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I've been teaching my dog with hand signals, but they are signals of my choosing since I couldn't find info on the proper signals. First, is this a problem? It's not too late to change. For "platz (down)," I use my outstretched right arm, palm open and facing the dog, raised at an angle. I didn't use a gradual raise... maybe I should use that.

Are there specific signals for sitz (sit), hier (come), or other commands? For sitz, I would bend my arm upwards at a right angle, and for hier it would be bent downwards, same right angle at the elbow. I'd like to go about this properly in case we ever trial. I think the platz signal is right as I saw a photo in a book with that position in the obedience section, but the other two commands I pulled out of my rear just because I figure they're very visible at a long distance.

I'm going to teach whistle commands as well. I know "hier" is three short toots. Anyone know more whistle commands?

Thanks!
 

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I dont think there are any "official" hand commands. Depending on which venue are trialing in some I believe do not allow for hand signals at all (SCH- I think you can use directionals for the blinds and the send out) but I believe everything else can ONLY be verbal commands. Someone more involved in SCH can correct me if I am wrong. With ANY form of dog training you can use any vocal command you dont need to use sit/sitz, down/platz etc. Heck I could teach my dog to walk beside me with focus by saying banana. Sitz- orange; platz- grapefruit; recall- apple; finish- plum. At the end of a trial there may be a lot of people that have a craving for a fruit salad but dogs do speak English or German. You COULD use any word/term/phrase to associate with any command; to me hand signals would not be any different.
 

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I train with lots of AKC people and they seem to all use the same hand signals. I've spent a lot of time looking for hand signals online and didn't find much at all. But this is what I've observed.

Sit is right arm at side palm forward, bend elbow to bring arm towards sholder. Down is raise right arm over head. Stay is swing right palm towards dog's nose. Come is right arm out at side parallel to the ground, palm forward, bend elbow to bring palm to chest. Heel is sometimes pat leg with left hand. Come to Heel (finish) depends on if it's Swing (to left), or Come Around (the back), but it's usually just a directional movement with the appropriate arm.

But you can use whatever you like.
 

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Since Renji is a mixed breed, the only type of obedience trials that would be open to you would be Schutzhund, (but then again, I am often wrong about these things, so I am open to correction).

As Amaruq was saying, NO hand signals, body language allowed at all in Schutzhund obedience trials, but there is nothing wrong in teaching hand signals to your dog. Will come in very handy, that's for sure. It is great to be able to control your dog without having to say a word, and combining a hand signal with a verbal command re-inforces the command when wanting your dog to heed you under high distractions.

So indeed, you can use any signals you want. If interested in doing Schutzhund, you can phase out the hand signals as training progresses.

For "official" hand signals, what we learned in obedience is based on
C(anadian)KC obedience signals (don't know if it is the same or different than AKC).

Down: Right arm up, palm open facing dog.

Sit: Right arm bent 90 degrees out in front of you at waist level, palm facing the dog, fingers pointed downwards.

Stand: like the sit, but use left arm.

Come: Lift right arm from your side and bring to your chest.

So yes, the platz signal is "right" if that matters, but if the other signals work for you, I"d stick with them.

I only know one whistle command: (I made it up), it's a wolf whistle and it means: "Come here quick I got a treat for you!"
Works everytime!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Castlemaid, UKC (United Kennel Club) offers registration of mixed breed dogs as "AMBOR" (American Mixed Breed Obedience Regulations) dogs, and they can compete in some of their working trials including obedience. Their obedience program appears to be set up just like AKC's. We could even do weight pull! We could still do SchH obedience, of course, just won't use any hand signals.

Thanks for the great list of commands. I think I'll stick with what I've got if we have that option, and sounds like we do.
 

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I had a Border Collie, and she was just wonderful to train, just for fun, but I feel she trained herself, coz I'm having no joy training my GS puppy.
I would command her from long distances with hand signals, my hand signals, but again similar to what has been said here.
I also whistled for her; for come it'd be three quick whistles, for down the whistle would get lower in tone, and sit would be a like a cheerful "here boy" whistle. I used hand signals over the whistle because basically my whistle only goes about a foot away!!! I'd buy whistles but then loose them.
Black Puppy- please explain the down, you raise arm over your head? sounds like an umbrella!
 

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Originally Posted By: Ninaplease explain the down, you raise arm over your head? sounds like an umbrella!
Think about the old Nazi salute. Arm over head, slightly forward - kind of 135 degree angle to the ground. (Arm parallel to the ground is 90 degress, straight up is 180 degrees.)
 
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