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How to Train Your Dog to Shake Paws Full Guide of 2023

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how to teach a dog to shakeAre you looking for a way to bond with your dog? Teaching them new tricks is an excellent start.

From introducing the treat correctly and associating it with the command ‘shake’, to eventually phasing out treats altogether – this guide will take you through all of these steps.

So if shaking hands is something that interests you, follow along as we break down everything from getting started in training sessions right through troubleshooting any hiccups along the way.

Key Takeaways

  • Use positive reinforcement such as treats and praise.
  • Present your fist at chest level for the dog to paw.
  • Gradually decrease the frequency of treats and rely more on praise as a reward.
  • Regularly practice with short sessions.

Getting Ready for Training

Getting Ready for Training
Before you get started, make sure your pup is calm and paying attention – it’ll take some patience and consistency to get them shaking paws in no time! Praise technique alongside positive reinforcement are key when teaching a dog to shake.

Using a clicker can also be beneficial for marking desired behavior before providing rewards.

Start by presenting your fist at chest level so the dog will paw at it. Open your hand once they do, then reward with a treat or verbal praise.

Ensure that you’re using consistent commands while having fun throughout; this gives the best chance of success in training without frustration or boredom setting in on either side! Keep practicing daily with short sessions while adjusting hand position if needed, keeping things light but firm — soon enough you’ll have those paws shaking like pros.

Teaching the Shake Command

Teaching the Shake Command
Once you’ve got your pup properly prepared, it’s time to start training them the shake command – with treats and clickers at the ready! Developing trust is key, so use positive reinforcement techniques that focus on rewarding good behavior.

Start off by having your dog sit calmly while focusing their attention. Then, give a voice command like shake accompanied by physical cues such as extending an open hand. When they paw at it, praise them verbally or with a clicker before providing a treat reward.

Repeat this process several times in short sessions throughout each day to provide mental stimulation for your pup without causing frustration or boredom.

With patience and consistency, you’ll soon have an obedient four-legged friend who loves demonstrating their impressive new trick for everyone around!

Step 1: Tell Your Dog to Sit

Step 1: Tell Your Dog to Sit
Before teaching your dog to shake, it’s important that they are able to sit calmly and pay attention. This step is key in any training session because you will need their undivided focus for success.

To start, use positive reinforcement and verbal cues such as sit or stay, while also using body language like pointing at the ground with an open hand. Once your pup has followed this command, give them a treat from the same hand that issued the command.

If needed, you can gently lure them into position by holding a treat in one hand and then placing it directly on top of their nose.

You can now begin luring them towards shaking hands by presenting your fist at chest level with a small bite-sized treat inside.

Repeat these steps without offering food in order for your pup to associate the shake command. Practice for 5 minutes per day during multiple sessions until the action becomes automatic without treats being offered each time.

Remember to keep your commands concise yet firm, but not in a harsh tone, while providing lots of praise throughout the process whenever progress is made!

Step 2: Introduce the Treat

Step 2: Introduce the Treat
Hold a treat in your fist and present it at chest level for your pup to paw at. Use verbal commands throughout the training process, such as shake or wave, when presenting the closed fist with the reward treat inside.

As soon as their paw touches you, praise them lavishly and give them the treat they’re expecting from within your hand.

It’s important to practice this regularly with different people so that your dog can generalize this behavior across stimulus control situations. During dog training sessions, allow yourself plenty of time, but keep each session short enough so that neither of you becomes frustrated or bored.

Reward treats should always be given after successful behaviors have been displayed in order for proper reinforcement and understanding of good canine behavior – plus, it’s fun!

Step 3: Hold Out Your Closed Fist

Step 3: Hold Out Your Closed Fist
Present your closed fist at chest level and wait for the paw to be given. It’s important that you remain consistent in your commands, firm yet gentle with tone, and patient with approach. Ensure that you have a small treat in the hand, which will be used as a reward if they respond correctly.

This teaches them what behavior receives positive reinforcement from their owner or trainer.

Keep it at this stage until they are consistently responding by offering their paw when commanded.

Remain patient throughout. Consistency is key when learning how to teach a dog to shake. Have short but regular sessions over several days or weeks, depending on the progress achieved.

Step 4: Rewarding the Behavior

Step 4: Rewarding the Behavior
When your furry friend paws at the treat in your closed fist, open up and reward them with a well-earned snack! Positive reinforcement is key when training animals. Treat rewards for desired behavior will help ensure that they remember what you’re teaching them.

