Commonly Confused Dog Training Terms - Leave It vs Drop It & More | Pupford
October 24th, 2023
Filed under Podcasts
Should I say 'wait' or 'stay'? And what about 'leave it' or 'wait'?! And don't forget the ever-confusing 'leave it' vs 'drop it'.
As a new (or not so new) pup parent, getting these dog training terms correct can feel confusing and oftentimes unclear. Luckily, the words you use are just that... words!
But, let's break down some of the differences between these commonly interchanged behaviors and training terms!
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COMMONLY CONFUSED DOG TRAINING TERMS EXPLAINED
Raising a well-mannered dog can be overwhelming! Between the puppy blues and constant nipping and puppy biting it can be tough.
Then, add on the fact that some dog training terms seem, well, interchangeable. But are they?!
Let's look at three commonly confused dog training terms:
- Wait vs stay
- Leave it vs drop it
- Leave it vs wait
- Loose leash walking vs heel
Here we go. 👇
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.
4. LOOSE LEASH WALKING VS HEEL
Loose leash walking is having your dog walk on a leash without any tension or pulling occurring. While the dog can walk by your side, they can also walk in front of you with the freedom to sniff and explore.
A heel is a more formal way of leash walking where the dog walks right next to you, typically with their shoulders aligned with the human's leg at all times.
Most often, pup parents struggling with their dog pulling them on walks are looking for loose leash walking skills, not to teach a formal heel.
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 , focus around distractions, etc.. The words we use are just tips for our dogs, not a "solution".
COMMONLY CONFUSED DOG TRAINING TERMS RECAP
Raising a well-mannered pup is much more about consistency and practice than specific training terms.
If you're working on your dog's behavior, be sure to sign up for our 100% free online class, 30 Day Perfect Pup.
Do you have other training terms that are confusing? Tell us in the comments.