wikiHow to Teach Your Puppy With Hand Signals

Have you tried getting your new puppy to respond to your voice but so far all he does is get all the tricks confused? Try hand signals instead. You can teach your dog to sit, stay, and lie down. It is simple, and at the end of your training session you and your dog will be happier, and you will still have a voice.

Steps

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    Find out what motivates your dog. Some are food-crazy but some might be better motivated by a toy or you petting them and praising them.
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    Play with your dog until he or she is fairly calm, but not to the point of exhaustion.
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    Get your motivating treat or toy in your hand. Make sure your dog sees it . Step toward your dog until he is standing right in front of you.
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    Hold the treat or toy in your hand like this:
    • Place your hand palm up and hold your hand like you would if you had a sock puppet(four fingers curved up, thumb touching in the middle). Hold the treat between your thumb and fingers.
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    Put the treat over your dog's head and lift your hand slowly up. Most dogs will respond to this by either sitting or jumping. If your dog is super excited or jumping, calm him down. Once he is calm, use your hand signal again and with your other hand gently push on his lower back to make him sit.
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    As soon as he sits give him the motivator, pet him, and crazily praise him.
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    If this hand signal doesn't work, you should test different ones until you get your dog to sit.
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    Repeat this trick in short five minute training sessions and gradually increase the amount of times he has to sit for a treat. Eventually give no treats but still praise the dog and pet him.
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    Once your dog has mastered sit, teach him to lie down. Get your dog in to the sit position. Hold the treat in your hand and with that hand touch the floor. Your dog will sniff and lick and push your hand, but just stay still. Eventually he will give up and lie down.
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    Immediately give him the treat.
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    Do what you did with the sit command until he masters lie down
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    The next command is stay. Get your dog in front of you.
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    Hold up your hand with the palm facing your dog, like a STOP signal.
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    Gradually walk away from the dog.
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    If your dog comes after you say No and walk him to the starting point.
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    Eventually, he will stay. At first only walk about 12 inches (30.5 cm) away. If he stays, immediately give him the treat.
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    Gradually increase the amount you walk away.
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    Repeat the command every time you open the door, and eventually your dog will become polite and wait for your command to come in. This is very helpful if it is snowy, muddy, or wet outside and you want to wipe down your dog with a towel before he comes in.

Tips

  • If the hand signals listed here aren't working for you, make up your own.
  • Only make training sessions 5 minutes long at a time and try them twice a day
  • Don't teach more than 2 or 3 tricks a day. Your dog could lose his interest in the tricks and will stop cooperating and/or listening to you.

Warnings

  • Don't get frustrated or yell at your dog. This will only cause her to become frightened of you. If you get frustrated just calm down and finish for the day. If your dog has already learned a trick, get her to do that, praise her and walk away.

Things You'll Need

  • Treats
  • Dog

Article Info

Categories: Dog Tricks