No Stinkin' Leashes Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: SF Bay Area
It's much easier for them to learn with hand signals than a voice command because dogs communicate with body language so they are very adept at reading subtle cues. I usually lure for only as long as I need to, then get the food out of that hand and use the lure motion as a hand signal. I mark and reward out of the other hand. It's only later that I work on voice commands only, and I start by saying the command FIRST, waiting a second or two, and then using the hand signal. Eventually, I wait longer and longer for the hand signal, using it only as a reminder, if necessary.
So I say the command, which the dog does not know, then I use a hand signal, which the dog does know. The verbal command becomes a predictor for the hand signal and is then associated with the behavior. This can take time though, you've only had him a month, so I wouldn't worry about it too much at this point. What you don't want to do is say a command and use a hand signal at the same time - he's going to pay attention to what you're doing, not what you're saying, so always say the word first, give him a moment to process it, and then remind him what it means.
Keefer 8/25/05-4/24/19 ~ The sweetest boy
Halo 11/9/08-6/17/18 ~ You left pawprints on our hearts
Dena 9/12/04-10/4/08 ~ Forever would have been too short