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Benjamin Franlkin - 12 (?) Toy Poodle
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We are looking to do some agility and trick work with our next dog. I've done some trick training and stuff in the past, so I know the general techniques and how-to's. BUT. A problem I've run into is that I made up hand signals with my older dogs and then I came to find they were different from "standard" signals. I know there isn't really one "standard" set, but I would be interested in hearing what the most common ones are, particularly if you compete.

So... What are your hand signals and commands? Are there any specific signals or command words I should avoid that would cause problems later on?
 

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Down is me pointing at the ground
Sit doesnt.. have one
Stand is me lifting my hand up
Come is me patting my theigh
Stay is me puttng my hand out, flat.

I wouldn't use anything common- like No when training your dog.
but anything is a go, you can use duck for sit.. whatever works best


For agility, my hand usually is directly out in the direction I want my dog to go, I guide him with my hands more than my voice. Its hard to explain..
I don't have specific hand signals, my dog is taught to follow my hand, I use verbals for things like "go around" or "walk it".. but typically my dog follows where my arm is facing.
Its not a very good idea to use hand signals in agility (its a bit of a bad habit I picked up, because my dog usually runs beside, or behind me bc he's slow) Verbals are better, so your dog isn't consistinly looking back at you
Dog Agility Training: Follow your hand - Handling Foundations
YouTube · Pam's Dog Academy
 

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You can use any words or signals you want. There are none that are official in any way although there are some that are in general use by many people. I used to see a man with a spaniel of some type (don't remember what) who showed in utility who used the orders "that one" and "the other one" for the utility jumps. Since utility directed jumping is always on a verbal and a signal it didn't matter which jump was on which side. The signal told the dog which way to go and the two orders were always given by the handler in that order, so he just as well could have been saying first one and second one. I thought it was quite clever and darn entertaining too. The really important thing is to be consistent so you don't poison your cues.
 

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You can use any words or signals you want. There are none that are official in any way although there are some that are in general use by many people. The really important thing is to be consistent so you don't poison your cues.
Yes, use what comes naturally to you, calmly, and consistently. I took my Spoo Service Dog to church with me before COVID, and all of the children, from two up, learned what signal to give my dog to sit (in his case hand extended flat palm up), because they all knew that that was the only way they would be allowed to pet him. It was adorable. I taught three kids, and then they taught the rest of their about 25 friends. With Covid I still often run into them in the grocery briefly, and they still know what to do, first ask me, then give Tiki the hand command and ask him to sit, and then they can pet him:)
 
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