Hand Signals for Dog Obedience Training

When teaching your dog to obey commands, there are several ways to go about it. Using a verbal command, such as “sit,” is effective, but your dog is actually paying more attention to your body language than your words. That’s where hand signals for dog obedience training come in handy. These signals are simple to use and easy for dogs to learn.

For Dog Training

Getting Started

As with any training, you’ll need to give your dog time to learn what you want him to do. You can start this out by doing the hand signal while also using the verbal command. This gets your dog to associate hand signals with commands he’s already familiar with, which helps him learn to obey each signal.

Teaching Hand Signals

Once your dog is used to the hand signal and verbal command combination, you can test what he’s learned by just doing the hand signal. If he does what he’s supposed to with just the hand signal, then he’s successfully learned what it means and what’s expected of him. If your dog needs some more practice, keep doing the hand signal and verbal command combination, then test him on the hand signal again.

Basic Hand Signals

There are different hand signals you can use for basic commands, or you can even come up with your own as long as you keep them simple and use them consistently. Here are a few of the most commonly used hand signals in dog obedience training:

  • Sit: Hold your hand at your side with a treat in it, and slowly raise your hand up past your pup’s nose while saying “sit.” As your hand moves up, your dog should raise his head to follow it, which will lead him to sit. Give him the treat as a reward and repeat.
  • Down: Place a treat in your hand, and hold it above your head. Lower your hand slowly down past your dog’s nose while saying “down.” He should lower his head to follow the treat, and gradually lower his body to the floor. When he does, reward him with the treat.
  • Come: Put a treat in your hand, then hold your arm out straight to the side. Move your arm over to your other shoulder while saying “come.” Take a few steps back, and wait for your dog to come to you, then reward him.

Training your dog is an essential part of responsible dog ownership. Teaching your dog to sit, come and stop jumping will make you more comfortable and those around you and your dog. For more advanced training consider bringing your pup to one of our training classes.