How to Teach Your Dog to Shake
Teaching your dog to shake is a great party trick and one that is easily taught. You can even get the kids involved.
Most children over the age of 7 years can be taught basic training techniques and in fact many children are more persistent than adults when it comes to training the family pet!
What do You Need?
– 1 dog preferably with at least 1 front paw
– Small tasty treats that don’t take long to chew (use something high value such as bbq chicken or liver treats if your dog is hard to motivate, or train when he is hungry)
– Just 5 minutes each day
Steps to Teach ‘Shake’
1. Assuming your dog can sit, the first step is to get him in position.
2. Hold a treat in your hand and show him the treat (it may be useful to have the remaining treats easy to access in a pouch or pocket), then close your fist over the treat.
3. Hold the treat, in your closed fist close to his foot, about 5cm/2in off the ground.
4. If your dog stands up, ask him to sit again.
5. If your dog lifts his paw even a little, or even shifts weight onto the other paw, tell him he is a good boy and give him the treat.
6. Most dogs will bat at your hand to get the treat, so as soon as this happens open your hand to reveal the treat and tell him ‘good’ or ‘yes’, whatever your signal is for doing the right thing.
7. At the same time your other hand should be held out flat to ‘shake’ when your dog lifts his paw, so you can grab his paw while he takes the treat.
8. Reward him immediately when he does the correct thing, even if he only lifts his foot a little bit the first time.
9. When he is reliably lifting his paw for a treat, add the word ‘shake’.
10. Gradually phase out the treats, so he only gets a treat intermittently once you are sure he knows the trick.
Train Your Dog To Shake Paws
1. Put a treat in your closed hand.
With your dog sitting, hold a small treat firmly in your hand so they can smell it, but not see it. Put your hand near your dog’s nose but to one side so they turn their head slightly. (This will take the weight off the leg you’re going to ask your dog to lift). Encourage your dog to try to get the treat – most dogs will try to open your hand with their paw.
2. Open your hand and let them have the treat
As soon as their paw touches your hand, open your hand and let them have the treat, praising as you give it. Repeat this several times. By alternating from one side to the other, your dog should learn to use the right paw each time.
3. Add a command
Once your dog’s doing this easily, start adding a verbal command before you give the reward. When your dog touches your hand with their paw, say something like, “how do you do!” and give them the treat.
4. Hold out your other hand
With a treat in one hand, hold out your other hand in an open position towards the leg you want your dog to lift. As soon as your dog touches your open hand with their paw, say “How do you do!” and reward them. Repeat several times with both paws.
5. Keep practising !
Keep practising and your dog will soon respond to the command “how do you do!” by lifting whichever paw you offer your open hand to.
Teaching your Dog to Heel and Sit
It is a comical and common sight to see dogs walking their owners. With a little training, however, the roles can be reversed and many hours of peaceful walks can be attained.
Teaching your dog to heel is to teach your dog to walk at your side.
How to Begin…
Find a quiet place for training
Place your dog in the sit position on your left side.
When you’re ready to begin walking, hold your dog’s leash as if you were going to execute the corrective jerk, and say “Timmy, heel!” Use his name this time, because heel is an action command and alerts your dog that you want him to move
If your dog decides to run ahead, let him reach the end of the leash. At the moment of impact say “heel” in a loud, authoritative voice and quickly make a complete U-turn to the right and walk briskly in that direction. Your dog will be startled and forcibly turned in the new direction, so praise him when he catches up to you. Repeat this procedure.
If your dog tends to lag behind, simply entice him to catch up with verbal encouragement, if t hat does not work, give him a gentle jerk with the leash.
Now it is time to teach your dog to walk at your side. with your dog seated on your left, offer your heel command (“Timmy, heel!”) and begin walking. As soon as your dog moves ahead of your left thigh, give him a corrective jerk, say “no!” and make an immediate U-turn. Repeat this procedure.
The procedure for teaching your dog to automatically sit when you stop walking is a simple one. Put him on alert by slowing down before you stop. When you come to a full stop, give the command “sit.” If necessary, slowly pull u¹ on the leash and push down on his haunches. If he fails to sit, use a corrective jerk. When he does sit, praise him for obeying. Eventually, it will not be necessary to use the “sit” command.