Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Bloomington, IN
hey everyone! i was just wondering how many people prefer to use both vocal and hand signals when training, like i do. it just seemed like the natural thing to do when i was training my family GSD growing up, and i've continued to refine it with mine and my roommates' dogs. i love not needing to say anything to the dog, and continue talking to someone while asking the dog to sit-stay, for example.
right now, since i'm also learning American Sign Language, i've been shifting how i look at training with hand signals. i've realized just how much subtle body language changes can influence what you're communicating to other humans when signing, so i've been trying to integrate that into how i train dogs. another thing i've realized recently is just how integral body language is to wolves and dogs, and how to translate that into inter-species signals.
for example: asking my dog to sit, jump, lay down at, or go to a particular spot using 1. a hand shape associated with a particular action, and 2. a gesture towards where i want him to be. i've seen people who do agility do a similar thing.
i've actually noticed i can get Corvus to cooperate better using purely hand and body language, as opposed to purely vocal. his attention is much more focused on me, since his eyes have to be, though if we're outside i usually need to use a combination of vocal and visual communication.
anyways, i was wondering how many other people do a similar thing. are there particular trainers who've talked about this sort of thing? i'd love to learn more about why it works so well, at least with particular dogs.
currently owned by a german pinscher named Corvus