A dog and cat snuggle

Sign up for our


Content curated for you and your pet, straight to your inbox. Sign up to receive:

  • Hot tips on pet health
  • The latest pet trends
  • Chances to win big
  • And more!
Sign up now
Get a quote

Simple pet training hand signals transcript

Video name: How to Use Simple Pet Training Hand Signals

[Hand Signals are Easy to Teach]

Linda McVay, CCS CDW Owner/Instructor, University Canine Learning Academy: When you first get your dog one of the things that you want to do is you want to work on having their attention focused on you. One of the easiest ways to do that is to tap your dog once and then give a thumbs-up while delivering a tasty bit of something so you’re making the association between looking at you and something that the dog wants, a little piece of bait.

Linda: If I have a sight hound I might make a sweeping motion because that visual movement is going to catch that streak in their eye and they’re really receptive to that.

Linda: For other dogs I might just do a little but it’s what comes naturally to me. Be creative, think outside the box. When you have a pet that’s what you need to do. Not everything works in every situation for every person so customize it to your lifestyle.

Linda: When you’re at home and you approach your deaf pet and you might want them to give you their attention, tapping on the floor. That vibration will travel.

Linda: When you’re out on a walk you don’t have that option so it’s really important to instill a good habit in your dog. Check in with me, because when you check in with me, all wonderfulness flows from me.

Linda: When you’re working with your dog, you’ll notice that as long as your communication is clear and you’re really good about giving that thumbs-up or even that head-turn, it takes under five minutes for your dog to figure out that looking at you pays off for them and dogs do what works for them.

Linda: Training is easy to do and a lot of times people believe that they need to take an hour or forty minutes. It’s really about taking small little segments, two to three minutes three or four times a day. You’re way ahead of the curve then. Anybody can do training. Dogs cue off our bodies all the time, in fact the primary way that they learn is through body language so teaching a dog through hand signals right through puppyhood onward then as my dog transitions into becoming a senior dog, their hearing is one of the first senses to go, it becomes a seamless, smooth transition, because those hand cues are already in play.

Linda: Go out there and have fun and practice with your animal and see how quickly your dog picks up on watching you learn those hand cues.