• Richard Chan

Keep you hands to yourself!

My dogs are trained to understand basic verbal commands without any hand signal. i.e. I do not move my arms or any body part when l say "sit", "down", or "stand".

This may sound really straight forward but unfortunately it is not always so.

A lot of dogs will only respond to a verbal command when it is accompanied by a body/hand signal, for example, palm held up when asking for "sit" and finger pointing to the ground when asking for a down...etc.

Many dogs do not really know what to do if the handler keeps his arms behind his body like l did in the clip.

It is important to me that my dogs are well under control in the real world. In the real world, my dogs need to know what l am asking them to do even when my hands are busy holding my coffee and my phone. So, they need to understand my verbals without any physicals.

If a dog really knows "sit" means "put my butt on the ground", he will sit even if the handler does not move his hand at all.

The hand signal is redundant if the verbal command alone is well understood.

However, many dogs will become very confused when they hear a command without seeing any physical cue. Many of them will not know what to do.

I would like to challenge you to give your dog some simple commands with both your arms next to the sides of your body completely unmoved.

This will tell you if your dog really understands the meaning of your commands.


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