he has a very loud bark, that can echo in the hallways. It's quite annoying. And when he barks, it not an exciting bark, like he is happy to go out, it is more of like he is demanding if that makes sense. I'm trying to train him to not bark, and to be quiet when I say "quiet". But he whines also. Could this be a medical thing? We take him downstairs when leaving the building and sometimes he pees as we go down the stairs like he can't hold himself, and I figure that's why he barks at me because he has to go to the bathroom. Could that be it? 3. He is not potty train. The previous owner said he doesn't pee or poop inside, but he does with us. He did it the first night we got him, and I thought maybe it's his first night, and he is nervous, but it seems to be a reoccurring thing. He has specific places where he likes to pee and poop. And we had put pee pads where he does, but I want him to know where to go, and to not go to the other places. I have trained him to go to the pee pad, he is familiar with it, but he doesn't pee or poop on it voluntarily unless it's where he usually goes. How do I establish this is where he goes and that's it? 4. Now, this is the biggest problem I have with him. He barks at literally every dog that walks past us when we walk. It is annoying and embrassing. To be clear, I am a dog walker, so I have walked well-behaved dogs before and aggressive dogs. Milo is not well-behaved or aggressive. He is a sweet dog, and I can tell he is NOT an aggressive dog, he just barks at them as if he is trying to say "Hey!", and he lunges, and goes absolutely insane when he doesn't get his way, he hates the leash and his collar because it restricts him to get to the dog he wants to greet. It makes him even crazier. I can tell he is not aggressive because he doesn't growl or show his teeth, i have walked aggressive dogs, he is not like that at all. He just gets excited and he wants to say Hi. I'm trying my best to stay patient and to try to train him, but he is a very distracting dog. Everything interests him and he rather pays attention to his surroundings than me. I have trained him to repsond when I call his name, as we go on the walk. He is getting better at that. At first, he wouldn't even pay attention to me, now he does. But it's not perfect. And Im going to keep trying. But, when there is another dog, he does not pay attention at all, he forgets Im there entirely, like he is in another world. I want him to listen to me at any time, and to not bark at other dogs, or pull when I walk him. I almost want him to know I am the leader, not him. I have tried a gentle leadder for the pulling, but he doesn't like it, and he makes him even crazier when he sees a dog, but with a gentle leader, it is effective. Also, I live by a highway, cars are always going by, so it's very loud, and I also live by a very popular park where people bring their dogs all the time, so it's even harder to train him becasuse everywhere I go, it's going to be distracting, and I live in a city. I want him to socailize with other dogs, but I need to him to listen and behave well with me first, becasue I want to bring him to the dog park and let him enjoy himself, but I don't want to do that if he can't listen to me or he forgets Im there. For extra information, he is not neutered, could this factor into this?

So, there are many things I need to work on with him, but I want to know how, and what do I work on first. Do I correct everything at once, or do I pick one thing, when I feel like he is good with it, I move on to the next thing to corrct? Im tying to be patient with him and Im trying to do my best, but I don't have a lot of money to get a trainer, and I know it doesn't help that my family is not even helping with training him, Im doing this by myself which is causing me stress.

Please help me anyway you can, I will greatly appreciate it!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
416 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jala, It sounds like Milo was never socialized, lacks respect for you, and simply hasn't ever learned impulse control or obedience, so the training should be geared toward improving those three things. First, check out the video linked below on separation anxiety. The trainer can be a bit abrupt while teaching but he is very experienced with highly aggressive, anxious, and reactive dogs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5GqzeLzysk Second, how often are you taking him potty? If he has to hold it for longer than 6-7 hours at a time the issue could be he really needs to go potty. Since he does not seem to mind going potty inside, it is more likely that he is simply being demanding and rude barking, and building his respect for you should help. Continue working on Quiet but also work on building his respect and impulse control by teaching the commands from the videos and articles linked below: Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Crate manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Heel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo Third, for the potty training, check out the article linked below and follow the "Crate Training" method. You can also follow the "Tethering" method when you are home. Since he is older you can take him potty every 3-4 hours when you are home and crate training, and every 3 hours if he is tethered to you. Once he goes potty outside, you can give him 2 hours of supervised freedom out of the crate, then put him back in the crate until it is time for his next potty trip so that he does not have another accident while his bladder is filling up again. Working on the separation anxiety should hopefully make putting him into the crate more possible. When you leave him in the crate for longer periods of time, give him a food stuffed chew toy to help with boredom. At first he probably won't chew it, but once the separation anxiety improves through training he will probably become interested in it as he relaxes more. Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Fourth, for the barking, first continue teaching Quiet so that he will understand what the command means when you use it. When you first see a dog, tell him Quiet before he barks ideally. Purchase a high quality stimulation bark collar (you can try vibration first if you purchase a collar that has both settings). Have him wear the collar on walks. It he disobeys your Quiet command (something he should understand by then), then the collar will automatically correct him. When he stops barking and is quiet because the collar surprised him, praise and reward him with treats or a favorite toy for being quiet, acting confident and upbeat when you do so. Look for a bark collar that will let you adjust the stimulation level also. Many collars will adjust the level automatically and some will also let you set the level. This feature lets you figure out which level your dog responds to and use the lowest level that he responds to. Once he improves, you may even be able to turn the level down one. The first time that he receives a correction he may yelp or whine - this is usually just from surprise and protesting the collar mostly. If it continues evaluate if the collar stimulation level is too high and should be lowered. You can start on the lowest level and increase the level gradually until you find the correct level during based on his response. Work on heeling and generally teaching commands that increase his focus on you while outside. Reward him calmly when he is doing well being calm, quiet, or focusing on you. You want to still associate the presence of other dogs with something good by rewarding him for being calm around them, that way he will be able to understand that it is his barking that earns a correction, but when he is calm around dogs good things happen. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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