Give Me Paw: The Ins and Outs of Teaching Your Dog to Shake

Have you ever seen a dog that knows just about any trick in the book? Did you immediately think of your own dearest pet and wonder, “Why can’t my dog do that?” Well, truth be told, they can! You just have to get on the same page. Teaching your dog to shake a paw can be a great crowd pleaser and an even better bonding opportunity.

Wondering about how to get from Point A to Point Paw? Don’t worry. We’ll break it down so that you’re a pro. Get ready to learn how to train your dog to give paw!

Benefits of Training

Before we get into how to teach a dog to give paw, it’s important to understand the advantages of training in the first place. Working on obedience and tricks has plenty of benefits, regardless of if you’re training by yourself or with a professional.

What training can do for you and your furry friend? Here are the top benefits!

  1. Stronger bond: Working together as a team will help the pair of you to learn to trust one another and grow closer.
  2. Improved bond for others: Training can also make it easier for strangers and family members to interact.
  3. Happier, more confident dog: A dog who knows what is expected of them tends to be much more content with life.
  4. Better canine citizen: How can your dog be expected to know right from wrong if they aren’t taught the difference?
  5. Mental stimulation: Allowing your dog to get their energy out is just as vital as challenging their mind.
  6. Enjoy your pet more: It’s not hard to grasp that you like your pet more when they aren’t destroying things.
  7. Safety: Listening in dangerous situations can be pivotal.

Benefits of “Giving Paw”

Teaching your dog to lift their paw and freely hand it over in a fun way is extremely beneficial and sets them up for success. “Paw shake” will help your dog feel more confident about their paws being cared for. This includes wiping their muddy feet and tackling the dreaded nail trimming. It also can help their arm flexion as it takes a lot of reach!

Prepping for Training

You could try to wing it, but chances are that both you and Fido will become increasingly frustrated. Taking the time to prep before a training session can provide a more positive learning experience for teach dog paw shake.

During preparing for a dog training, you should always remember about these rules:

  1. Have a game plan: Going into a training session with even a rough idea will save you and Fido a lot of stress.
  2. Make sure you have the time: Training should never be rushed. Opt for a time when you’re not too busy.
  3. Choose the right setting: Removing distractions will make training easier.
  4. Equip yourself: Have a reward (food or toy), clicker, treat bag, and treats on hand!
  5. Consider the energy level: It can be more beneficial to train your dog after they’ve run around for a bit to ensure that they have a more focused mind.

Some Training Lingo

You may have noticed that we talked about a clicker in the previous section. For those who don’t know what a clicker is, it’s a tool used solidify that you like what your dog is doing. When Fido offers an action that falls in line with what you want, you can “mark” that behavior with a click using this tool. Just as beneficial is saying the word “yes” or “good” in a positive, enthusiastic tone. Regardless of if you use the clicker or your voice as a marker, you’ll want to reward your pet with a treat or toy within a few seconds. For more information on clicker training, you can reference the American Kennel Club.

Clicker training can be a useful tool for those who want to know how to teach a dog to shake a paw!

How To Teach A Dog To Give A Paw

How To Teach A Dog To Give A Paw

There are a few different ways to teach your dog to freely offer their paw. We’ve taken the liberty of walking you through the two least stressful techniques to shake a paw. Just remember that no two dogs are alike. Their minds work differently, just as ours do. If one method does not work well, you may want to try the second method.

Method 1

  1. Sit in front of your dog with them in front of you.
  2. Lightly touch the back of their leg behind the elbow.
  3. If they pick it up, click or say “yes/good” and immediately give them a treat.
  4. If your dog does not lift their paw automatically, apply light pressure.
  5. Continue steps 2 and 3 until they are successfully lifting their paw off of the ground.
  6. Now place your hand in front and look as if you are reaching to take their paw.
  7. As soon as they gesture to lift their paw, reward the behavior enthusiastically.
  8. When their behavior is consistent, you can then add a verbal cue such as “paw” or “shake”.
  9. Say the verbal cue just before you lift for their paw. Once they give you their paw, reward with a click/verbal praise and a treat.

Method 2

  • Sit in front of your dog and place a treat in your palm.
  • Hold the treat a few inches above their paw.
  • Wait for your dog to investigate your palm. They might use their nose at first, which is fine. Just be patient and wait for the right moment.
  • The moment they raise their paw, mark the behavior and reward.
  • Repeat this until they are consistent with reaching out to touch your hand.
  • Add your verbal cue (“shake” or “paw”) right before offering your hand out to them. You can do this without putting a treat in your hand. Reward them as soon as you get the desired behavior.

Now that you know how to train your dog to give paw, you’ll be able to solidify that behavior and move on to the next step! Shaking a paw is a gateway to lots of other tricks, such as wave and high five. Just remember to make it fun for both you and your dog!