- Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 


ASL for dogs?

May 12th, 2010, 11:25 PM
My terrier/Satan cross, Scruffy, is very smart and learns SO quickly. The thing is, when he's excited, he doesn't listen.
So out of necessity I've developed some hand signals to cue him in to what I want him to do. I started by doing the hand signal while saying the word I taught him.
Now I'm finding he's far more responsive to hand signals than he ever was to words, at least when I want him to do something.
It's just been kind of a revelation to me. Anyone else using hand signals or gestures with their dogs? Are there any standard ones that poeple use? So far I've just been using gestures that seem to make sense to me.

May 13th, 2010, 09:33 AM
So far I've just been using gestures that seem to make sense to me.

same here , I "made up" signs. I use the "shush" signal , if one of my dogs is barking in the yard , I'll call his/her name and when they look at me , I put my finger in front of my mouth. Works most times ....

and Nelly will often leave toys in the backyard , so when she comes up on the deck to get back in , I put my hands together to form a ball , then I point to the backyard. Yep , she goes and gets the ball :p

May 13th, 2010, 09:47 AM
There are several standard ones used for basic commands in the obedience ring.

All start with the arms down at your side and all are done with the right hand.

Most people know "stay". You put the palm of your right hand in front of the dog's nose and say stay.

The sit command is usually used to get the dog to sit from a down. You bring your right hand up to your waist by bending it at the elbow - palm of hand facing up.

To give the "down" command, you bring your arm straight up over your head and lower it straight down in front of you, palm down.

For come - you bring your right hand up from your side, across your body to your left shoulder - palm towards you.

I am sure there is one for "stand" also, but can't remember it for the life of me.

Dog Dancer
May 13th, 2010, 10:29 AM
I haven't used the stand signal for some time now, but I think it was similar to the stay with your hand in front of the dogs nose, but then bringing it forward - palm still facing the dog. Indicating to stay, but stand in that spot. I think that was how we did it if memory serves me correctly. My girls respond very well to the hand signals also.

May 13th, 2010, 02:55 PM
When I took my guy to obedience trainiing they advised us to teach hand signals as well because as our dogs age with their hearing the hand signals become a very effective tool...:thumbs up

May 13th, 2010, 04:35 PM
I have taught Stark most of them as I was teaching him the commands as a puppy. I know that he knows them - whether or not he chooses to pay attention depends on the day.

May 13th, 2010, 11:19 PM
exactly, Scruffy KNOWS what I'm asking him to do...he looks right at me and laughs while he does his own thing! Dang dogs!
I experimented today, sometimes saying 'drop' othertimes pointing to the ground in front of his face with no verbal command. He responded much better to sign language.
They are very interesting creatures.