Training your dog is more than just a practice to get them to listen to you. It's also a bonding activity between a dog and its guardian. You get to teach your furry friend a few tricks, which is excellent, but you also get to break through the communication barriers and actually bond with your pet. It's important to understand that your dog wants to communicate with you as much as you do, and setting signals and communication cues can help them communicate with you too. While there are some golden commands like sit, come, and stay, having some hand signals to train your dog can also be incredibly useful, especially when you want to command your dog outdoors or when you have company.

There are much professional board and train Knoxville TN providers who will be happy to teach you some hand signals to get started with. Below are some of the more common hand signals you can teach your dog.

Training With Hand Signals

Your dog needs to understand the connection between hand gestures and vocal commands. The best technique to train your dog is to use these two steps: first, make your hand signal straightforward, and second, encourage behaviour with prizes. When your dog is reliably following your orders, gradually stop rewarding him.

Making the switch from regular instructions to hand movements is pretty simple if your dog is already used to them. Working with your pet often will help with training. Your dog will rapidly learn the hand signals if you prioritise them! You can find many materials online regarding training by using hand gestures; you can also get a professional involved for more efficient and faster results.

Some Important Hand Gestures

  • Watch Me: You want your dog to observe you and pay close attention if you want to give them a sequence of hand signals as orders. Point with one finger to your eye to let them know this and keep them focused. Watch me signals can be helpful to get your dog to pay attention when they are distracted.
  • Sit: When teaching your dog to recognize hand signals, the order to sit is arguably the most popular and significant. Signing towards your dog to sit can come in incredibly handy. To execute this, move your hand upward while holding your palm open in front of your chest.
  • Lie Down: The following command which can come in handy is “lie down”. Hold your finger at a horizontal angle in front of the chest to calm your dog by encouraging them to lie down. Then, softly flip your wrist 90 degrees to point downward toward the floor.
  • Stay: is probably one of the most crucial commands, maybe the most vital after sitting, mainly if you're walking your dog on the street. Hold your hand, this time in front of the chest, while looking down at the dog and away from yourself.
  • Come: Asking your dog to come to you, or calling them by their name, can be quite crucial regarding dog command. You should start by calling your dog to your side using your own hand at the side, palm facing front and hand open. Bring it diagonally up to your opposite shoulder.
  • Stand: Keep your hand at your side as you put your palms out and face forward if you want to signal to a dog that you want it to sit and that it is okay to stand up. After then, quickly pull your hand backwards.
  • Heel: Hold your hand close to your hip and tap it or swing your hand inside a circle close to your hip to command your dog to heel. The dog is drawn to you in both situations.
  • Take It: Hold your hand in front of your dog with your palms open, then tighten your fist to urge them to grab anything from your hand or something close to you.
  • Drop It: Position your hand in front of your dog in a fist, then open your palms to command them to drop whatever they hold in their mouth.
  • Free: Hold your hands about your shoulders with your hands open and pointing up and forward when you are training your dog and want to let them go and do its personal thing. It resembles the shrugging motion a little bit.
When a verbal command is combined with a hand gesture, most dogs can react more effectively. Just like in human beings, hand signals are an alternative to verbal commands and can come in a handful in many cases, whether it is potential hearing loss or just a convenience factor.