The Shake-a-Paw dog trick is loads of fun, and best of all it's quick and easy to learn.
The goal is to have your dog appear to shake your hand at your verbal (or visual) request. It's a great trick to show off in front of your friends and once you've mastered it, you can move on to some more advanced "paw" dog tricks.
If your dog already uses his/her paw for activities such as playing with a ball or pawing at you to give him/her a belly rub, then teaching the shake-a-paw will be very simple.
It took me and Macy a couple of days to work our way through the following steps. It may take you and your dog a little longer, but who cares, you'll be having fun anyway. If at any time the following steps are unclear simply go back and watch the video again.
NOTE: Depending on you and your dog, you may be better off starting at Step 2 rather than Step 1. You know your dog better than anyone, so it's your call.
Your goal with this first step is to clearly demonstrate to your dog the behavior you are looking for. It will get your dog familiar with picking up his paw and placing it in your hand.
Don't grab your dog's paw now. Try to get him to move his paw by tapping his leg or patting the floor in front of him. Even a slight movement of the paw is worthy of a click and treat at this stage. The timing of the click is important, you should aim to "click" just as your dog's paw begins to show any sign of movement.
Continue to practice this step until your dog offers his paw each time you place your hand down in front of him.
All you do is say "shake" a split second before lowering your hand down in front of your dog's paw (the same as you have been doing in Step 2). This step will build an association in your dog's mind between you saying "shake" and the act of him picking up his paw and placing it in your hand.
Fade the clicker and treats over a number of repetitions until your dog is comfortable and compliant without the clicker being in your hand.
Some of the things you can do to proof the shake-a-paw are:
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Please consult the services of a Professional Dog Trainer, Behaviorist or Veterinarian before implementing any of the advice contained on this site.