Hand signals and commands for dogs are the most effective ways to develop and enhance your dog’s communication abilities. There are differences in teaching the same dog commands because each dog has their way of doing things. Dogs generally respond better when owners make use of an audio dog command using the use of a hand signal. Learn several of the more common as well as appropriate canine instructions along with hand signs that will aid in training your dog. In this guide, I will tell you about the basic dog commands and hand signals.

Dogs aren’t able to comprehend the words that we use. However, they can learn to react to certain sounds (voice instructions). In addition, dogs are proficient at recognizing hand signals because they are orientated to sight. They are also very adept at recognizing gestures made by the body and scanning body language. Moreover, it is a great way to improve your communication with the dog. 

While hand signals aren’t the most effective solution in certain circumstances (like in a contest), an experienced dog should be able to understand the hand signal and voice together to give the command. The concept of using hand commands is also beneficial for older dogs who suffer from hearing difficulties.

Also Read: Best Dog Training Collars with GPS


If you have an excellent understanding of the fundamental hand signals to train your dog, you can incorporate the hand signals into your dog’s routine.

Here are some tips and steps to teach your dog hand signals:

  1. Introduce gestures in a non-smiling space, as you’ll need your hand signals to be focused on you for the duration of the time.
  2. Choose one specific particular behavior at the moment to introduce the hand signal to keep the training sessions concentrated. Remember, pets are able to respond better. 
  3. When you’ve established eye-to-eye contact, you can give the cue verbally to the dog’s behavior along with the hand signal. Repeat this several times.
  4. Remove the voice cue and only use your hand signals. This could be not easy and might necessitate re-visiting earlier steps.
  5. When your dog is grasping the hand signal, cue the behavior several times, mixing in repeated hand signals and verbal cues, but do not do both simultaneously.
  6. If your dog can calm down, begin to introduce more distractions until it can be achieved in a noisy and busy area.

How To Train? (Basic dog commands and hand signals)

Your dog must learn how to connect the command in a verbal form and hand gestures. Many pet owners introduce this at a young age. The most efficient method to teach your dog to follow these two steps:

  • Use a simple hand signal and simple.
  • Reward behavior by rewarding (treats or praise).

When your dog obeys your command, gradually reduce the reward. If your dog is familiar with the basic commands such as sit, stay, and so on. So, moving from hand commands is relatively simple. The best way to train is to engage your dog regularly. If you put it on your schedule, your dog can quickly grasp the hand signals! 

Hand Commands for Dog Training

Hand Commands for Dog Training

Hand commands are extremely helpful in creating trust and communication between dogs and owners. They also increase dogs’ confidence, which helps them become a good companion. Below are some accessible dog commands you can use to train your dog. Hand commands are better than voice commands because pets can lose some degree of their hearing as they age.

Finger Point Towards Eye (Look at Me)

As per Primal pet food manufacturers, it is an essential non-verbal command. It is the initial step to moving from auditory to hands-only commands. This hand signal is essential to be taught to your dog as it helps make your dog more attentive to you.

It is best to put the snack in your hands and wait until your pet takes a look. If their eyes are directed towards the treat, hold it and raise the treat to your face. This will assist you in ensuring that your dog is looking at you in an observant manner. This hand signal is also called “Watch Me.” Repeat this practice until your pet is comfortable with the hand gesture.

Open Hand Palm Up (Sit)

This is possibly the most well-known and crucial dog-training command. Begin by seducing your pet by offering a treat and moving it from your nose towards the dog’s forehead. The hand’s motion produces a complete message. Your palm should be towards the sky, and your hand will move upwards. This is one of the sit-hand signals for dogs. 

It is recommended to utilize the command as a verbal “Sit” with the hand signal before you begin the training. It will aid your pet in comprehending your instructions more quickly. The hand gesture is called “Swing Your Palm Up.”

Finger Downward (Lie Down)

This hand command can be helpful if you wish to assist your dog by getting them to lay down. This command requires you to place the dog treat with your palm and use your fingers to give a signal. Make sure you point your finger towards the chest (keeping it straight) and gently flick it downward. This signals to your pup that you want them to lie on the floor.

You could also use this hand gesture with verbal commands for dogs. A different name for the command would be “Finger Point Down.”

Open Palm Facing Forward (Stand)

If you can instruct your pet to sit, it should be a signal for the dog to stand. The dog must sit or lie down to teach this dog the command. If your dog is comfortable, lure it by placing the treat on the forehead to the nose.

Your palm must be fully open and facing towards the front (at an angle to your hip). Then it would help if you pulled it back using an abrupt motion to complete the signal.

Sway Your Palm Towards You (Come)

Employing a hand signal to call your dog toward you is also possible. Begin the dog’s command by placing your open hand towards your shoulder (or the chest) and your palm looking forward. Then, move the hand towards the opposite shoulder with an upward diagonal movement.

Hand signals are often referred to as “Hand Diagonally Across Chest.” Labrador Training HQ recommends using it when your dog is not on a leash in a public space.

Open Hand Palm Outward (Stay)

This command that is not verbal is beneficial in keeping your pets secure as it teaches them to remain. The significance of this dog’s commands can be increased if your dog is with you on bustling streets to shop.

To teach this hand gesture to teach this hand signal, raise your hand and then hold your palm. Your palm should face the sky from your chest and your dog’s face downwards. You can give your pet treats whenever they can stay on your hand signals. Both hand signals can be used in this kind of training.

Tap Your Hip (Heel)

It is a canine command that can entice your pet to follow you. The dog usually is walking on the left of its owner. If they are approaching in the direction of the front, you must convince them to move between left and right. This can be accomplished by signalling your dog to do this with a tiny tip of your hands close to your hip. You could also move your hip to direct the dog to the desired side.

Palms Out (Free)

This hand signal is used after you have completed all your training and wish to let your dog go. It is done by putting both hands up to shoulder level and then palms-out. This is a way that dogs can rest and relax.

Also Read: Do Barking Collars Hurt Dogs?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why should your train your dog to respond to your hand signals?
Since dogs are far better at interpreting body language than verbal cues, teaching your dog to recognize hand signals may be more straightforward. Therefore, hand signals can help guarantee that your dog is better trained, more well-mannered, and easier to govern.

What are the ten basic dog commands?
To get the most outstanding results, train your dog often. I’d say these are the ten instructions at the most fundamental level. Place, Stay, Heel, Kennel, Come, Sit, Down. Watch me, drop it, and leave it.

How to teach dog training hand signals?
You can hold your index finger horizontally in front of your chest to teach your dog a signal. Have a goodie in your closed hand to begin. To assist your dog in understanding what you want, flick your palm downward while pointing your finger at the ground.

Do dogs understand hand gestures?
And if we use visual signals consistently, they will pick them up. An Italian study indicated that while dogs reacted to verbal orders with just 82 percent accuracy, they did so with 99 percent accuracy to hand gestures.


Hand signals are an effective way to improve the communication between you and your dog or puppy! The use of signals can make it easier to communicate your message even when there are distractions, noises, or a significant distance from your pet. These are some of the basic dog command and hand signals that you can use for effective communication with your dog.

Spread the love