Once you’re getting some results with training you’ll start to feel much more confident in the abilities that your Shiba Inu has. Incorporating hand signals is a lot of fun, and is the basis of any dog that played in a movie.
It would be pretty awkward if during a scene the handler would say “Sit” while actors were performing. He must use hand signals to get the same results. Fortunately dogs are very keen on watching body language and hand signals are surprisingly easy to teach.
People are always very impressed when you can perform the simplest commands using nothing but a hand signal. As much as people are oblivious to the effect and value of body language, dogs are keen on using it and watch out for it rigorously.
It also helps keep your Shibas attention on you. Hand signals provide a different set of clues for your dog and, unlike voice commands; hand signals can’t be angry or upset. They’re just hand positions. So he won’t be disturbed by your internal emotional state.
Incorporating hand signals for your Shiba Inu
Hand signals work really well when they’re similar to the original hand movement you used to teach the dog the trick in the first place. For example, for sit, you used a slight upward movement while supposedly holding a treat in front of him.
Now that he can do sit on command, use the command while moving your hand slightly upwards as if you’re holding a treat with it. Repeat this several times and then try the movement without the command word. If he does it right praise him enthusiastically and reward him with a treat.
Now you can go on and use a flat palm gesture to signal Stay, a flat palm pointed at the ground to signal down and so on. You can use any hand signal you want, but they will work faster if they are similar to the original movements.
If you want to be flashy choose whatever complicated movement you want. I’m quite confident you could teach your dog to do a roll over when you do a somersault, but that’s a different story.
An interesting way to use hand signals
When people see you doing tricks with your dog they often wonder if the dog would also listen to them. So they decide to try it. This is where your hand signals will come in handy in making your friends feel good and your dog look good.
They say sit, you do the hand signal, the Shiba sits, everybody’s happy. Children really love it when this happens. What happens is that when someone is trying to see if your dog will obey him he won’t look at you, he’ll look at the dog. So you’re free to do whatever you want. Trust me, it works every time.
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