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How To Teach Your Dog To shake

How To Teach Your Dog To shake

Having a pet dog is an absolute delight. Teaching your lovable pooch a few tricks is one way of establishing a concrete bond with it. You can impress your friends by showing off what your cute little pup can do.  Raising its cute pink paw for shaking on cue is one of the cutest and the easiest trick that a dog can learn. Following the right techniques is the key. After a few practice sessions, your dog can give its paw to every new person it meets and leaves them in awe!

Check out some of the interesting ways to teach your canine to shake.

Starting the training session:

  • Prepare your dog:

Your pup must sit calmly paying undivided attention to your commands. If it is not good at sitting in a consistent way, you need to go back and practice sitting before moving ahead to shaking.

  • Pick out your dog’s favourite treats:

Keep a handful of treats ready before beginning the session. Small-sized treats are perfect so that you can present your pooch a lot more of them without feeding them greater calories. Also, consider whether your pup likes soft or hard treats? Is there any specific flavour to which your dog tends to respond in a prompt way.

GO with home-made treats. They can be chopped fruits and veggies or cooked meat. Avoid foods like raisins, avocado, nuts and garlic as they may cause illness and poisoning.

Present the treats:

Now you are going to present your dog its favourite treat. Firstly, Command your pup to sit. While it is sitting, hold a small piece of treat in your left hand. Bring it close to your dog’s nose. Let it see it, smell it. However, when it tries to grab the treat, close your fist firmly.

Woman and Her Dog Shaking Hands Silhouette

Command ‘Paw’:

Your objective is to make the canine raise its paw. So, simply say ‘paw’ asking for its paw or even you can prefer to command ‘shake’. Be aware that you do so by holding your fist with the treat in front of your pooch.

Appreciate your dog’s small movements:

When your sweet pooch realizes that you are hiding a treat in your fist, it will try to snatch it from you. When it begins to fidget like lifting its pink paws, say ‘yes’ with a lot of enthusiasm and gift them the treat. Every time your dog makes an effort to lift its paws to grab the treat, straight away recompense it with a treat. Pay no attention to all other responses like licking your fist and sniffing. It may take a little time for your dog to respond rightly to the command. Practice till your dog lifts its paws reliably when you command ‘paw’. Also, ensure that your dog raises the right paw every time you change your hand with the treat.

Rewards for shaking:

So now, your dog is flawlessly lifting its paw on your command. You would like to take it to the next level. Now, you should reward your pooch only when it does something too close to your objective of shaking. For example, your dog deserves a reward only when it lifts its paw higher than before. Motivates and sow the seeds of confidence in your dog by applauding and encouraging by shouting ‘Yes’. Keep on doing until it offers its paw to you to hold.

Time for verbal commands:

After your cuddly pooch consistently raises its paw at the treat in your closed fist, you can begin to introduce your desired verbal command. Stay quiet till your dog touches your hand with its paw. Once it did, issue the verbal command before offering the reward. The command could be anything like ‘shake’, ‘paw’. Make sure that you issue the command exactly at the moment your canine touches/paws at your fist. The command should be simple and precise and should be given clearly and loudly. Once you fix a command, continue to practice with the same one. Changing the words can be quite confusing for your little soul.

Say the command a little earlier:

Now you got to issue the command a bit earlier, or you can say before it raises its leg and touches your hands. As you slowly move your hand with the pooch’s favourite treat towards it, say the command loudly. This makes your dog realise that the command is to actually a signal to bring its paw for a shake. Remember to treat your canine only after it shakes. Give claps and appreciations like, ‘Good job’ as a token of encouragement. Repeat it until you achieve your preferred result.

Reward only if it does exactly what you are looking for:

Never reward your dog for any other behaviour as it may put your dog in a dilemma. Out of love, you may offer a reward to your dog even if it doesn’t react to your verbal command. Doing so will make your pup think that it will be rewarded even if it sits still ignoring the commands. The key is to make the dog realise that any treat offered to him is actually associated with the trick he is doing at the moment. Once the dog establishes a connection with the behaviour and thinks that doing such things can earn delicious treats, it will be all set to behave in a preferred manner.

Fine tuning the trick:

This step is a bit tricky and challenging. You need to gradually stop giving treats for the trick. Say the command with empty hands and watch it giving its paws to shake. Then, offer your dog a reward, take it for a walk or give it an extra playtime. Again, practise until the dog gives its paws with no treat at all.

a woman giving a high give to the paw of a chocolate labrador re

Introduce your dog to new situations and scenarios:

Once your loving pooch has mastered the art of shaking, try introducing tough challenges. Take your dog to a busy street or a supermarket and say the command. The more situations you put your dog into, the better it will respond to the command.

Use the other hand:

Now, switch your hand and see whether your dog would be able to catch the command and shakes with the right paw.

Final words:

Though the entire thing looks simple, it actually needs a lot of patience to achieve the desired results. Most importantly, don’t get frustrated if your dog didn’t grasp the trick quickly. Also, too much of practice may be exhausting and depressing for the little pup. Just train for 5-10 minutes. Rest for a while and repeat. Soon, your pooch will impress your friends, family and visitors with shakes.

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Hi, everyone! My name is Mathew Barham and I’m the editor in charge here at M-Dog. I’m currently based in Northampton, Pennsylvania, where I live with my beautiful wife, two amazing kids, and four rowdy rescue dogs. Growing up, my parents had a huge backyard and lots of animals. So my entire life, I was surrounded by pets that I cared for deeply. When my wife and I moved into a bigger place, I knew that I wanted to do the same for my family. That’s when we went to an animal shelter and fell in love with the most adorable little rescue pup. Since then, our family just kept growing, and we couldn’t be happier about it.