How to Teach Your Dog to Shake

How to Teach Your Dog to Shake

Author WDF Staff


Teaching your dog neat tricks is not necessary, but it is something we would recommend you do. Dogs will love the time you spend together in training, and the bond between you and your dog will become even stronger. Plus, training involves treats, so you can be sure dogs are enjoying themselves.

If you are a new dog owner, you probably wonder how to teach your dog to shake. Luckily, this is not a difficult trick to teach. Teaching your dog to shake is a fun way to entertain your friends and family, and the dog will love the reward they get after doing the trick successfully. Follow these 8 easy steps, and you will have your dog shaking in no time. Here is how you teach your dog to shake.

1. Getting started

The first thing you’d want to do is get some tasty dog treats that will motivate your dog to do what you want them to do - the tastier the treat, the more motivation your dog will have to learn how to shake. Start by holding your hand out while holding a treat in your closed fist.

yorkshire terrier shake hands

2. Getting the paw raise

The dog will try to figure out what they need to do to get the treat. They can try a few things like biting or licking before they paw at you. The first time they paw at you, press your clicker or say the verbal cue (we prefer the clicker) and give them a treat.

Teaching your dog tricks might not be necessary, but taking them through basic training is essential. Check out this article - What will obedience training teach your dog.

3. Repeat the paw raise

Repeat the paw raise several times. Make sure your dog consistently repeats the desired behavior and give them a treat every time they place their paw on your hand.

dog shakes hand

4. Increasing the difficulty

When your dog starts to understand what they need to do to get a treat, start increasing the difficulty. Make them hold their paw longer each time. Take your time before you click, and make sure you don’t end up teaching your dog to paw at you instead of shake.

Keep in mind that we aren’t including any formal verbal cues yet. Make sure your dog understands the dynamic of the trick before you include the verbal command “Shake!”

5. Holding the paw

When the dog understands they need to hold their paw for some time in your hand, start holding their paw until they relax it completely. Don’t forcefully hold your dog’s paw. Wait for them to relax the paw and fully understand that you want their paw in your hand. Take your time before clicking and giving them a treat.

husky shake hands

6. Introducing the cue

When your dog successfully started to hold their paw in your hand, introduce the command you want them to learn. The most used one is “Shake!” Start saying the command after you noticed your dog raising their paw and placing it in your hand. Start building that connection in their mind. Make sure you “implant” that connection between the action and command. Remember, every time your dog successfully does that, click, praise, and a treat is in order.

7. Turning the hand into a shake

At this point, you can start turning your hand sideways. By now, your dog should have made the connection between the verbal command and the action of shaking hands. Every time their paw touches your hand and you “shake hands,” give your dog a reward. If the dog doesn’t do that repeatedly, you might want to repeat the sixth step a few more times.

All dogs should know some basic commands. Check out this article for more information about those commands - Commands all dogs should know.

airedale terrier shake hands

8. Introducing the shake

After the dog starts continually giving you their paw, you can start introducing the “shake” up and down motion. At first, your dog will think you are moving their paw away, so make sure you slowly implement this part. Take your time and if your dog gets uncomfortable with the shaking, take it back to the step they were last successful on.

How to teach your dog to shake

Now you know the answer to the question, “How to teach your dog to shake?” Some breeds are fast learners, and others might take a bit more time. Be patient, and we are sure your dog will eventually get there. Plus, now you have a great party trick that will make you and your dog the stars of the night.

World Dog Finder team

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