Dog Training Hand Signals should be a chapter in every dog training manual. Training your dog to respond to hand signals can be fun to teach and very easy for your dog to learn, understand and obey.
Hardly any equipment or materials apart from a hungry dog and a few pieces of choice treats are the requirements to get you started and well on your way to training him or her to obey the ‘sit’, ‘down’ or ‘come’ commands issued in the form of hand signals instead of verbal commands.
The first thing to do is to choose a specific and clearly identifiable hand movement or gesture to associate with each command. Getting your dog to respond to that gesture is merely the act of repetition till you succeed.
You start with issuing the verbal command performing the chosen gesture at the same time. You reward the dog with a treat each time the command is obeyed.
When there is clear and spontaneous response to the verbal command and hand signal combination, you then drop the verbal command and start over again only with the hand signal, rewarding the dog with a treat each time the hand signal is obeyed.
Repeat continuously till there is a spontaneous response to the hand signal. Drop the food reward and continue only with the hand signal till there is a clear and spontaneous response.
Now you have mastered dog training hand signals, and will be having your dog, coming to you, sitting down, or lying down near you all on the movements of your hand.
Begin the training session by standing your dog in front of you, with your hands hanging normally and loosely by your sides and with a treat in the hand that you have chosen to use in the signal.
Begin the dog training hand signal by bringing the hand slowly and deliberately up, folding it at the same time as if you are about to throw something over. Let your movement be gradual and reward the dog with the treat as soon as it ‘sits’. Repeat till there is no hesitation by the dog in responding to the command.
Repeat hand signal without verbal command till the dog responds without any hesitation, rewarding each time with a treat. Then repeat the hand signal with intermittent rewards, then one reward every three to four commands and finally no rewards at all.
Test hand signal for spontaneous response without any reward.
Begin this session by sitting your dog in front of you, with your hands hanging normally and loosely by your sides with a treat in the hand that you have chosen to use in the signal.
The hand movement for this signal would be the raising your hand above your head. Follow the same procedure as you did in the ‘Sit’ command and test finally for spontaneous response without any reward.
Begin this session with the dog in front of you, and your hands hanging normally and loosely by your sides with a treat in the hand that you have chosen to use in the signal.
The hand movement for this signal would be raising your hand to touch the opposite shoulder. If you are using your right hand touch your left shoulder.
Follow the same procedure as you did in the ‘Sit’ and ‘Down’ commands and test finally for spontaneous response without any reward.
You are now a master of Dog Training Hand Signals.