Training your dog how to shake is definitely one of the easiest tricks in the book, and it doesn’t consume a significant amount of time to teach either. Most children are capable of teaching their dog this command. Here is how to teach your dog to shake your hand:
How to Teach Your Dog to Shake
- Call your dog over and have them sit directly in front of you. Make sure they are still and focused, for if your dog has a lot of energy it could make the learning process even harder.
- Squat, or do whatever you need to do to get down onto their level, and hold your hand out flat with your palm open. Keep your hand a few inches off of the ground.
- Notice that your dog will probably sniff or lick your hand, but that’s okay. Wait for them to start raising their paw, and when they do give them a treat and use feedback such as “good job!” or “good boy/girl!” (By doing this you are reinforcing to the them that they have done something correct, which means they will most likely do it again.)
- Move your hand away and keep it down by your side for a few moments. Then, place it back to where it was in front of your dog.
- As you put your hand out, your dog will soon start to realize that you want them to lift their paw onto your hand.
- Remember when you lay your hand out, say the command “shake” so that they learn how to understand and comprehend the command by lifting their paw onto the palm of your hand.
- Keep repeating this until your dog repeatedly lifts up their paw onto your hand when commanded to “shake.”
- Now, the training doesn’t stop there. Throughout the day, go up to your dog and test out this new skill. Get down to their level and ask them to shake your hand. If they don’t quite understand, go back to step two and go from there. If they shake your hand successfully, congratulations! You have taught your dog a new skill.
Also keep in mind that you don’t need to make a special trip to the pet store for a bag of treats in order to teach your dog a new skill. Sweet potatoes, peas and green beans, and apples are all examples of healthy “treats” your dog will love, and the great part is that you are most likely to have at least one item in your food pantry that would be beneficial to your pup. A few more examples include salmon, lean meats, pumpkin, peanut butter, rice, and pasta.
When you are training your dog, don’t use a large amount of treats, because you may run the risk of giving them a stomach ache. Either check the bag and look for the serving size, get fairly small treats, or use a small snack such as cheerios for positive reinforcement. If you are feeding them fresh fruits, vegetables, or anything from your personal pantry, be sure to research how much your dog may consume before it becomes an alarming amount that could have the potential of making them ill.
Keeping A Good Attitude
It takes a lot of patience, depending on age, breed, and the attention span of your dog, to teach them a new skill. Some tricks are harder to learn than others and so it is essential that you have a keen amount of patience and dedication. If you feel yourself getting worked up and frustrated, take a break. If your dog is not listening the way he/she is supposed to, do not hit, push, or yell at your dog because that only sets your farther back in the learning process.
Keeping a positive attitude and taking breaks once in a while will benefit both you, and your pup, in the learning process. If you start to get irritated, chances are that your dog is also and that does not lead to success. The three most important characteristics of any trainer include patience, dedication, and attitude. A little patience will get you a long ways, dedication will motivate you and your trainee to finish all the way through, and a great attitude will always pave the path to success.