How to Train Your Dog to Give Paw

Easy
2-3 Weeks
Fun

Introduction

Teaching your dog to give his paw for a good shake is a fun trick. 'Give me your paw' is a trick that most dogs learn fairly quickly and probably one of the most common things people will ask your dog to do when they meet and greet him. It will not take long to teach your dog to offer his paw or to give his paw when asked for a shake anytime he meets someone. You can teach your dog to give his paw when he is asked, or you can even teach him to automatically put his paw up for a good firm shake anytime he meets a new person. Either way, the 'give me your paw' command is definitely a fun and common dog trick. This one is pretty easy, so have fun with it. Once your dog knows how to give his paw, you get to sit back and watch everyone ask for it and then smile at how incredibly smart and talented your dog is.

Defining Tasks

The 'give me your paw' trick is easy. However, you will want your dog to know basic obedience commands first. Teach your dog to sit first, so he is in proper position to offer his paw for a good shake. You might want to be prepared to teach your dog different commands for the trick. Some people may ask, ‘give me your paw,’ and some people may use the word ‘shake.’ You’ll want your dog to know both commands mean the same thing. Because this is a fairly easy command, keep your sessions short, and visit with your dog often to practice. You can teach any dog at any age to shake his paw with someone, however starting young is often the easiest.

Getting Started

Be prepared with lots of tasty treats while training your dog to give his paw. Other than delicious treats for rewards, you just need time and patience. Training you dog to give his paw will take several small sessions rather than one long session. Just be prepared for consistent training.

The Make Him Think Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Sit
Ask your dog to sit and offer him a treat once he does. This puts them in the proper position to shake as well as lets him know that you have treats on hand that he can work for.
Step
2
Empty hand
Hold out an empty hand with your palm facing up level with your dog's chest.
Step
3
Sniff
Your dog may sniff your hand or even lick your hand, but make him wait and think about why your hand is where it is.
Step
4
Wait
Keep your hand open waiting for a different reaction besides sniffing or licking from your dog. He will eventually become curious and lift his paw up to touch your hand.
Step
5
Reward
As soon as your dog lifts his paw, even if he doesn't touch your hand, praise him and offer him a treat.
Step
6
Repeat
Repeat this several times until each time you hold your hand out, your dog lifts his paw rather than sniffs or licks your hand first.
Step
7
Command
Begin to use the 'shake' or 'give me your paw' command each time you put your hand palm up near your dog.
Step
8
Practice
Practice this several times a day until your dog knows the command and the action that goes with the command. Each time you say 'shake' or 'give me your paw,' your dog should lift his paw and put it in your hand. Be sure to reward him each time for a job well done.
Recommend training method?

The Tap His Paw Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Sit
Put your dog in a sit position and offer him a treat. This lets him know you have treats and he can earn them.
Step
2
Tap
Gently tap the back of his paw just below his dew claw.
Step
3
Reaction
Your dog will react to your tap in some way. He may look down at you and sniff your hand or he may pick up his paw and move away from your tapping finger.
Step
4
Shake
As your dog's paw moves away from your hand, gently pick it up and say the word 'Shake.'
Step
5
Praise and treats
Give him verbal praise and a reward for a job well done.
Step
6
Repeat
Repeat these actions until your dog no longer needs the tap on the back of his paw and responds to only the commands 'shake' or 'give me your paw' by lifting up his paw and putting it in your hand. Always be sure to reward your dog each time he is successful.
Recommend training method?

The Give Me Your Paw Method

Least Recommended
1 Vote
Step
1
Stand and sit
Stand in front of your dog and ask him to sit. Be sure to give him a treat for obeying. If your dog does not immediately sit when asked, be sure to revisit basic obedience commands before teaching him to give his paw.
Step
2
Treat in fist
With a treat hidden inside one hand, close your hand and show him your fist so he can smell the treats but not take it from you.
Step
3
Command
Say the words, 'give me your paw,' and move your fist under your dog's nose so he can smell the treat.
Step
4
Dig with paw
Your dog will want to get to the treat so allow him to paw or dig at your hand waiting for you to open it so he can eat the treat.
Step
5
Reward
Once your dog paws at your hand, give him the treat and verbal praise.
Step
6
Practice
Practice this several times over small training sessions until your dog understands when you use the command, 'give me your paw,' he is supposed to put his paw in your hand.
Step
7
Open hand
Once your dog has the command and the action down, stop using a treat inside your fist and open your hand for a good hand to paw shake. At this point, you should be able to use the command 'give me your paw' and expect your dog to shake. Once your dog is successful, offer him a treat, but do not keep one hidden inside your hand once he is at this level.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
jelly
Beagle
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
jelly
Beagle
1 Year

how to train him to lay down

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
264 Dog owners recommended

Hello Thrisha, To teach Jelly to lay down follow one of the methods from the article that I have linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-to-lay-down Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Chicco
Shih Tzu
9 Months
0 found helpful
Question
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Chicco
Shih Tzu
9 Months

When walking him on his lead if we meet other dogs he pulls badly on his lead and barks to get to them it's not in an aggressive way he just wants to play but some people don't understand this and think he is being aggressive I just don't know what to do and would be so grateful for any advice...

