Dog training hand signals can be a highly effective way for senior to train their dog and manage their behavior.
Seniors often face obstacles that younger dog owners may not encounter. Some may have limited mobility which interferes with their ability to stand for long periods of time, go up and down steps or bend over comfortably. Those with hearing problems may have difficulty using training systems that involve clicks or other auditory signals. Some seniors may also struggle with memory which requires them to make training a part of their daily life in order to ensure consistency in efforts.
Some seniors also have older dogs who may also struggle with range of motion, hearing or memory. Whether it’s the senior, the dog or both that has obstacles to overcome, hand signals are an excellent option when training a dog to respond to the basic commands.
As long as a dog is able to see a hand moving, they can learn to associate specific motions with commands. There are standard commands used for sit, stay and all other basic commands. Seniors may even train dogs to respond to unique hand motions that they develop with their dog once the basic commands are learned.
Some dogs respond to hand motions better than they respond to verbal commands. This may come down to their lack of understanding of the human language or a preferred visual learning style. The goal is for the dog to respond to the hand motion so that the owner doesn’t have to physically demonstrate what is desired or verbally stress commands to the dog.
This is an efficient form of dog training that blends well with many other styles of training. It is important to work with either verbal commands or hand signals at one time, rather than mixing them together. Multiple forms of commands given at one time can become confusing for some dogs.
The first step to using hand signals for dog training is to learn the signals for the basic commands. Seniors should purchase dog treats of the appropriate size for the dog being trained. These treats are held in the hand to keep the dog’s attention when the hand signals are given.
Owners should start by moving their hand in the appropriate motions after the dog’s attention is latched to the treat. With time, the dog should start to respond to the signal without the owner holding a treat in hand. Seniors may use petting and verbal praise to award dogs as they become more proficient in responding to the dog training hand signals they have learned.
Hand motions are gentle for the owner and the dog. They don’t require extensive movement from the owner, and they can be adjusted or customized if they don’t work well for a particular owner or dog. Whether they are used in combination with other training techniques or as an independent technique, most dogs can easily understand what the motions mean within a short period of time.
Dog training hand motions also work well for hearing-impaired dogs. The dogs are able to respond to these signals even when other training techniques have failed to work.