When shaking hands, your polite pooch raises his paw to chest height, allowing guests to shake his paw. This skill is taught for both paws.
1. With your dog sitting before you, hide a treat in your right hand, low to the ground. Encourage your dog to paw at it by saying “get it” and “Shake.” Reward your dog with the treat the moment his left paw comes off the ground.
2. Gradually raise the height of your hand, upping the ante, until he is lifting his paw to chest height.
3. Transition to using the hand signal. Stand up and hold the treat in your left hand, behind your back, and extend your right hand while cuing “shake.” When your dog paws your extended hand, support his paw in the air while you reward him with the treat from behind your back.
4. Repeat these steps on the opposite side to teach “paw.”
What to Expect: Any dog can learn this trick, and it’s always an endearing gesture. Practice a couple of times per day, and always leave off on a high note. Chain these behaviors together to alternate “shake” and “paw” in quick succession.
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