When we first had our dog I remember reading a book about training that recommended teaching hand signals as well as voice commands. There was a horrible story about a dog out walking with one owner who saw the other owner on the other side of the road. The dog charged off across the road, out of voice range of the first owner and got kicked down and killed. The author recommended training using hand signals so that the owner across the street could have stopped the dog before it got hurt.
We trained our dog to sit, lie down, go left, go right etc with hand signals and it worked really well, until her sight got too bad anyway! it was also good to be able to give her instructions while holding a conversation with another human!
Anyway, to get to the point of the post - I was wondering earlier today, is there a standard set of signs (like with makaton!) or do individual users make their own signs up?
for 'sit' we held a palm up towards the dog for 'lie down' we used one finger pointing upwards then moving down to the ground for 'come here' patting both thighs for 'left' or 'right' we pointed that direction (really useful when she was half way across a field and had lost her ball!)
For us sit is holding a hand up and clicking our fingers, lie down is pointing at the floor, stay is holding one finger up. Seems to work quite well, especially as our dog seems to have selective hearing
I use similar signals, tend to do outstretched arms for 'come here' though as it's easy for him to see at a distance. Originally tried using a whistle to get his attention at a distance, but he seems oblivious to it, so I usually end up yelling anyway .
Don't know how good I am at describing them - Sit is hold out one hand and put the fingertips of the other on the palm with the hand curved round, kind of like the legs of a person sitting on a chair. - Stay is hold out one hand and put the fingertips of the other on the palm with the hand straight up, like the legs of a person standing still. - Lie down is you hold out one hand and put the palm of the other hand on top, like one hand is lying on the other one.