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Recognized Voice/hand signals for AKC Competition

Discussion in 'Obedience' started by Lahree, Apr 25, 2009.

  1. Lahree

    Lahree Forums Enthusiast

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    About 28 years ago I used to compete with Honey in obedience. Since it's been "awhile" (ahem), I don't know what the officially recognized voice commands are in the ring, nor do I remember all the hand signals. I have tried googling them and can't find them. Can someone direct me where to find these online or can you give me a list of the voice commands? I know:

    sit
    down
    stay
    heel ? When you go from a sitting position and start walking?
    Finish? (when they are in front of you at a sit and then go around you and sit at your left side?)

    Sheesh, I absolutely can't remember!

    Help the senile old lady, please!
     
  2. Crystal1

    Crystal1 Forums Enthusiast

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    Here are the universal commands I found on line:

    http://www.bordercollierescue.org/breed_advice/Content/UniCommands.html

    I have to say that last year, when I took my Bichon to training lessons, the trainer used the signal shown for "stay" only. For the command "wait" you stick your upper arm out to the left and swing your forearm like a pendant. I find it hard to believe that my dog would understand the difference, but you still need to pass the class, right? Anyway, I hope this helps.

    I'm not sure I'm going to take Buddy, my sheltie puppy to class right away. I live in a very, very, small town now, and the trainers here are the worst I have ever seen. Might buy the book Control Unleashed soon, though.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2009
  3. Crystal1

    Crystal1 Forums Enthusiast

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    Also, you might like to look at this site, that gives what the actual test is for Canine Good Citizenship award:
    http://www.akc.org/events/cgc/training_testing.cfm

    BTW, I gave you the wrong signal for "Wait". Make your left arm straight, with your palm flat and facing back, then move your arm across your dogs face to the left and back to your side. I guess the trainer wasn't all that bad--we got the CGC.

    Good Luck!
     
  4. Lahree

    Lahree Forums Enthusiast

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    Thank you so much for this inforamtion! I am VERY grateful!
     
  5. GeeRome

    GeeRome Forums Enthusiast

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    The signals you use really don't matter. You can use whatever you want, within reason.

    Personally, I avoid using some of the "standard" hand signals just based on the history behind them. It makes me shudder how obedience dogs were originally (and unfortunately sometimes still are) trained. The hand signals that have become standard used to have a functional purpose ... a threat of quick and efficient punishment should the dog not do the command. Ever wonder why a hand raised straight above the head is a signal for down? Gives nice leverage to swing that hand down and force the dog to the ground if he is too slow. The raised hand starts as a threat, and becomes a command. Even though I never train like that, the idea that that is how the command was originally used makes me nauseous. So I don't put a lot of thought and effort into sticking to "standard" hand signals, rather just using whatever sticks. They are all accepted in the obedience ring. For instance, my hand signal for down is my right arm bent across the front of my body, hand flat, palm down.

    As long as the signal is quick and efficient, it doesn't matter what you do.
     
  6. Lahree

    Lahree Forums Enthusiast

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    OOOOOOhhhhhhh! I obviously did not know this. I thought there was a standard set of signals that you HAD to use! Is there a list of standard voice commands that you have to use?

    Also, in the Novice Obedience, (if memory serves) after the dog comes to you on recall and sits in front of you, isn't the next step to get them into the "heel" position? What command is given then? Is it "heel" or "finish" or something along those lines? Does it HAVE to be a specific voice command? And when they do go into the heel position from sitting in front of you, do they get there by walking around your right side and behind you to get there?
     
  7. GeeRome

    GeeRome Forums Enthusiast

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    Likewise, there is no standard set of vocal commands to use. Of course, most people call sit "sit", down "down", heel "heel", etc. But I know some people that train schutzhund and will use the German words for the commands. Or, you could do whatever the heck you want, call sit "banana" for all it matters.

    Of course, there is some common sense to be used as well. You don't want to confuse the judge, so don't get too elaborate. But you aren't going to be docked marks for using terms that are not standard.

    As for getting into heel position, at the end of an exercise the judge will say something along the lines of "finish your dog". You can choose to have them go to heel position either around behind you or directly to the left. Doesn't matter as long as the dog is quick and straight. I find that left finishes look a lot more flashy IF you have a dog that will do a nice left finish. Larger dogs will often do a finish behind the handler as it is easier for them to line themselves up straight by doing it that way. Left finishes can look really lazy and sloppy if not trained properly, in which case you might be better off doing a right finish.

    My guys know both left and right finishes. I will judge which one I use based on the individual situation. If Romeo is working very sharply, then he has a nice snappy left finish. But if he is at all stressed (he can have bouts of ring nerves), then I will do a right finish because his lefts look sloppy and slow when he is stressed. Likewise, Gio has a fabulous left finish, but if his hips are bothering him that day then it looks jerky, so I will do a right finish. If possible, I do left finishes because they look really showy when done right. But if need be, I can switch it up and do right finishes.
     
  8. Lahree

    Lahree Forums Enthusiast

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    For a left finish does your dog do a tight circle and swing around so he is facing forward with his front legs lined up with your left leg?
     
  9. Wyosheltie

    Wyosheltie Forums Regular

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    As far as I know there are no have to use commands( oral or hand) I have seen handlers use just about any thing as long as the dog obeys them.

    Tim
     

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