10 Things To Do While Waiting With Your Dog

Poor Honey. She’s always waiting for something.

Waiting for the vet. Waiting for one of us to come out of the store. Waiting for us to stop talking to someone.

What if we found special things to do while waiting with our dog?

Super moon at Cambridge Marina.

Honey found waiting for the lunar eclipse really easy. She slept through the whole thing.

Waiting Is The Hardest Part

Besides waiting for the vet to see her, Honey has lots of other waiting time built into her life.

When it’s hot, we can’t leave her behind in a shut up boat. So we take her with us. And one of us waits outside while the other one shops or manages other business.

I’ve gotten pretty good at finding ways to make the waiting easier for her.

Honey the golden retriever waits for laundry to dry on the boat.

I sure am getting tired of waiting for the laundry to dry. It’s awfully crowded in here.

Here’s my list.

Things To Do While Waiting With Your Dog

Check P-Mail

Never underestimate how important dogs this is to dogs. If you can find the spot where all dogs seem to “go,” your dog will enjoy catching up on the social scene.

Tune Up Your Training

You’ve got time on your hands. Why not practice some training?

Ask your dog to stay while you do weird things at the end of his leash. It’s always great to practice trained behaviors in a distracting environment.


Help your dog work her body and hind legs. Have her put her front paws up on a bench. Or do puppy push ups (sit, lie down, sit, lie down).

Meet His Fan Club

If you have a social dog, don’t hide him off in a corner somewhere. Bring him out to a prominent spot where he can greet people walking by.

Honey the golden retriever with high tide on Water Street.

How much longer will we have to wait for high tide to end so we can walk down the street?

Practice Comfort With Scary Situations Or People

If your dog isn’t a social butterfly, maybe she needs some practice feeling comfortable out and about.

Find a place where she can observe noisy shopping carts, kids, or big scary men with beards and hats (apparently a big trigger for some dogs). Reward her for staying calm by walking away, playing a game, or giving a treat. Make sure you stay far enough away that you don’t trigger her fear.

Play A Game

Even in a small area, most ball-crazy dogs will be happy to fetch even a few steps. And tug is a compact game you can play almost anywhere.

Feed Your Dog

We sometimes plan errands around Honey’s dinner time.

Measure your dog’s meal into his bowl or favorite food toy and stick it in a sealable plastic bag. If he has any kind of appetite at all, he won’t mind waiting for his person one bit.

Take A Long Walk

If you find yourself waiting outside the store that suddenly put up a no dogs allowed sign after years of allowing them, take a walk.

Lots of developed places have wild fringes of woods and streams nearby that are homes for all kinds of wild creatures.

Give A Massage

Does your dog love having her ears scratched? Or belly? How about a deep, soothing massage?

The benefit of this idea is that it’s as good for you as for your dog.

Honey the golden retriever gets her belly scratched.

I could do this all day.

Play Hide The Treat

We’ve done beginning nose work games with Honey. It’s been a foundation for all kinds of fun sniffing games.

Sometimes I cover her eyes and toss a treat into the grass and tell her to “find it.” Or if your dog has a good sit and stay, hide a treat on a nearby bench or behind a trash can after sneaking around the corner.

Don’t Make The Wait Just About Waiting

I never mind waiting.

When I’m alone I bring a book. When I’m with Honey, we find plenty to do.

So the next time you find yourself waiting for the vet to see your dog or for your training class to start, take advantage of it.

Your dog will love you for it. And you just might enjoy yourself too.

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Your Turn: When do you find yourself waiting with your dog? Who’s more impatient, you or the dog?

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  1. Awww I love this list. Lovely :)

    • I’m astounded at how many people don’t take advantage of time they spend with their dogs.

      I love spending time with Honey. And a wait is just more time to enjoy with her. :)

  2. Wonderful ideas ~ you are so right, if the pups are around while we’re waiting on XYZ for whatever reason, it’s never a boring wait time. I like to practice a little obedience (sit, down, stay) & have the pups meet people & kids who express interest in petting the pups :-)

  3. Those are fun tips. Roxy loves to meet her adoring fans.

  4. Excellent and practical advice! It’s no wonder Honey is so well adjusted to whatever floats her way. 😉

  5. I do all of these with our dogs and it’s fun for me and for them. I’m not the most patient person in the world so it’s nice to have dogs to distract me.

    • Funny how much we can learn from dogs about patience.

      On the other hand, Honey made sure we knew she was tired of sitting at dinner last night. :)

  6. We are real good about waiting. We usually just sit down or lie down and take a snooze. We enjoy some down time since Mom usually has us real busy.

  7. Ha, I’m probably more impatient than the dogs are. These are all good ideas to keep me entertained as well as the dogs!

    • Isn’t that always the way? But Honey does sometimes get impatient with us. Especially if she’s waiting for us to finish eating. :)

  8. Great ideas! Richie especially loves the one about meeting his adoring public.

  9. Great ideas all! These days, our wait time is at the vet’s or in the car. At the vet’s, they get lots of cuddle time while waiting. There’s usually other clients waiting too, so no room for practicing what they know. In the car, they hang out the windows, watching the world go by and hoping someone will stop by to say hello.

  10. Great list! Rita doesn’t usually mind waiting – except at the vet’s where she waits with dread! I used to be pretty impatient about waiting in lines, but now (if Rita’s not there) I whip out my phone and read my book. I used to think it sounded crazy to read a book on a phone, but I get a lot of reading done that way!

    • Can’t read books on my phone. But I never mind waiting if I have something to read. I don’t know how people who don’t read can exist with all the waiting that’s part of life.

  11. My guys are very patient. When they see things aren’t happening soon, they just plop down and rest. This happens most often on a walk when I run into someone that wants to chat a while. As soon as the talking starts, the boys just drop, and let out loud sighs.

  12. We do waiting pretty well. Harley just lays down as if to say “take your time” – Don’t ask about Jax – that’s a whole different story. LOL

    • It’s funny, I could just see Harley being Mr. Mellow and lying down while you had something to do.

      I’d imagine Jaxson likes to be at the center everything. Am I right? :)

  13. Great tips Pamela! We don’t have a lot of waiting about, but just this afternoon we had to wait to go into the woods as a couple with two dogs was walking out. (I wish I’d read this before I went to lunch.) LOL

  14. Ducky is the more impatient one; but she just has so much more energy than even I do. Shadow, thank goodness, has mellowed out with age so she’s a lot more patient than either one of us.

  15. My girl is pretty patient for the most part. More so than me.