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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-26-2014, 10:10 PM Thread Starter
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Hand signals

I was looking for advice on how to teach my dog and signals like back or left to right. He is very smart and has a basic idea of it the problem is getting his attention, I can say back and point he heads back so far then I try to get him to do it again by this point he back tracked and won't look at me when I call, really makes an a$$ out of me lol

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-26-2014, 10:48 PM
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Re: Hand signals

You should look into a program like Lardys, Hillmans, or any of the other pro trainers programs. Follow it from the beginning, stick to it and you'll have a great dog. Or join a retriever club and get help from someone in the club. Good luck.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-27-2014, 10:53 PM
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Re: Hand signals

It's easiest done right from the start as a pup.

I happened on it much by mistake, I guess with my first Britt. I just always paired my vocal commands with a specific and corresponding hand signal. As dumb luck on my part would have it, when she was a finished dog, she could be completely run with one or the other or a combination of both.

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-28-2014, 12:41 PM
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Re: Hand signals

I think it works a bit better if you combine it with words that they associate with finding something. at first. My lab is no pro at it but I find if she gets mixed up on a water retrieve, If I project my voice to the way the object is and give her the "right here" command she typically will turn and go that way.

I say "right here" because I use that in the grouse woods if there is a cover that I want her to hit that may be on the upwind side of where she is located or something. I will give her a quick mouth whistle to get her to stop then point with a "Lilly, right here, right here" She will perk up and come over to check out what I am pointing at.

I know that they will not always be able to hear you, and you don't want to go around screaming in the woods, but eventually after you get your dog to associate your pointing with that command you wont need to say a word and just stop them, then point. They will get used to what you want them to do with enough repetition.

I think that a lot of it has to do with building up your bond with you dog. If you work a ton with them, some of the body language and even certain looks you give your dog can get them to do what you want them to do. I can snap my fingers and point at the couch and she will just go up and lay down and wait for me to tell her what else to do. Same thing with getting her to go to the crate.

If we are eating and I look at her she will instantly turn her head away. If I snap my fingers and point at the crate, she will go into her crate until I tell here she can come out.

It is all about repetition and finding what works for your dog. You may have to snap your fingers or something when you point, or give your hand signal.

I think you can incorporate that " right here " command with treats at first. Throw a treat some where when they aren't looking. Get a bit close to it and give that "excited right here" command. your dog will come over to see what you want, smell the treat , find it, and eat it and be happy. Just keep doing that a bit and they will get used to going the way you want them too and associate not only the verbal command but you pointing, as an instruction. Eventually they will learn to go the way you point.

This is not a professional advice by any means, and There are probably thousands of books and articles out there, This is just what I found out worked for me and my dog.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-13-2014, 09:25 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Hand signals

You have a very good point and it seems he gets what I mean when I give the signal at least righ it's getting him to look at me when I blow the whistle that he has trouble getting at least that is till he get overly frustrated then he will look for one signal and the process restarts and nothing gets accomplished lol (that's on retrieves) quartering when he decides to look he does good following where I tell him, so I guess my real problem is getting him to look at me not so much the signel itself.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-13-2014, 03:41 PM
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Re: Hand signals

This is one way.


Once you dog understands the concept you play puppy baseball. Have the dog sit at the pitchers mound. Drop a bunch of bumpers on first base then walk back to home plate . From home plate toss a bumper to first base to get your sitting do to look that way then release the dog with your hand signal and verbal cue such as "over". The dog should run to first base pick up a bumper and deliver it to you. Repeat until you no longer have to toss the bumper to first as he has learned to pile. Take a break for the day then teach 3rd base same method the next day. Second base is a little tricker when you toss the bumper to second toss it over the dogs shoulder on the direction you want him to spin to and use a different verbal cue such as "back" to help him understand you want him to go back rather than over. Sorry hard to explain on my iPad but search the internet as I'm sure there are much better explanations. Once the dog has learned all three bases then you can make it a game by giving pup a right over, left back,right back, left over in any combination.

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