Dog training hand signals may not be one of the training that a pet owner would consider. Most of the dog owners would just stick to the regular way of verbal basic commands, and would only think that hand signals training is used only for the deaf dogs.
But do you think verbal commands are better than using dog training hand signals? or that it is more beneficial with deaf dogs?
Before giving an opinion, let’s get to know more about dog training hand signals and why people should consider it for their dogs.
Dogs are incredible pets, but sometimes they made their owner think ‘what did I do to myself!’ not listening to the commands they are given will always be a nerve breaking experience for any pet parent.
Hand signal training is one of those training that will help your dog to comprehend the commands he is being given. You could use it when your dog is far from you and can’t hear your voice well.
Dog training hand signals if it is taught the right way, your dog will get a new way to respond to all your commands, and it could be a cute display at home or at gathering setting.
Start Your Dog Training Hand Signals Early
It is important to start training your dog as soon as possible, it is recommended to begin dog training hand signals before your dog is six months. When you get your puppy or your dog, you will find that he is always following you in the house, use this to your advantage!
When your dog is giving you most of his attention and following you everywhere, use this interest to teach him the command “come”. He is following you to get your attention so, don’t waste the chance.
Starting early to teach your dog the “come” command using your hand gestures will be a great help for your dog to comprehend and associate the movement of your hand with the given commands.
Dog Training Hand Signals; Choose The Right Place for Training
You will need to choose a quiet place for teaching your dog hand signals training. It is important to eliminate any source of distraction that could avert your dog’s attention away from the training session.
If you started the training session in a place that has a lot of loud noises or a crowded park, typically, your dog won’t focus on what you are trying to teach him, instead, he is going to get distracted with the buzz around him.
Choose a suitable place for the training like an empty or a quiet room in the house, if you got a fenced back yard it would be great for your training sessions too.
Keep in mind that dog training hand signals should be on a daily basis so your dog fully comprehends and understanding the commands using your hand gestures. When your dog learns a hand signal command and you stop checking on his training, he may actually forget it or don’t respond to it more usually.
So keep the training for your dog on a daily basis to ensure that the commands stay fresh in his mind.
Dog Training Hand Signals; Teach Your Dog The “Sit” Command
Teaching your dog the sitting hand signal could be associated with teaching him the actual sitting behavior itself by the usage of the hand movement you are using to move your dog into sitting position.
Use small treats to compel your dog to move to the position that you want. Stand in front of your dog with a relatively small treat in your controlling (dominant) hand. Your hands are now in their normal position(besides your body not lifted).
Now, you will start to lift your hand that has the treat in it upwards making sure that your dog’s nose is getting upwards with the treat until he gets to the sitting position.
As soon as your dog reaches the sitting position, you will have to praise him and then give him the treat on your hand. Your hand now is on the sitting command position, with time, your dog will start to correlate your hand signal with the sitting position.
Keep in mind that you will need to have the same hand signal each time you are training your dog to sit. Your arms should be hanged beside your body at first, then, you will have to bend your elbow and get your forearm upwards. Your hand has to be open and facing the direction of your dog.
Your elbow should be bent at about 90-degree angle (L shaped) Now this is the “sit” hand signal that you will have to stick to it while teaching your dog, don’t change your hand signal to another one so the dog doesn’t get confused.
Repeat this action several times so your dog fully comprehends the hand gesture of the command. After a while of repeating this action, you will have to stop using treats and command your dog to sit without having a treat in your hand.
When your dog sits without you having a treat in your hand, you will have to praise him and may give him a treat that you are keeping nearby or in your pocket.
So, Should I Consider Dog Training Hand Signals or Verbal Training?
It is a controversial topic in the world of pet parents, we always want to know what is more effective to our pets when it comes to teaching them commands, we want the best for our dogs.
Until very recent times, there wasn’t a solid answer for what is the more efficient way to teach our dogs basic commands or commands in general, but Italian research was made on this specific topic to get the scientific answer for this dilemma.
Biagio D’Aniello, the head of biology department in Naples university, made a case study with his team on 25 well-trained dogs to know how they will respond to the hand signals training or the verbal training.
The study was made of three stages; the first one was that the owners of the dogs will have to give their dogs a verbal command, the second is to give them only a command using their hand gestures only and the third one, which is very interesting, is to give both a hand signal command and a verbal command.
The dogs responded with a percentage of 82% when their owners used the verbal commands, while it reached a high percentage of 99% with the using hand signals, but wait, what about the third test?
The third test for the dogs was actually very tricky and the most important one for getting the results. The owners were asked to give their dogs a verbal and hand gesture command, but there is a catch here, the verbal command has to be different from the hand gesture you are giving for the dog.
So, if you used the verbal command for “sit”, your hand signal should be any other command than the sitting hand signal, you could do the “come”, “heel” or “stand ” command.
When the owners did that, 70% percent of the dog actually obeyed the hand signal command and not the verbal one, shocking isn’t it?
Dogs will rely on obeying a hand signal command even if they’re distracted with a different verbal command. This shows that our percentage of getting our dogs to comprehend and obey our commands while using dog training hand signals is much larger than using verbal commands.
This doesn’t mean that we ignore teaching our dogs verbal commands, we are just trying to let you get the full picture of how to get your dog to obey your commands the best possible way.
Giving the dog both the training would be the ideal thing to do, so you are giving yourself and your dog many options to choose from with a strong bond between you two that will make it much more easier to have a harmonious life together.
So, check 5 Basic Commands You Should Know About to get to know more about verbal commands and make a plan for your dog to take the verbal commands training and dogs training hand signals.