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Basic Training

Teach Your Dog To Shake Hands

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Is there any dog owner out there who has not thought about teaching your dog to shake hands with you and others? Probably you already have, and this is such a simple trick for any breed of dog to learn it is a great starting point for further training. Those who are first time dog owners may not be aware of how easy teaching your dog to shake hands really is, so below are the simple steps for teaching Max how to shake hands with you and others.

When you begin, you need to make a couple of decisions before starting the training. One is which paw you want the dog to learn to shake with. Most people go with the dog learning to shake with his or her right paw as the vast majority of humans are right handed. Next you will need to pick the one word command for the dog to learn. As expected most people use “shake” as their command word but another option is “paw” and “hand” for those who like things different.

Begin by having the puppy or adult dog sit in front of you and reach down lifting the paw of choice. A word of caution is due here: dogs do not like their feet/paws messed with, so when you lift the paw be gentle, and in a soothing, gentle voice give the command word while shaking the dog’s paw up and down slightly.

With practice and repetition the dog will quickly learn what the command word means and the behavior you expect. To get things off to a fast start you always want to praise the dog and slip him a tasty treat as he is learning this trick.

Once you have your dog shaking hands with the right foot you can move on to teaching him to use his left paw by using the same training method but change the command word to “left paw shake” or something similar.

It is very normal for a dog who has learned to shake hands with people to expect most strangers he meets to shake his paw. Dogs are very intelligent and yearn to please their owners, as well as friends of the family, so he or she may surprise someone you know when they enter your home and the dog comes up to them and offers his paw.

As you can see teaching your dog to shake hands is quite easy and a great starting point for further trick training.

Does you doggy shake hands? Please leave all comments below.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Avatar Of Rica Macdonough

    Rica MacDonough


    My mastiff thinks I am a crazy lady when we try to do the shake. Others do it, but Guinness looks at me like I am from Mars. Definitely not his thing!!

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