That is a great question, and we're not just saying that. Honestly, lots of people prefer to give a verbal cue "touch" for hand targets (and some of those people might even work at Harper...).

We decided not to put the hand target on cue because it didn't seem necessary, and whether it's obvious or not, we swear we like to make things simple.

Often, dogs more easily respond to hand cues than verbal cues because they are great at sensing motion and not nearly as good at picking up on human speech. In that vein, the hand target hand signal is usually easy for your dog to perceive, assuming he's looking at you.

Also, since so many of the behaviors in Harper use a verbal cue, we liked the idea of having a silent cue. For example, let's say you're stopped and talking to a friend and your pup starts pulling at the end of the leash. In that case, you might want to use a silent hand target to get her back to your side instead of cueing "right" or giving your recall cue.

Finally, hand targets are often just used to teach another skill that has its own cue. For example, you might use an overhead hand target to teach your pup to go from a down to stand. In that case, you'll probably teach a "stand" cue and fade the hand target cue.

But if we've said it once we've said it 1,000 times, you should do what you think is best for you and your pup. It's your call. We're happy just to be your co-pilot!

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