So when we teach our dogs a behavior, we generally put a word along with it like Sit, Down, or Stay. BUT when you teach your dog that word IN ADDITION to a hand cue, well now your dog is bilingual.
When you start to pair them two together, the verbal cue and the visual cue, they start to mean the same thing.
Before we get into that, let’s talk about making sure that the word actually MEANS what we want it to.
When you start to teach a behavior, you want to make sure that the word that you want to use has the intended meaning that you want it to. To do that, you want to make sure that your dog KNOWS the physical act of what you want them to do.
So, when you are teaching your dog to sit, you want the behavior to be that your dog puts it’s rear on the floor. When you’re repeatedly luring your dog into a sit and they’re CONSISTENTLY doing the correct physical act, THAT is when you add the verbal cue.
Can you imagine starting to ask your dog to sit the moment you started to lure them into the position? Yes, your dog may eventually get there and if you used this method to get your dog to sit, I’m not bagging on you. I’m absolutely NOT telling you that you did it wrong, All I’m saying is that wouldn’t it have been easier to cut down on the learning curve?
OK, back to business. So your dog is sitting every time you lure them into position. You’re using the verbal cue EVERY time you ask them to so the behavior as well as the verbal cue.
Now, what I want you to do is JUST give the visual cue and see what happens. Most likely your dog will sit, or lay down, and stay in one place. Heck, maybe even shake.
Congratulations, you’re dog is starting to be bilingual! You can do this with every behavior you want your dog to know. Everything from Shake, to Coming when called, to maybe even shutting off a light.
The possibilities are endless:) Now all you need to figure out is what you want to teach your dog:)
I hope you guys have enjoyed this post. Let me know what you think in the comments below. If you haven’t done so already, take a moment and sign up for my newsletter so you can have blog posts and special freebies sent straight to your inbox. You can click HERE to sign up 🙂
Until next time, Have fun, and Happy Training!
P.S. I forgot to mention: Teaching your dog to understand sign language isn’t just a cool trick to teach your dog but it could also come unhelpful if anything ever happened to your dogs hearing down the line. OR if you’re in a high volume situation, your dog right not be able to hear you but can still see you and understand what you’re asking them to do. Just thought I’d mention:)