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Signaling Commands & Leash Techniques

Brandon McMillan

Lesson time 7:17 min

Find out why you should pair verbal commands with hand signals and which commands use them. Learn basic leash and grip techniques.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Pairing Verbal & Hand Signals · Leash Techniques · Double Leash Lock-Off


[00:00:00.00] [LIGHTHEARTED MUSIC] [00:00:13.56] - When I train dogs, I always make sure that I teach them a verbal command and a hand signal at the same time. And the reason for this is simple. Dogs can see. Dogs can hear. They understand both. And it's always good when you train to have a backup. [00:00:26.46] When I teach the sit, stay, down, and come commands, I always give a hand signal and a verbal signal. This way, you can actually say the word "sit" and your dog sits or you can simply give the signal without saying a word and the dog actually will do it. And you'll be surprised how often you use these hand signals. You could be on your phone. You could be at a restaurant. And you find that that hand signal actually comes in handy quite often. [00:00:48.84] Throughout this class, I'll be showing you all the hand signals that go with the verbal commands. And you'll be doing it with this little guy right here-- your treat. Your treat selection is very important. I like treats that fit between your fingers. I don't want the treat too big, and you definitely don't want it too small. So this size right here is pretty ideal. And every command, you're going to have the treat between your fingers. The treat is what's going to get their attention, but the hand signal and verbal command are what they're going to be trained to respond to. [00:01:17.73] So first we start with the sit. The treat goes between the first two fingers, palm up-- 45-degree angle over the dog's head while saying the word "sit." The stay-- treat between the first two fingers, palm flat out as if you're hitting a wall and saying the word "stay" at the same time. [00:01:41.38] The down-- treat between the first two fingers, palm down, and say the word "down." Now, you want to move your hand a good foot or so. And you really want to exaggerate this one. Say the word "down." Come-- you simply slap your leg or clap your hands while saying the word "come." [00:02:00.36] [LIGHTHEARTED MUSIC] [00:02:06.70] Now I'll be teaching you some proper leash techniques that we'll be using throughout the class. I see a lot of people walking their dogs like this. Uh uh, none of this crap. I don't want to see a rat's nest all balled up in your hands, OK? I want to see you with professional grips. The point of these grips is to save your hand from rope burn. [00:02:24.39] You hold a leash like this and you got a big dog, this is going to be happening. And trust me, you do not want your hand to be in the line of fire of this leash. You will get a rope burn you will never forget. Holding it like this, which is the pointed finger lock-- how we do this is we put the leash between the pointer and the middle finger. Make a fist to where your leash is now locked in your hand. And what this does, it creates a lock where the leash cannot come out of your hand. [00:02:57.05] There's another way we could do this. This is the thumb lock. Same thing, the leash goes through the thumb, down the palm of t...

About the Instructor

The Emmy-winning host of "Lucky Dog", Brandon McMillan is an expert trainer dedicated to building relationships between humans and animals. In his MasterClass, Brandon shares his simple, effective training system to help you develop trust and control with your dog. From using commands like sit, stay, and down to fixing barking and digging, you’ll learn how to improve your dog’s behavior—and create a lifelong bond.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Brandon McMillan

Expert animal trainer Brandon McMillan teaches you his simple, effective training system to build trust and control with your dog.

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