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My use of hand ques has also evolved over the years. I agree with the others that consistency and developing a routine is most important. Beyond that, I presently don't use the hand on marks. My approach to blinds is similar to the starter at a track meet (ready, set, go). First, I heel the dog into position. Then I give a "dead bird" verbal which means lock on and don't move your head, then lowering the hand high and in front of the dog means get ready, and lastly send the dog on it's name.

Using "dead bird" as a command rather than a que is discussed by Jim Dobb's on his website. I have found it has merit.

As far as what the dog perceives as ques, I guess dog and I need to have a talk so he can splain to me what is really going on.

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