How to Teach a Dog To Shake Hands

When Caspian learned “Paw,” I started out by having him sit. I waited for him to lift his paw. As soon as he did lift it, I clicked and treated. I waited again, and clicked and treated when he lifted his paw. It was OK that he was only lifting it up a little bit. I wanted to capture the good behavior, however slight it was. After a few times repeating this, Caspian figured out that he got a treat whenever he lifted his paw. He started doing it more frequently, and I started saying the word “Paw” whenever he lifted it. Soon, when I gave him the command, he lifted it! In other training sessions I was able to shape the behavior so that he lifted his paw higher and eventually placed it in my hand.

Teaching your dog to shake is a great party trick and one that is easily taught. You can even get the kids involved.

Most children over the age of 7 years can be taught basic training techniques and in fact many children are more persistent than adults when it comes to training the family pet!

Remember, dogs don’t generalize well. Just because they know how to shake with their right paw doesn’t mean they’ll know how to shake with their left one. If you want your canine companion to be able to shake with both paws, complete the steps in either of the methods above with each foot. You can also use different commands, like “paw” and “shake,” to differentiate between your dog’s right and left foot

If your dog still doesn’t understand what is expected of him after you nudge his paw, you can try lifting his paw into your hand yourself. Give the command “shake,” reach down and pick up his paw, and then tell him “good” or click your clicker and give him the treat. Repeat this quickly several times in a row giving him a treat each time, and then go back and start off from step 1 above. Most dogs will now understand what is expected and begin to offer their paw.

Teaching your dog to shake is an easy trick as long as he knows how to sit. So be sure your dog has basic obedience commands such as sit well under his belt before you move on to shaking hands. This is an easy one, so you and your dog will both have lots of fun with it. With a few different methods to try, you can pick the best one for your dog. If your dog already knows ‘give me your paw’, shaking is not much different it just takes a little bit longer to perform. Keep your sessions short and straightforward so your dog does not lose focus and you do not lose his attention

Usually, you had better use the command “Paw” or “Shake” to ask the dog to shake. No matter which command you use, make sure it’s short (the only word is the best). Say while you hold the treat in front of its nose.

Remember to keep your voice loud enough. Also, don’t change command once your dog gets used to hearing that. If not, a new one can confuse your pet.

Switching paws After your dog correctly responds to the ‘shake hands’ command six times with one paw, repeat the steps with the other paw. For this variation of the trick, use the command ‘other paw,’ reinforcing the correct response with a treat and praise. Raise the paw If your dog doesn’t raise their paw, lift it for them. Repeat this step until your dog raises their paw on their own. Reward your dog with a treat and words of praise such as ‘good boy!’ or ‘good girl!’

This is a great trick to teach your canine companion; what better way for him to greet a new human friend than with the shake of a paw? Shaking hands is a relatively easy trick to train, but as with everything else it may take a little patience. There are a few ways to train the behavior. Whenever you train your dog, it’s important that you use as little physical guidance as possible. It’s easier for your dog to learn when she uses her own muscles to move into the right position. You need to find a way to get your dog to lift her paw voluntarily, without touching her. Once she does, you’ll say, “yes!” or click your clicker, and then reward her with a small treat.

Plus, it can be fun to teach them tricks and show off to your family and friends.  I mean, who doesn’t like to show off what their pup can do?  You will be amazed how enthusiastic your friends will be to “get a paw”

Below I have set out some simple steps for teaching your dog to shakehigh five and crawl.  All of these are easy to teach as long as you are patient and don’t forget to use positive reinforcement!

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