Now you’re reading this post because you want to teach your dog the classic shaking your hand with their paw out, right? Well you’ve come to the right place! This classic trick is usually used before giving your dog a treat, and I absolutely love it. It’s also quite an easy trick to teach so it’s a good start if you haven’t taught your dog any other tricks yet. There are many ways to teach your dog this trick, and I am going to detail a few.
1. Ask your dog to sit whilst you are holding a treat in a closed hand 2. Show your dog the hand with the treat 3. Then encourage your dog to put their paw on your treat hand- say yes or use a clicker to reward this behaviour, open your hand and allow them to take the treat. With your other hand, shake your dog’s paw and say the word you want your dog to associate with the behaviour e.g. ‘paw’. 4. You may have to find a different approach to get your dog to lift their paw if they do not paw at your hand in step 3 e.g. by tickling their paw then rewarding them when they lift it a little 5. Now praise your dog!
This second approach is for those dogs who are already demonstrating behaviours that perform in your favour, in this case it would be if they are using their paws a lot or lifting them without being asked. When your dog lifts their paw, take their paw with one hand and say ‘yes’ then say ‘shake’ whilst giving them a high value treat.
Now, there are even benefits for this trick, making it even better! Here are some of the top benefits: 1. Mental stimulation 2. Allows you to have some bonding time with your dog 3. Trained behaviour for your dog to perform when being given food and treats 4. A wonderful trick to show off basically to your friends or family!
With either of these approaches, you should make sure you have lots of training sessions throughout the day and repeat these exercises, usually around seven very short training sessions with the exercise repeated around five times. You should also try to not repeat the same thing each time because this can become quite monotonous. Try to think of different fun ways to stimulate your dog mentally. There are lots of places of inspiration for this, now try having a google!