When your dog has a positive association with following your hands, learning hand signals happens so quickly.
Hand signals can communicate what you’re asking your dog to do even from far away when your voice can’t travel that far (great for recall training work).
Hand signals are also a life skill for your dog. As dogs age, they can loose their ability to hear.
Using hand signals throughout your dog’s life can preserve the communication you can have with your dog even if your dog is not able to hear your voice.
Verbal cues are also important for our dogs to learn and to learn them independently from the hand signals as another life skill.
Phasing out the hand signal also provides an opportunity for your dog to problem solve with you which also strengthens the bond between you and your dog.
My client and her dog Teddy are in the stage of learning and teaching of phasing out the hand signal as an every time occurrence.
Since my client has hard wood floors and they can be a bit slippery, she’s using a mat which is more comfortable for Teddy which will also be more encouraging for him to lie down too.
My client gives the cue for down and Teddy looks away. She waits a bit, but then uses the hand signal for down.
My timing was off in this first round of asking her to give Teddy time to think.
The second round, my client quickly integrated what I coached her to do and as you can see Teddy makes the choice in responding when he’s ready.
Thinking takes a lot of brain power, so we gave Teddy some time off the mat with some treat and retreat fun!
My client and Teddy are nearing the end of their Pet Parent and Puppy Support Program.
They will be getting ready to take their Pet Dog Ambassador Program assessment in 2022!
A shout out to Rompin Paws Rescue https://www.facebook.com/rompinpawsrescue/ for matching Teddy to their family!!
If you enjoy having a hands on approach in teaching your dog life skills, but not sure how to go about it, you can schedule a Discovery Call with me and we can chat!