Out of the many tricks we teach our dogs as dog owners, the handshake remains a “classic” for all enthusiasts. It is an easy trick, but it comes after you have trained your dog to sit and stay. Wondering how to teach a dog to shake hands? Don’t worry, shaking paws are a cute and polite way for your dog to greet you, your friends, or other family members whenever they have their share of interactions with the pup.
Before you begin to know how to teach your dog to shake?, it is essential to know that catching a dog’s attention can sometimes be challenging. We advise you to keep a treat handy (preferably a dog’s favorite), so you can use it throughout the exercises. Keeping a treat in your hand will drive your dog’s attention toward your hand, and the dog will be more attentive toward the subtle tones in your voice and behaviors you exhibit when you’re teaching the trick. Now, whether you’re a newbie or experienced, here are some steps on how to train your dog to shake in a classic way!
How to Teach a Dog to Shake?
You can easily teach your dog to shake in just a few simple steps. First, have your dog sit or stand in front of you in the process of how to teach a dog to shake. Next, please take one of your hands and hold it out in front of your dog, palm up and fingers extended. Say “shake” as you do this. Then, place your other hand on top of your dog’s paw that is closest to you. Gently apply pressure to the dog paw until it lifts off the ground, and then release it. As you are doing this, say, “good shake.” Repeat this process a few times until your dog gets it. Now, whether you’re a newbie or experienced, here are some detailed steps to make your pet do the classic handshake!
#Step 1: Try With The Treat
Get your dog to notice the treat and hold it in your fist. Make the dog sit and stay. Now slowly let your hand out right above the chest level of the dog. The dog would eventually want to open the fist out of curiosity. The dog will at first maybe try to open it up using its mouth, but after a few unsuccessful tries, the dog will try to open it using its paw. Now that the dog has used its paw, give the calming dog treats anxiety as a reward.
#Step 2: Repeat the Process
Repeat the first step a couple of times till your dog understands that it is not supposed to use its mouth and only use the paw.
#Step 3: Increase the Duration
Once the paw habit is maintained, increase the dog hand shake duration slowly. Let the dog keep its paw on your hand for longer, but ensure it’s short enough, and the dog does not get annoyed or frustrated. We must ensure the dog has a good equation with the trick. After it achieves the desired time, treat the dog.
#Step 4: Keep Practising
When your dog is consistent with the behavior, introduce verbal cues like “shake” or “shake a paw,” etc. Do this when you’re expecting the dog shake. In a way, it creates a verbal cue. You want your dog to associate the “shake” behavior with the verbal cue. Keep practicing until they achieve this; your dog waits for the command before shaking. After a while, your dog will only shake when commanded to.
#Step 5: Reward for its Efforts
When your dog is consistent with these steps, you can start flattening your hand slowly to hold your dog’s hand. If your dog gets nervous, go back to the previous steps and repeat them. Make sure to only practice for about 10 minutes daily to prevent the dog from getting too frustrated.
After you’ve flattened your hand, you can begin with slight movements and gestures, like going up and down. Later, you can remove the treat from the initial hand and place it on the other hand, and whenever your dog out of habit shakes, make sure to treat it. You can also gradually shift towards a clicker and use it right before treating the dog to indicate that they have performed rightly a particular task, and a treat is on the way.
#Step 6: Maintain the Record
Practice the same dog exercises in different locations because doing the easy tricks to teach your dog in the comfort of your home is different from doing it with multiple distractions in the outer world. Try going to the park as a start. Use your dogs favorite treat as the source of motivation to it. Exposing the dog to new environments will initially bring in a few challenges, but it gets better with more practice. Slowly, your dog will learn to follow the basic dog commands and focus even in a place full of distractions.
Congratulations! You have now taught a new trick to your dog, and nothing can get more paw-some than this. While practicing with your dog, remember that it is always safer to be more patient with the dog you are working with. They are generally brilliant and catch up with tricks super quickly. Also, it is the best way to train a puppy, but with the cases like older dogs, it can take a while to get them hooked. When teaching your dog something new with consistency and patience are the ways to teach dog to shake. Happy pet parenting.