Cues And Hand Signal

Discussion in 'Obedience Training' started by Mr-Remington, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. Mr-Remington Experienced Member

    So Remi had his first obedience class on monday. He was put in intermediate class, and we are working on the first steps to heel.

    The way the trainer is teaching is to have the dog sit in front of us, and then say heel while luring him to your side and having him sit. Remi can do this fine, and we are working on taking steps. But I haven't added a cue yet.

    My question is what do you guys name the cue for that? I've seen some people say 'left' and some say 'side' and others just say 'heel' What word and hand signal should I use for having him come and sit at my left side? And should I have the cue for sitting in front of me be 'front', so he knows to sit infront of me? I would love to eventually do some higher level of obedience classes later, and maybe do competitions. So I want cues that are easier for him.

    I'm new to obedience work, outside of the basics, so please bare with me.
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  2. sara Moderator

    I use "get in" for the left side, and "get right" for the right side. I like to use more than one word, as often as possible, with Oliver. I really don't know why LOL. I've also heard people use "swing".
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  3. sara Moderator

    oh and my hand signal is me swinging my arm back then pointing straight down... though that has evolved for the most part into just a little circle with my finger and a point :)
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  4. Mr-Remington Experienced Member

    Is it a good to use a different word for having him sit in front of me, or should I just tell him sit? Will he be able to differentiate using a cue like 'front' to sit in front of me, and then use sit for any other time? Will he understand or will I just confuse him? :notworthy: I think I'm going to use a hand signal like yours, it seems like its simple.
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  5. 2SpoiledAussies Well-Known Member

    I had a very informal way of learning obedience, so some of our cues are a little different. I use 'come' instead of 'front' (If I was just teaching this I would use 'front' for both front position and obedience recalls, and 'come' for recall outside of formal obedience, such as at the park). And I'd definitely say to NOT use hand signals on Recalls. So many people have trouble with this in all my classes, because they used them originally, and the dog can't do it without them anymore. I use 'Let's Go' for a moving heel. I use 'Swing' to go to my left side directly from the front. I use 'Around' for circling around me from front to my right to my left. My hand signals are just a wave of my hand in the direction they go. Toby knows both 'around' and 'swing' for Rally, but I just use 'swing' for Hannah since it is easier for her. I've also been working on 'Get It In', which is when the dog straightens up when he does a sloppy sit. Hope this helps :D
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  6. fickla Experienced Member

    Yes, you are going to want 2 cues, one being an informal everyday recall word and one meaning to sit in front of you. For the second one, make sure you don't add any distance to it until your dog understands the precision you're looking for (straightness and closeness).

    I find perch work (aka brick work, pivot work) is great at teaching both a solid understanding of front and heel position and is really fun for the dogs.
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  7. Mr-Remington Experienced Member

    I like your cue words, they words that he wouldn't mix up with other trick words. I will teach everything first before I add a hand signal, if I do add one. Hand signals are hard for me, since I never have a good one to use. lol

    I don't want to add the word to anything until he knows it. We are taking a Petsmart class, since he needs to learn to focus around other dogs. Our homework is to have our dog already taking steps in a heel position. Sadly Remi is very sloppy with his 'front.' He sits where ever he feels like it, but he does stay in front of me. (He went as far as to face the opposite direction when I lured him in front of me:rolleyes:) When I lure him to my side he sits very close to me, and often touches my leg.

    He gets frustrated with me when I don't treat him for sitting in front of me. He starts barking non stop. Should I ignore him and try again until he is sitting nice and straight?
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  8. 2SpoiledAussies Well-Known Member

    Toby was notorious for having a sloppy front too. It's just being consistent, and only giving it to him when he is straight. I'd try luring him straight, if this doesn't work you can take a step back, but I'd do this as little as possible or he'll rely on this.

    I would ignore him. It might take a while the first few times, but he'll eventually catch on to what you want. The first few times he stops barking and sits straight I'd give him TONS of praise. Or you could teach him to stop barking by first teaching him 'speak' then 'shh'
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  9. Mr-Remington Experienced Member

    Remi is horrible with barking when he doesn't get his way. I'm still working on teaching him to quiet on command.

