Hand Signals for Communication with your Greyound: Pros and Cons
July 13, 2023 12:17
When it comes to dog training, using effective communication methods is crucial for building a strong bond and building a beautiful relationship with your grey.
At GAP NSW, we are passionate about greyhound welfare, part of which involves exploring the human-dog relationship and developing ideal training techniques.
Hand Signals You Might Consider Teaching your dog
A sign to stop and stay
A signal for your dog to touch their nose to your hand or fingers
Pointing to places you want your dog to go to (like their bed)
Pros of Using Hand Signals for Training
Universal Communication: Dogs are highly perceptive to visual cues, making hand signals an excellent way to establish clear and consistent communication. Regardless of language barriers or the tone of your voice, a well-executed hand signal can convey your intent accurately.
Distinctiveness: Hand signals are visually distinct, allowing for more precise and specific instructions. Greyhounds, with their keen sighthound observation skills, can learn to associate each hand signal with a particular behaviour, reducing the potential for confusion. Contrast this with verbal cues, which dogs have to separate from our regular speech.
Non-Verbal Communication: Dogs primarily rely on non-verbal cues to understand and interpret their environment. By incorporating hand signals, you tap into their natural instincts, making it easier for them to comprehend and respond to your instructions.
Cons of Using Hand Signals for Training
Initial Learning Curve: Introducing hand signals may require more time and patience compared to verbal commands. They may not be accustomed to this method of communication, and it can take some time for them to associate the signals with specific commands or behaviours.
Limited Applicability: Hand signals may have limitations in situations where your greyhound cannot see your hands. For instance, when training in low-light conditions or from a distance, relying solely on hand signals may prove challenging. It's important to maintain a balance by reinforcing commands with verbal cues as well.
Human Inconsistencies: Hand signals are effective only when used consistently. Inconsistencies in hand movements or unintentional variations can confuse your greyhound and impede the training process. Ensuring that everyone in the household uses the same hand signals is key.
Individual Variances: Just like humans, dogs have their own unique personalities and learning styles. While hand signals work well for many greyhounds, some individuals may not respond as readily to visual cues. It's essential to adapt your training methods to suit your greyhound's individual needs and preferences.
In many instances, it helps to use both verbal cues and hand signals when training your dog. This offers the benefit of introducing an easy to recognise hand signal with the versatility of verbal cues.
Combining hand signals with verbal cues and taking a patient, adaptable approach will help you create a well-rounded training experience that suits your greyhound's unique needs. Ultimately, the key lies in establishing a strong bond, trust, and positive reinforcement, regardless of the communication method you choose.
Adopt Your New Best Mate and Change Two Lives
Does teaching a retired greyhound how to live a fun and meaningful life sound like a good time to you? If so, why not consider adopting one!