Dog training is important as it resolves your Fido’s common behavioral problems. However, aside from the usual verbal command, you can also teach dog obedience using hand signals.
Training your dogs with hand signals is as easy as verbal commands because dogs are considered excellent in reading body language. Your Fido is a body language communicator, and he can surely understand and sense some movements for him to survive.
So, along with proper nutrition, prevention from a dog ear infection or skin allergies, and regular vet check-ups, it is essential that, as a trainer, you know how to teach your dog the essence of hand signals. This exercise will not only create mental stimulation to your Fido, but it also makes him healthy and safe.
Hand signals offer significant advantages to you and your dogs. It is very useful in different situations. Aside from the fact that it is very easy, hand signals are beneficial to hearing-impaired dogs.
This activity is also helpful when you are trying to avoid waking a sleeping baby or having a conversation with someone in person or via phone. Since you don’t have to use your voice, it is also advantageous when you want to train your dog even if you are having laryngitis or any condition that may refrain you from using your voice.
So, to teach your dog using hand signals successfully, we have enumerated some tips that you can incorporate in dog training. Let’s identify them one by one.
Get your Fido’s attention
Hand signals are used in training a dog instead of verbal command. Thus, the very first step to execute this properly is to get your dog’s attention.
Make sure that your dog is looking at you as you need him to focus on any non-verbal cues that you are about to teach him. Most trainers get their Fido’s attention by saying their dog’s name, using a clicker, or snapping fingers. This way, you can guarantee that your dog is all eyes on you.
Provide a distraction-free environment
If you want to assure that your dog has undivided attention, it is important to hold the training sessions in a distraction-free environment. Whether it is inside or outside your home, you need to make sure that the area has minimal noise or distraction.
It is beneficial as it makes your dog focuses on non-verbal commands rather than the sounds in the background. The quieter the environment is, the better it is for your dog to concentrate on the activities.
Don’t combine verbal commands with hand signals
Some owners started dog obedience training with verbal commands. If your dog already knows how to follow the usual verbal command, refrain from combining it with the hand signals.
Try to avoid using spoken commands when teaching your Fido with hand signals. It would be very difficult and confusing not just for you as a trainer but to your dog as well if you combine them at the same time.
As much as possible, train hand signals separately with verbal commands to make your training session more manageable and less confusing.
Reward or praise good behavior
In any dog obedience training or exercises, it is essential to reward your dog or praise him. Good behavior needs to be rewarded.
You can use a food reward or praise your Fido for any successful attempts in following the command. This way, you are letting him know that he is doing an excellent job. Giving your dog a treat can be a good reward.
Always be consistent and patient
Although dogs are good at reading body language, keep in mind that you must establish your training session within your Fido’s limited attention span. As a trainer, you need to be consistent in every activity.
Patience is also necessary for teaching hand signals as exercises are done in repetition. To ensure that your dog masters the hand signals, you must set a consistent behavior at all times.
Remove the food reward gradually
Once your Fido reliably reacts to hand signals, gradually remove the food reward as part of the equation. During the training session, it is important that you also teach your dog to follow your hand signals whether you have a food reward or not. This way, you are teaching your pooch to sit, lie down or stand with just the movement of your hands.
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Hand signals are incredibly easy as dogs are an excellent communicator of body language. Not only it can provide benefits to you and your Fido, but it also strengthens companionship and friendship. This type of activity creates a great bonding between you and your canine companion.
Just keep in mind that in any dog activities or exercises, you should always consider your Fido’s limited attention span. For a dog obedience training to become successful, your utmost priority should be your dog’s safety.
For over a decade, Adrienne has been a freelance content writer and blogger who’s passion lies in anything related to dogs. Growing up, dogs were a very important part of family life in the Hardwick household. Now, Adrienne is the proud parent to two Swedish Vallhunds called Moose and Pumpkin.