    He tends to sit on his side with his feet out to the side, its adorable, but it looks bad when we are trying to work on this cue. I will try luring him right into it, and keeping the treats as high value as possible and see if that works. When you say step back do you mean stepping back to get him to follow and straighten out?
    MaryK likes this.
  10. 2SpoiledAussies Well-Known Member

    Toby used to bark at me when I didn't let him play with the other dogs in class. He grew out of it without having to do anything about it. Hopefully this'll be it for you :)

    With him sitting on his side, I'd use high value treats, and lure him as if you were just training him to sit, but maybe bring the treats a little higher. This seems to be common in Aussies. It is great for your stays though! Other breeds like Boxers and Whippets refuse to sit or down in a relaxed position.

    And yes, You'd just take a step backwards, luring him with you. It might be good to start, but it can be a terrible habbit if you keep it up. It'll straighten most dogs up.
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  11. 648117 Honored Member

    I do obedience with Holly, her command for sitting on my left is "close", I think the closer they are the better (except don't let him put his paw on your foot, Holly did that for a while), and "front" for sitting in front of me, again I was told to get this as close as possible (Holly is right between my feet). When she is in "close" position I can say "front" and she gets in front, then from there I can send her back to "close" or I can send her to the right, around my back, and to my left side with the command "finish". If I want her to sit when she gets back to my left side I say "close" when she is halfway their, or I just say "heel" and start walking (their is a rally-o sign where the dog goes behind the handler but does not sit when it reachs the left)
    I taught "heel" with a combination of luring, hand targetting and a lot of bending :LOL:.
    I do tend to use a hand flick when saying commands (it is really hard not to), I should really stop doing that :oops:

    I get her on my left with the "close" command for stays as well, in that position I can tell her to "down" or "stand" for down and stand stays.

    The way I was shown to teach "front" was by sitting in a chair and luring the dog between your legs so they have to be straight (also, some dogs arn't confortable getting that close to a standing person because it is hard to not lean over them a bit). From there you stand leaning against a wall so your leaning back, then you start to stand straight. This way the dog learns (hopefully) from the start to be straight because your legs and feet guide them and they should be comfortable getting really close to the front of you.
    Although the problem with this method is it didn't work so well with Holly because she is too short :LOL:, she couldn't see my face when I was sitting so she would put her paws up, but it was alright because she is comfortable having people lean over her and her butt doesn't stick out past the end of my feet that much so it is very easy for her to sit straight.

    I don't know if this is true, but I'm sure I've read somewhere that some dogs sit like this because that's what they were taught when puppies. Puppies tend to sit like that and when you taught Remi to sit you probably did think it was cute (or just didn't notice because that's just how he sat) and so he learn't that.
    Maybe you could try luring him into a sit (now that he's older) without asking him to sit and see how he sits, it might be straight then, I'm not sure as I've never had a large dog or a dog that sits on its side, but it might be worth a try.

    I'm not sure about how good it is for stays. My obedience trainer always gets people to straighten up their dogs during stay exercises if they sit on their side. I think she said they will be more likely to break the sit-stay if they arn't straight because it will put pressure on one hip after a while and get uncomfortable (especially if sitting on concrete) so the dog will move. But I've never had a problem with this with Holly so I could be wrong.
    I have seen a few dogs do down-stays lying on their side, so not lying straight probably isn't a problem.

    Disclaimer: Holly is the first dog that I have trained and we haven't started to compete yet so I could be completely wrong about everything ;) , but I hope this post has something useful to you in it :D
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  12. Mr-Remington Experienced Member

    I'm going to try this, since Remi isn't comfortable with sitting that close to me when I ask him to sit in front of me. He tends to take 2 steps back and sit.

    Funny thing is he never sat on his side until he got to be about 40 pounds. He's just a fat boy now! :ROFLMAO: I've been correcting it, by pulling him out of a sit and asking him to sit again, and then only treat when he has a nice straight sit.
    MaryK likes this.
  13. Mr-Remington Experienced Member

    At the beginning of class he was hyper and wanted to play but half way through I could hold his attention for a few minutes. He liked to bark at a playful corgi across the room. But I saw improvements so I'm happy so far. :D
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