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
264 Dog owners recommended

Hello Helen, First, when you walk him, walk him on a regular 6 ft leash and work on him walking in the heel position (head behind your leg). Doing this during normal walks when dogs are not around sets the tone for following you and letting you handle situations when dogs appear. Follow the Turns method from the article linked below to teach heel: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Second, once he knows how to heel when dogs are not around, go to the park or somewhere spacious where he will see other dogs from a distance (outside of a dog park works - but don't go inside the dog fence or that will likely only make this issue worse right now). While at the park practice his heel with lots of turns and changes of speed so that he has to focus on you to keep up. Practice "Watch Me" and commands like Sit-Stay and Down-Stay, and other things that require focus on you and self-control. Do this far enough away from other dogs that he notices the dogs but can still respond to you when you work to get his attention. When he starts to struggle, then begin heeling with him and do so many turns and speed changes that he starts to focus back on you to keep up. Once he is calm again after that, you practice Sit and other commands again. Practice the training until he begins to ignore the other dogs from that distance over several sessions. When he improves at focusing on you and being calm around the dogs, decrease the distance between him and the other dogs and practice at the new distance until he improves again. Gradually decrease the distance as he improves overtime until he can handle being within just a few feet of other dogs and remain calm. Also, check out the article that I have linked below and work on the "Walking Together" method if you have friends with calm, friendly dogs that you can practice with. You want his encounters with other dogs to be pleasant but very boring and calm right now. Think about how a Service Dog acts around other dogs - that's the type of socialization and calmness you are encouraging. Follow the "Walking Together" method from the article linked below: https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Monty
Jug
8 Months
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Question
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Monty
Jug
8 Months

He has been taught to sit by another family member which he responds well too.
But i have been trying to teach him paw i have read up and tried multiple different ways but none have worked, he either sits staring at me for a treat or he just gives up and walks away.
Is there any other way that would make it easier or more interesting for him. Thanks Nikita

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
264 Dog owners recommended

Hello Nikita, If your dog likes to dig, then get some sand, hold a treat between your fingers and while your dog is watching, cover your hand holding the treat with the sand. Let him go investigate while you tell him "Paw!" in a happy tone of voice. Move your hand around under the sand to get him even more interested in your hand and act enthusiastic. As soon as he touches your hand with his paw to dig or by accident while investigating, praise him enthusiastically, pull your hand out of the sand and offer him the treat inside it. Repeat this sand game with a treat in your hand until your dog is enthusiastic about getting to your hand under the sand. As he improves, cover your hand with less and less sand until your hand is simply sitting in front of him while he is pawing at it when commanded to "Paw". When he can touch your hand without needing the sand, then gradually raise your hand higher and higher as he improves, until he can paw at it at the correct height for the trick. Finally, remove the treat from your hand, and when you tell him "Paw" and he touches your hand with his paw, give him a treat from your other hand that was behind your back. To help speed things up, try to praise him the second he touches your hand so that he will understand what he is being rewarded for exactly. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Stormzy
French Bulldog
13 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Stormzy
French Bulldog
13 Months

Unable to learn paw

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
264 Dog owners recommended

Hello Danielle, Try this alternate method of teaching Paw: If your dog likes to dig, then get some sand, hold a treat between your fingers and while your dog is watching, cover your hand holding the treat with the sand. Let him go investigate while you tell him "Paw!" in a happy tone of voice. Move your hand around under the sand to get him even more interested in your hand and act enthusiastic. As soon as he touches your hand with his paw to dig or by accident while investigating, praise him enthusiastically, pull your hand out of the sand and offer him the treat inside it. Repeat this sand game with a treat in your hand until your dog is enthusiastic about getting to your hand under the sand. As he improves, cover your hand with less and less sand until your hand is simply sitting in front of him while he is pawing at it when commanded to "Paw". When he can touch your hand without needing the sand, then gradually raise your hand higher and higher as he improves, until he can paw at it at the correct height for the trick. Finally, remove the treat from your hand, and when you tell him "Paw" and he touches your hand with his paw, give him a treat from your other hand that was behind your back. To help speed things up, try to praise him the second he touches your hand so that he will understand what he is being rewarded for exactly. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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