Home Dog Training How to Teach a Dog to Shake Paw

How to Teach a Dog to Shake Paw

Training a dog takes a lot of time and patience.No matter what you're trying to teach him, you cannot expect your pup to pick it up overnight. As a matter of fact, training should be an activity that you do with your pet throughout his life. Learning how to teach a dog to shake paw is just one of the many fun tricks you can work on with Fido.

Teaching your dog to shake is very simple. He should get the hang of it after just a few short training sessions. Once he understands the concept, you can begin holding his paw a little bit longer or teaching him to ‘shake left' and ‘shake right'.

Before you can get started learning how to teach a dog to shake paw, you'll have to do some very basic command training. I recommend teaching your dog ‘sit' before working on ‘shake', as it will make the task much simpler.

Teaching the most basic commands needs to be done before you can teach more advanced commands. Similar to teaching a young child, you'll need to give your dog a good foundation of the building blocks of training before expecting more from him.

For more information on teaching basic commands, you can check out my quick video guide here. Once Fido has a good grasp of the basics, you can move on to some slightly more difficult tricks, like shaking hands.

How To Teach A Dog To Shake Paw

How To Teach A Dog To Shake PawTeaching your dog how to shake hands is not only fun, but also helps to build the bond between you and your pet. It teaches him to trust you. Learning to shake will also help your dog understand that it’s okay for his legs and feet to be handled. This will come in quite handy when it's time to cut his nails or tend to a paw injury.

Some dogs naturally raise their paw when offered treats. If your dog does this, it'll make teaching this trick much easier. If he doesn't, no worries. He'll get the hang of it eventually. It will just take more time and patience on your part.

As I mentioned, your dog should know the ‘sit' command before you try to teach him to shake. To begin, keep a small treat in your hand. Command your dog to sit, and show him the treat.

Close your hand around the treat loosely, so he can still smell it through your fingers. He may sniff or lick your hand, but wait until he paws at it. Some dogs might do this right away. With other dogs, it may take some patience to wait them out (like with Joey in my video guide above).

ALSO: How To Teach A Dog To Sit with Positive Reinforcement

training a dog

When your pup eventually paws at your hand, catch his paw in your free hand and give the verbal command ‘shake'. Try to hold his paw while he takes the training treat, but if he instantly pulls his paw away that's okay too. Be sure to shower your pup with praise when he does what you want him to do.

Continue these steps until your dog paws at your hand immediately. Now, repeat the steps beginning with the ‘shake' command. Wait until he paws your hand, and give your dog his reward. Eventually, he will begin to lift his paw as soon as you say ‘shake'.

As he begins to follow the command faster, hold onto the reward for a few extra seconds. Gradually, you should be able to work up to holding your pet's paw in your hand for at least 10 seconds before rewarding him. You can also begin weaning off the treats by rewarding him less frequently with treats and only with verbal praise.

READ NEXT: How To Train A Dog Basic Commands (A Step-By-Step Video Guide)

Samantha’s biggest passion in life is spending time with her Boxer dogs. After she rescued her first Boxer in 2004, Samantha fell in love with the breed and has continued to rescue three other Boxers since then. She enjoys hiking and swimming with her Boxers, Maddie and Chloe.