Using Hand Signals During Labrador Training

By Kate Truman

An owner giving verbal commands to his pet is a common Labrador training scenario. While the use of verbal commands is indeed effective in addition to being widely used, an owner has the option to apply other solutions too. Hand signal, for instance, is another approach that can further help increase the odds of obtaining positive training result.

For further enlightenment, here are the reasons justifying the use of hand signals:

  • Dog breeds with wonderful work ethics and even temperament like the Labrador Retriever are popular working dogs. They make great disabled-assistance dogs and are used in search and rescue missions and in illegal detection. Teaching your pet dog with hand signals will let him know what the plan of action is without making a sound and makes communication easy if you are working in a noisy setting.
  • Regardless of your effort to keep your pet near you most of the time, he may possibly run away especially if he sees something compelling on the other side of the road - a fashionable poodle, a barking chihuahua, waste can, squirrel or anything that has captured his attention. The situation can be harmful but if he is trained to respond to hand signals, you can be at ease knowing that you can let him know what to do even if he is away.
  • Hand signals can be used to point out many Labrador training commands. Like for instance if you're training your lab to stay, placing your hand (palm facing out) in front of his snout can help him figure out what he should really do. Additionally, outstretched arms and inviting appearance may mean "come" while an extended arm with palm facing down, forming a parallel position with the ground can be used to signal "down".
  • Through the use of hand signals, your pet dog will focus more on you to find out the following command. He is less likely to look around and potentially lose focus should he see something that can divert his interest from training.
  • Due to their floppy ears that trap moist air, Labrador Retrievers can be vulnerable to ear infection and if not treated promptly, may lead to serious hearing problems. Hand signal is particularly useful to dogs with hearing-related problem.

There are many hand signals one can use during Labrador training. Use them correctly and notice your Labrador Retriever turn into a well-behaved pet you have been hoping to see.

Kate Truman
Article by Kate Truman
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