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I know I'm doing something wrong, but I don't know what. I've been trying to teach Katie a few new cues (up, off, and mat). She's great with hand signals, and pairing the hand signal and verbal cue, but hasn't been able to get just the verbal cue. We've done numerous repetitions over several weeks, but she still won't respond to the verbal cue alone. What am I doing wrong?
 

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I don't know how you're doing it, so I apologize if you're already doing this, but... Make really, really sure you aren't giving the verbal cue and the hand signal (or ANY nonverbal signal like leaning forward) at the same time. Also, back down your criteria a little bit at first - for example, for a sit, I would mark/reward the slightest movement of butt towards ground in response to the verbal command at first.

At first, give the verbal cue, pause 2-3 seconds, then give your hand signal.
It shouldn't take TOO many repetitions before they start to respond to the verbal signal - sometimes hesitantly, so mark/reward at the FIRST sign that they're doing it correctly just like you would if they were very first learning the skill (which kind of, they are).

If you're already doing that stuff, hopefully wiser heads than mine will chime in because I don't know, either.
 

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I'm attempting to do the exact opposite right now! I'm trying to teach my girls hand signals to go along with all the verbal cues I usually use, its showing how horribly lazy we got with Sydney!!

I don't have any mind blowingly good advise, I would just say keep at it. Repeat hand signals with words and eventually it has to click!
 

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I don't have many hand signals but the few hand signals/voice cues variants I have with Wally came about in a few ways:

Shaping:
Wait for Wally to offer the behavior on his own. Name it (attach the voice cue) as he's doing it. Mark and Reward the completed behavior. Once that happens a few times, he'll start offering it more and more because he thinks he's on to something, making for more opportunities for repetition. Same for attaching a hand signal.

Capturing:
"Name it as he does it". This is how he first learned what "downstairs" was and also how to pee/poop on cue. I said it as he was doing it and marked and rewarded the completed behavior.

New->Old:
Present new information first, give old signal right behind it (not quite at the same time, but close), mark/reward completed behavior. This is how I taught a signal for stay when walking beside me. I'd do the new signal I wanted then say "stay" (existing signal) right behind it (maybe 1/4 of a second lapse). I want to do it fast because the new movement I made will attract his attention and while he's looking at it, I want to say "this is what this means" by giving the signal he knows right then and there. Marking the behavior lets him know he read it correctly.

Old->New:
Present known information and then the new signal right behind it as he's performing the behavior. Mark reward completed behavior. This is how I added a hand signal for drop (down). He knew "drop" so I'd say "drop" then give the hand signal I wanted as he's going down. He paired the two together since the hand signal always happened while doing the behavior, so he figured they go together. Marking and rewarding confirmed his choice as correct. This is also how I attached a lot of the Spanish words that are cues for him.

Hope this helps some.
 

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Make really, really sure you aren't giving the verbal cue and the hand signal (or ANY nonverbal signal like leaning forward) at the same time.
:redface: I think this is what I've been doing wrong. I'll try what you and KBLover described ("New->Old" section) tonight and see if we have success.

Thanks so much! I knew I was doing something wrong - my lack of coordination foils my attempts again. :)
 

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See, I gave the hand signal then said the word as Kabota was responding to the hand signal. It was slow going, but Kabota seems to have some sort of issue with verbal commands. I don't know if he has some sort of emotional block due to previous abuse or some sort of auditory processing disorder, but words aren't his thing. He did get it eventually.
 

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See, I gave the hand signal then said the word as Kabota was responding to the hand signal. It was slow going, but Kabota seems to have some sort of issue with verbal commands. I don't know if he has some sort of emotional block due to previous abuse or some sort of auditory processing disorder, but words aren't his thing. He did get it eventually.
Well if it worked, it worked. But it sounds like it's not working for the OP's dog. :)
 

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Ask your dog to sit using the hand signal about 5 times. Soon enough, when you call his name for the next command, he's going to automatically sit because he assumes you're just going to ask him to sit again. Right as he's about to sit, say the verbal cue. When he sits reward jackpot. Repeat repeat repeat.

I'm not going to lie, teaching a dog a verbal cue can be much more difficult than visual. Dogs are extremely observant, and able to pick up the slightest movements which is why your visual cue has to be fairly precise each time - even a slight lean in the wrong direction can throw them off.
 
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