Hand Signs for Deaf Dogs

There really are no specific signals, as they may differ depending on the teacher. Just remember to use a single uninterrupted motion, make sure the motion is distinct and easily repeatable, and make sure it can be seen from a distance. If you go to the ASL Browser or the American Sign Language sites they will show you the signs for the alphabet and words. I suggest you modify words that use two hands to one hand when working with your pup. This will make it easier to “talk” to them if they are on leash with you.

Some basic hand signals I use: 

  • COME……Pull your hand back towards your body, just like you were motioning a friend to come over.
  • SIT…..Hold arm at about 45 degree angle and keeping palm flat, move arm up at that angle
  • DOWN…..Hold hand out flat and move hand down
  • STAY…..Hand flat in front of pup’s face
  • GOOD BOY/GIRL…..Thumbs up
  • REALLY GOOD BOY/GIRL…..Double thumbs up
  • CUT IT OUT RIGHT NOW!…..Cross arms in front and swing both arms out (referee sign for “time out”)
  • GET DOWN OR OFF…..Wave hand like shooing away a fly
  • GO POTTY…..Make fist and put thumb between first two fingers and rock back and forth
  • IT’S OK…..Make a circle with your thumb and forfinger, the standard ok sign.

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