Three steps to teach your dog to shake paws.

Before you can teach your dog to shake paws, they need to be able to sit on command. Once you’ve succeeded with this basic trick, you can try something more complicated. Don’t forget to get some yummy dog treats, which are small and quick for your dog to consume so you don’t spend much time waiting between each step.

One: Start off with choosing your command; it can be anything you want. It should be short and sharp, such as shake or paw. While they are sitting, give the command then lift your dog’s paws. Give them a treat, praise them, and repeat this step several times. When repeating this step, you may wish to wait longer between the time you say the command and pick up their paw; your dog may pick up the trick from this step alone.

Two: Next, give your command and tap behind its’ paw, their automatic reaction is to lift their paw. When they do, shake their paw, repeat the command, and then reward. Repeat this step until your dog can do shake paws on command with no other help.

Three: The next step is to get your dog to perform this when you are not offering a treat. Do the trick with them, and give them a treat 4 out of 5 times, then 3 out of 5 times, then 2 out of 5 times, and so on. Withhold the treat at random times, so your dog does not know when to expect a treat. You can read more about this step here.

It is best to only practice for 10 to 15 minutes per session, or a shorter session if your dog loses interest. Your dog will learn best if it’s fun for them as well as yourself.

Once your dog has mastered this trick, you can teach him to shake the other paw using the same technique just a different command, such as other paw, or shake again.