A dog sits on command from hand signal from owner.

Many dog owners are unaware of the benefits of teaching their dog hand signals. Hand signals are a form of non-verbal communication that can train your dog and cue them to perform certain behaviors without the need for clear audible instructions.

Dogs are tuned into our body language and interpret our gestures and movement correctly most of the time. By using hand signals and verbal commands, we can better communicate with our dogs and help them understand what we want them to do.

Why Teach Hand Signals To Your Dog?

One reason is that it gives you another way to communicate with your dog. If you only use verbal commands, there may be times when your dog does not understand what you want him to do. For example, if you are at a park and there is a lot of noise, your dog may not be able to hear you. But if you know how to use hand signals, you can still communicate with your dog even if he cannot hear you.

Another reason why teaching hand signals is important is that it can help you train your dog more effectively. Dogs are very good at reading body language, so when you use hand signals and verbal commands, your dog will be able to understand what you want him to do more easily. This can be especially helpful when you are trying to teach your dog tricks or obedience commands.

Teaching hand signals to your dog can be a lot of fun! It’s a great way to bond with your dog and spend some quality time together. And once you start using hand signals with your dog, you’ll be amazed at how much he can understand and respond to them.

Hand signals are universal. No matter what language you speak, hand signals will always mean the same thing. This is helpful if you ever find yourself in a situation where you need to communicate with your dog but cannot speak, such as when you are in a loud environment or if your dog is hard of hearing.

Hand signals can be used at a distance. Have you ever been out for a walk and noticed another person’s dog running towards you without a leash? If the owner frantically yells “come!” the dog will likely continue running away from them. However, if the owner uses a hand signal for “come,” the dog is more likely to see it and respond accordingly. This is because dogs have much better vision than humans and can see clearly across a field or room.

Hand signals provide valuable information to our dogs. Dogs are highly visual creatures and rely heavily on body language to communicate. When we use hand signals with our dogs, we are providing them with important information about what we want them to do as well as how we feel about it. For example, a common hand signal for “sit” is pointing downwards with an open palm. If we add an urgent tone of voice or gesture towards the ground with our other hand, our dog will know that we want him to sit down immediately.

Hand Signals Every Dog Owner Should Know

Here are a few indispensable hand signals to teach your dog. 

  • Sit: The sit cue is probably the most popular and versatile cue there is. To signal your dog to sit, hold your hand out in front of you at shoulder height with your palm facing the ground. Then, move your hand back towards your hip while saying the word “sit.” Remember to use a calm voice when giving this cue – you don’t want to startle your dog into sitting!
  • Down: The down cue is similar to the sit cue, except that you will lower your hand down toward the ground as you say the command. This cue can be used to get your dog into a lying down position or to get them to stop moving forward if they are getting too close to something dangerous.
  • Come: The come cue is one of the most important cues you can teach your dog. To signal that you want your dog to come to you, extend your arm to the side with your palm facing up and open up your fingers so that your palm is now facing downwards. Then, sweep your arm towards your chest as you say “come” in a happy voice.
  • Stay: Stay is a great cue to use when you need your dog to remain in one spot for a period of time. To signal that you want your dog to stay, hold up your hand as you would for the stop sign (palm facing outwards) and say, “stay.”

Teaching Your Dog Hand Signals

Now that we’ve gone over why it’s important to teach your dog hand signals and which dog hand signals each owner should know, let’s go over how to do it. The process is fairly simple and only requires patience and some treats! Here are the steps:

  1. Choose the hand signal you want to use for each command. For example, if you want your dog to sit, you could use the “come here” gesture with your palm facing down.
  2. Now that you’ve chosen your hand signal, it’s time to start teaching it to your dog! Have your dog in front of you and hold a treat close to his nose so he can see and smell it.
  3. Next, give the chosen hand signal while saying the verbal command (“Sit!”). As soon as your dog responds correctly, give him the treat and praise him enthusiastically.
  4. Repeat this process until your dog responds consistently and correctly every time. Once he has mastered the hand signal, you can start phasing out the verbal command altogether.
  5. Dogs learn best through repetition, so continue practicing each hand signal multiple times per day until your dog has them down pat!

Greenlin Pet Resorts Can Help You Communicate with Your Dog Like A Pro

Hand signals are a great way to build an extra layer of communication with your furry friend. Not only that, but they’re also impossible for dogs to misread, which comes in handy when verbal commands just won’t cut it. Next time Fido doesn’t seem to be listening when you tell him to sit, try using a hand signal instead; you might be surprised at how much more effective it is!

All dog owners should have hand signals as a tool in their training arsenal. Not only are they less likely than verbal commands to startle or scare your dog, but they can also be used when verbal commands would be inappropriate. 

Teaching your dog hand signals can help them understand you better and deepen the bond between you and your furry friend. And remember: practice makes perfect! The more you work on these hand signals with your dog, the better they will understand them. 

So what are you waiting for? Get started today and contact Greenlin Pet Resorts for dog training to help you communicate with your dog like a pro!