Try Using Hand Signals to Get Some Attention
Has your dog become the neighborhood rebel causing you to get dirty looks from your neighbors? In that case, it may be the perfect time to learn the proper hand signals as a powerful form of dog obedience training. These are perfect for situations where your dog may be distant or is unable to hear you from far away. But even if your dog is close, hand signals can be one of the effective forms of how to train a dog to be more attentive and obedient.
You will find a host of other benefits as a result of employing hand signals during dog obedience training. First of all, your dog will begin to pay more attention to your gestures making him more attentive and increasing his ability to focus while learning commands.
Large crowds or noises that often occur in public settings will also be less likely to distract your dog. He can’t be watching what is going on around him and still watch you for a signal. Above all, the hand signals are an excellent way to interact with your dog and can be a lot more fun than doing the regular voice commands.
Most professional movie dog trainers perform a wide range of hand signals to make the dog perform many different types of tricks. Here are a few of the most common ones used (even in puppy training classes) that can often be used alone or in correlation with the use of verbal commands.
Hand Signals for The “Sit,” “Down,” and “Stay” Commands
To teach your dog how to sit using hand signals, you’ll first have to make sure he knows the command using the verbal cue. This way you will be able to teach your dog to associate the hand movement with the desired task of sitting. This will require some patience to get just right, as you don’t want to push your dog into the wrong direction. The actual hand signal is quite simple. It only requires that you bend your elbow so that your hand rises upwards toward the direction of your head, then saying your verbal command “sit.” With enough repetitions, he will get the idea, and start responding to just your signal.
To bring your dog “down” from a standing position, simply bring your arm up in front of your dog, and then with your palm facing downward, lower the hand towards the floor, then say your verbal command, “down.” Over time, your dog will recognize that you are essentially telling him to down with just the movement of your arm. Watch how wonderfully your dog lowers himself to the ground as you lower your hand.
Finally, the stay command can be used to halt any movement of your dog, when you need him to stay still, such as in a public setting. The hand signal is actually very simple. It requires you to make the same gesture that police officers use when they have to stop traffic. Simply hold out your palm towards your pet’s muzzle, while simultaneously saying your verbal command, “stay” using a calm voice. Same thing if he is sitting next to you. Again, palm flat, in front of his muzzle, but now of course your fingers are pointing down. It may take many tries until your dog figures it out, but with persistence you will find that the technique becomes easier over time.
Hand signals are a great tool to add to your training tool box.