It’s important to maintain consistency while using a patient approach. Here are some tips to follow:

  1. Praise every successful paw shake.
  2. Give treats from the other hand, not just the fist.
  3. Reinforce training regularly with short sessions.

Encouraging progress and reinforcing positive behavior builds trust between pet parent and pup. It also keeps dogs safe outside of home life by understanding basic commands like shake or sit on command.

So be sure to take it slow and always end each session on a high note. Even if all you do is have your dog sit before ending their training session for the day, this small accomplishment can go a long way towards building confidence in both yourself and pup alike!

Phase Out the Treat

Phase Out the Treat
Once your pup’s got the hang of pawing for treats, it’s time to prove they’ve mastered the move by phasing out those goodies! Gradually reduce how often you’re giving rewards after a successful shake.

Positive reinforcement is key here. Use verbal cues, body language, and hand signals to reward them when desired behavior is achieved. If done correctly, timing your rewards will ensure that the connection between what they do and their treat will be made clearer.

Eventually, stop providing treats completely. However, continue reinforcing with praise or other forms of positive attention, like petting or playing fetch.

Troubleshooting and Proofing Behavior

Troubleshooting and Proofing Behavior
If your pup isn’t pawing, try moving the treat closer or lightly tapping its paw.

Troubleshooting and proofing behavior are key steps in teaching a dog to shake paws. Positive reinforcement is essential when training with treats; rewarding desired behaviors by giving them at the right time will help reinforce good habits.

It’s also important to consider hand placement. Too high or too low may not be as effective as something more natural for your canine companion – like chest level!

Familiar people should also be involved during this process so that the pup can generalize better.

Verbal cues and reward timing must go hand-in-hand for successful learning. If you give a command but don’t follow through with an appropriate reward, chances are those learned behaviors won’t stick around very long either.

With consistency and patience, troubleshooting issues along the way while incorporating these tips into each practice session will soon have your pooch shaking hands on command!

Final Tips and Notes

Final Tips and Notes
Be consistent and patient, as those are key to success when training your pup. Always end on a positive note for the best results. Positive reinforcement is essential for teaching a dog to shake its paw; use treats or clicker training to reward the desired behavior each time it responds correctly.

Set boundaries and establish rules that you can consistently reinforce with hand signals or verbal commands, such as shaking paws. You should also develop an effective reward system so that the pup will be motivated by rewards rather than punishments in order to learn more quickly.

Finally, always remember that consistency is key – practice regularly with short sessions throughout the day in order to not only teach but maintain expected behaviors from your pup!

  • Use positive reinforcement
  • Utilize clicker training
  • Establish set boundaries/rules
  • Employ an effective reward system
  • Practice regularly

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the best treat to use when training a dog to shake?

For training a dog to shake, use small, bite-sized treats that they will get excited about.

How often should I practice the shake command with my dog?

Practicing the shake command with your dog should be done regularly in short sessions. Aim for 5 minutes, 2-3 times daily to encourage progress and avoid frustration or boredom. Use treats, praise, and a clicker to mark the desired behavior before rewarding.

What do I do if my dog does not understand the shake command?

If your dog doesn’t understand the shake command, remain patient and don’t get mad. Try moving treats closer or gently nudge their paw. Keep sessions short to avoid frustration, and end on a positive note like a simple sit command.

Reinforce regularly with small rewards for success, gradually removing the treat from your fist over time.

What is the best way to transition from using a treat to praising?

Transition from using treats to praising by gradually reducing the frequency of treats and increasing verbal praise. Give a treat every few shakes, then slowly reduce it until your dog responds only to verbal cues.

How can I make sure my dog does not forget the shake command?

To ensure your dog remembers the shake command, practice regularly in short sessions and offer praise instead of treats. Reward progress and be patient; use a firm but not harsh tone. Have others demonstrate so it generalizes, then proof behavior with different people to reinforce training.


Training your dog to shake paws is a great way to build its confidence, keep it safe, and impress your friends. Recent research shows that over 80% of dogs can learn the shake command in just a few weeks.

To teach your pup to shake paws, make sure to use small treats as rewards. It’s important that your dog already knows the sit command. When you’re ready to start, hold out your closed fist. When your dog offers up its paw, open your hand and offer the treat.

As your dog gets better at the command, gradually phase out the treat and offer praise instead. It’s important to practice the command with other people and make sure your dog is proofed for the behavior.

With consistent and patient practice, your dog will be shaking hands in no time!

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief with a team of qualified veterinarians, their goal? Simple. Break the jargon and help you make the right decisions for your furry four-legged friends.