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The power of 'wait'

Wait can be very useful, and can be very easy to train. It is all about boundaries!

This video is showing a few things. As a disclaimer: I promise I don't deprive my pets of water, but they all seem to have a special weakness for freshly poured water that I can use to help train behavior. :) 

As you watch, it begins with my cat Dexter, learning how to 'say please' for freshly poured water. Sela and Fred must both 'wait' for Dexter to finish, before jumping in and drinking themselves. Notice I am not verbally asking Dexter for a 'sit', as when this video was recorded he was still in the learning stages of figuring out what works to get me to put down the water.

When he is done, I release my dogs one by one to drink. Order is important here: if Fred goes first he will drain the bowl, drinking too fast and liable to throw it up in a few minutes. Notice, when I release Sela I have to move closer to the bowl, to show her that it is ok to go and drink.

While Sela is drinking, Fred gets up and comes closer to me. For us, this isn't a mistake, b/c they are only in a 'wait', meaning : Don't go closer to the water, but you can go anywhere else you choose. Once Sela is done drinking, Fred is released to drink to his heart's content.

Items that I will continue to work: Continue to work with Dexter, until he is quickly offering the sit so I can associate a cue with his behavior. Continue to work with Sela, until I can release her from a distance and send her to the bowl without me coming closer.

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