Teaching Your Dog to Shake or Paw

Professional dog trainer Victoria Warfel, of Dark Saber Dog Training & Behavior Modification in Gainesville, Fla., and her dog Jedi go over the basics of teaching your dog to shake or give you his paw.

Breaking it Down

Shake, or paw, is another good trick to teach after the dog has mastered sit. It is especially easy for puppies because they naturally lift their paws up at people when they're younger.

Start by having the dog sit.

With a treat in hand, hold out your palm by his leg until he lifts up the paw to meet your hand.

You can wait for the dog to lift his paw up for yo himself, or you can gently reach down and lift it for him.

Once the paw is in your hand, praise him for the good behavior and give her a treat.

Repeat this several times, and eventually, your dog will understand what the waiting hand means. Add in the command word once he starts raising his paw on his own.

Helpful Hint:

It doesn't take long to teach your dog a trick, but for it to become a habit, you must practice with him. A new trick should be performed between 50 to 60 times within the first week. But don't train for too long. Do it in short spurts, covering a trick for 2 to 3 minutes and then taking a break.