5 Hand Signals to Train Your Dog

5 Hand Signals To Train Your Dog

Are you planning to train your dog? Well, I must say that teaching a dog is quite hard especially for beginners. But if you read this article, you will learn some tricks to make it easier using these 5 hand signals to train your dog.

Dogs are “body language communicators” meaning they are highly observant of their owner’s body language to perform a specific task.

Whether you are teaching them to learn some tricks or simply as a way to discipline them, utilizing hand signals in your training are proven to be an extremely effective communication tool than verbal command alone.

5 hand signals to train your dog: Advantages of using hand signals

First, they require shorter training as it is easier for dogs to figure out hand signals than verbal commands.

Second, they are straightforward and convenient to use. Lastly, it can be used even on deaf or elderly dogs that have trouble hearing.

If this is your dog’s first training experience, it is recommended to combine hand signals with spoken commands.

Make sure to also give them a treat every time they do a good job as part of positive reinforcement training.

Be consistent and start with these basic hand signals to train your dog.

Hand Signal #1:  Finger pointed upward – Sit

This is the most common and basic trick for all dogs. Start by putting a treat in front of his nose and gradually raise it above his head.

Naturally, a dog’s rump will go down when his head rises, thus making the sit position.

Remember to combine the word “sit” while doing this hand gesture, and once your dog successfully follows the command, release the treat.

Hand Signal #2:  Finger pointed downward – Lie Down

To start with this trick, hold a piece of treat in your hand while it is raised slightly above your head. Slowly bring it down in front of your dog’s nose while saying “Down” at the same time.

By using this technique, you’re guiding your dog to lie down. Once your dog got it, give him a pat in the head and a treat.

Hand Signal #3:  Finger curling inwards – Come

This trick might be more difficult to teach than “sit” and “lie down” because it can be confusing for dogs so, don’t skip directly on this one without learning the first two.

Move five feet away from your dog and curl your fingers towards you. Do the hand gesture slowly while saying “Come” simultaneously.

Once he comes toward you, don’t forget to give him a kibble.

While learning this command takes more time, you will truly appreciate its importance because it will keep your dog away from danger. 

Hand Signal #4:  Palm Facing Out – Stay

The same way a traffic enforcer stops a car, this hand gesture signals your dog to stay or stop.  You can alternate this drill with the “Come” signal making it like a “Stop and Go” game.

When giving treat on this one make sure to only reward your dog when he fully stops.

Do not reward him if he starts moving without the command to do so or else your dog will be confused that he is getting rewarded for moving.

Hand Signal #5:  Thumbs up – Good job

A good boi deserves praise! Together with treats or clicker, you can use this hand signal every time your dog completes a trick to tell that he did a great job.

This gesture is also a useful way to praise a deaf dog.

Patience is the key when teaching hand signals to train your dog. If your dog doesn’t get it the first time, then try again the second, third, or even the tenth time.

It will take some time, effort, and tons of treats, but the end will all be worth it.

Keep your dog engaged and busy by utilizing exercise routines to make your dog sharp when teaching these 5 hand signals to train your dog.

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