Commonly Confused Dog Behaviors - Wait vs Stay, Leave It vs Drop It, and More | Pupford
March 2nd, 2023
Filed under Podcasts
Should I say 'wait' or 'stay'? And what about 'leave it' or 'wait'?!
As a new (or not so new) pup parent, getting these cue words correct can feel confusing and often times unclear. Luckily, the words you use are just that... words!
But, let's break down some of the differences between these commonly interchanged behaviors!
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COMMONLY CONFUSED DOG BEHAVIORS EXPLAINED
1. WAIT VS STAY
This is often the most confusing... wait vs stay! Because, isn't our dog essentially doing the same action with both?!
Basically, yes. Here is how I like to think about wait vs stay...
I use 'wait' when I'm asking for a brief pause and in less 'serious' situations. So like when I'm about to walk out the door with my dogs. Or, when I'm asking them to 'wait' to go eat their food.
On the other hand, I use the word 'stay' when I am asking for a longer, more sustained duration. I also use this if there is a more serious situation like if I need to be certain my dogs aren't going to leave where they are.
So again, they are VERY similar. But I use wait for shorter pauses and stay for longer, more consequential staying put.
2. LEAVE IT VS DROP IT
These two seem similar, but the main difference is that you'll use drop when you want your dog to let go of something ALREADY in their mouth.
Leave it is used when you want to avoid your dog ever getting something into their mouth or grasp.
3. LEAVE IT VS WAIT
Again, this one may seem confusing but simply put if you don't want your dog to get it at all, EVER... then use leave it.
Leave it should be synonymous with never going after said object. Whether it's a treat, , or piece of food on the ground, it is off limits.
Wait, means your dog should wait... but once released they can go get said object.
The important thing to remember with this one is that when you train 'leave it' you should also use a different reward than what they are being asked to leave alone.
IMPORTANT POINT: BEHAVIORS OVER "COMMANDS"
The important thing to remember is that words are just words. What is more important is that your dog is internalizing and understanding the behavior itself.
"Commands" or cue words are just requests for your dog. You could train your dog to 'sit' using the word 'microphone'... it's all just words!
It's important to focus on overall behavior change and things like impulse control, focus around distractions, etc.. The words we use are just tips for our dogs, not a "solution".