We had a thread about signals and the possibility of adapting cues from American Sign Language. Has anyone done this, do you know? Meadow: (she looks better now, btw)
came to us with infection in both ears which recur. The vet said yesterday that she's already deaf in one ear and the surgery to stop the infections would close her ear canals, so she'll be deaf. Thought if we could train her with known signs ... who knows? we might find an adoptor who knows sign language.
We had a thread about signals and the possibility of adapting cues from American Sign Language. Has anyone done this, ... deaf in one ear and the surgery to stop the infections would close her ear canals, so she'll be deaf

I've never had a dog yet that didn't respond better to hand signals than verbal. Should be a piece of cake. Just choose the signals and have everyone use the same ones.
Meadow: (she looks better now, btw) came to us with infection in both ears which recur.[/nq]
Put her on a maintenance dose of echinacea. It's one of the "safe" herbs, can be taken in large doses long-term. I've seen it stop recurring ear infections in both children and dogs.
When on herbs, about every 3 weeks she should get a few days break.

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Put her on a maintenance dose of echinacea. It's one of the "safe" herbs,can be taken in large doses long-term. I've seen it stop recurring earinfections in both children and dogs. When on herbs, about every 3 weeks she should get a few days break.

For humans, the common guidance is that you should not take echniacea for over 11 weeks (absolute max) otherwise you can strain your immune system. (Same thing for Ginseng).
I don't know if the few days break is enough? Might be worth asking a herbalist?
Cheers, J.
ASL seems too cumbersome; the sign I find for 'sit' requires both hands. So, I went in search of consensus.
It was fun - try it! I asked a bunch of people, "What is the cue for 'sit'?" They all gave me pitying looks. "Everybody knows that." they said. (One actually called me 'silly' .. and that takes guts.Emotion: smile Then, each one did something different!
With great assurance.
Guess we'll go with the cue lure-trainers use if dogs were taught 'sit' that way, they already know it. Thought of a way to teach our walkers: "Put your poker chips into the pot." It's the same movement.
I've never had a dog yet that didn't respond better to hand signals than verbal.

Yep. I have a way to illustrate it to my students so that they're more aware of their body language. (If you say things, people don't necessarily listen. If you SHOW, you get better response.)
In the second class, we teach the dog to sit. Many of my dogs already sit. So I tell them that we're still going to teach them something new.

So twice in a row, I ask them to sit while simultaneously using the hand signal. Then I ask all the owners to get their dogs to sit JUST using the hand signal, no verbal cue.
They do it. Every one of them. Every time.
It amazes people that they pick up on body language so much. I tell them that we're always "blah blah blahing" at the dogs, so they kind of tune us out. But they watch us like hawks, even if we're not aware of it.

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I tell them that we're always "blah blah blahing" at the dogs, so they kind of tune us out. But ... aware of it. PetsMart Pet Trainer My Kids, My Students, My Life: http://hometown.aol.com/dfrntdrums/myhomepage/index.html Last updated June 27 at 10:00 a.m.

I totally agree. And definitely do have better results myself with doing signs over verbal commands.
Gwen
I totally agree. And definitely do have better results myself with doing signs over verbal commands.

Not to mention that it comes in quite handy at times. If Khan's inside the car and I'm outside, and I want him to sit or down, I invariably use hand signals. I have no idea whether he can hear me through the closed doors, but he sure as heck can see me.
Suja
I've never had a dog yet that didn't respond better to hand signals than verbal.

Yep. I have a way to illustrate it to my students so that they're more aware of their body language. ... so they kind of tune us out. But they watch us like hawks, even if we're not aware of it.

In "The Other End of the Leash" Patricia McConnell has an interesting discussion of this. She points out that one problem humans have is that they can say the same thing in many different ways.

Come! Get over here! Rover! Come come come! Here, Rover! Get your butt inside! Etc.
Dogs don't parse English the way humans do, so this may sound like many different utterances to the dog.
My guess is that one reasons dogs respond better to signs is that humans have to learn the sign, too, and are more likely to use just one version.

And dogs can communicate much about their intentions and emotional states with their body language, so they are probably more attuned to human body language than to verbal language.
FurPaw

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