(VICT) Re: Non-verbal cues-ideas needed

Sandy I am so sorry about the continued problems. I
wondered if they were related to the eye disorder
problem. As you know i have severe MCS (multiple
chemical sensitivities) as a result I use pretty
involved masks. Sometimes when I am symptomatic, it
was hard for me to speak loud or clear enough for Met
to understand me. I did a lot of what I considered to
be non-verbal luring simply because my hands don't
always cooperate for actual non-verbal signals. It was
more like a target type of lure using just my hand for
the directional need. Met and I though by the time
this was needed, worked in such unity that oft' times
it almost seemed telepathic in nature. I believe
though that yo uand Alex have a very good working
partnership and should be able to work with whatever
method you choose. I would honestly begin doing it now
with her. I don't know how soon you will need her help
in this manner but the sooner you begin the process,
the easier it will be long term. The key is to use
signals that will be easy for you to remember and
things that are basic enough that Alex can truly see
the difference. Dogs IMO do better with larger scope
cues than lots of tiny simple hand signals that are
close to each other in similarity. It may also help to
devise a system where the signal you use is closer to
her level than for instance above  her normal head
height. I found when I did use special cues rather
than lures in Met's normal field of vision/ his normal
eye level, the comprehension was tons better. 
Many deaf individuals or those with speech issues use
hand signaling cues quite effectively with their
service/ hearing dogs. You are a great trainer and
alex is a smart dog.
Its been  a while since I have read the book, but
there may be some info helpful in *Lend Me an ear* It
is a book in the bookshare catalog- or you can email
me privately about it.

Karyn

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