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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok so Matty starts her first obedience class tomorrow night...My question is she already is good with sit, down, wait....so she knows my signs and gestures..what if this instructor uses different signals...should I change to match his signs or keep going with what I have already taught her?
 

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Use your own. :) The instructor should not have a problem with that, and if s/he does, be polite but firm.
 

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If your hand signals and voice commands work for both you and your dog, there's no reason to change them.

However, you may find through a class that a different hand signal or a different voice command is easier visible, or clearer, or sounds less like something else you've been using - in which case you would probably consider making changes. But you shouldn't change just because your instructor uses different signals or commands.

I ran into this with Abby. By the time we entered levels classes, she already knew her basics and some tricks, but I wanted to get her into a group class for socialization and to work toward the CGC. I had taught her "touch" for shaking hands - of course, the class then used "touch" for touching a target. I chose to simply use a different word for targeting ("target"), but I suppose I could have also changed her command for shaking hands from "touch" to "shake" or "paw". I also used the German "sitz" for sit and "platz" for down while everyone else used the English.
 

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Most trainers won't have a problem with that and I've found that they're very open with you using or picking a command that works for you. I've been in 4 classes with two dogs in the past year and each trainer has suggested the most common command but also says to pick a word you want to use, just be consistent with it. The only word they've never included was "NO". There was one woman who didn't want anyone to be able to give commands to her dog so she said carrot for stay, apple, for down stuff like that.
 

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Don't be surprised if Matty forgets her training. At home, Wolfie knows sit, down, paw, wait, leave it, come, stay, and heel. In class, they had us do all of that, and the only thing he responded to was sit, stay, and heel. It was like I never trained him. He acted like he didn't even recognize his name at some points. It was because of all the distractions. Our trainer said we could use our own command words if we had them.
 

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Most times my trainer will say "call it what ever you want". I decided to go with formal obedience commands, I don't "think" we will ever compete, but I figured if I'm going to train, I might as well try to get her to do things right, just in case. I found out I was using the wrong hand signal for stay, I was using down. Sometimes I think the classes are more for me than her.
Yes be prepared for the embarassing moment when your dog ignores you or just doesn't do something.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I figure we will have several moments...I am doing this for dog socializing and to help with her focus....A few weeks ago, we were walking and our neighbor has 2 four month old shepherd puppies..she was cowering away from them...so embarrassing...We have dogs and she has met a few other large dogs without that reaction...I think two "little" ones coming at her freaked her out...
 

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I would have 'freaked out' too. When ever I encounter someone with more than one dog we are going to meet, I always tell them 'ONE AT A TIME, PLEASE'. And, Dont let them get between me and my dog (she protects me). So far, this has worked. I am never too shy to speak my mind when it comes to my dog. (not implying you are, just saying).
 
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