How to Train Your Dog to High Five

How to Train Your Dog to High Five
Easy difficulty iconEasy
Time icon3-5 Weeks
Fun training category iconFun

Introduction

Celebrating your dog for being the amazing pet he is can be as easy as a fun and fantastic high five. Anytime your dog does something really cool, or anytime he's just a good boy, you can give him a high-five to celebrate. Training a high-five is not much different from training your dog to give you his paw, but instead of shaking hands you will give high-fives. Your dog will be the cool kid on the block when he knows how to give a high-five in celebration. Imagine sitting with your dog on the couch watching the big game then turning to your buddy and saying, ‘high five’ and getting that celebratory high-five from your dog when your favorite team wins. Your dog is your best friend, so teach him to celebrate all of life's wins with you.

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Defining Tasks

Training high five is a pretty simple trick to do. You're going to want to your dog to already know basic commands. Keep your sessions short and simple. To teach high five, your dog needs to know when he is celebrating something really cool. So put him in different scenarios where he can feel your excitement and celebrate with you. Teaching your dog to do a high five with anyone makes for a fun trick to show your friends and neighbors. You can teach a dog at any age to high five. It's a pretty simple trick that will require small training sessions with little distractions and lots of repetition. Be sure to offer your dog tasty treats such as cheese or hot dogs to teach this trick. This is a trick that celebrates, so give your dog something to celebrate like an extraordinary treat.

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Getting Started

To train high fives with your dog, you're going to need high-value treats. These treats will entice and encourage your dog to do well. Schedule short training sessions with your dog with few distractions around so he can focus on celebrating and practicing how to give a high five. Be patient with this one, especially if your dog understands the 'shake' or 'give me your paw' commands. They can easily be confused.

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The Hidden Treat Method

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1

Sit

Have your dog to sit and then stand in front of him. Be sure to offer him a treat for obeying your sit command.

2

Hide a treat

Put a treat in the palm of your hand with your thumb up against it holding it in place.

3

Command

Hold your hand palm and thumb out towards your dog and say the command 'high five.'

4

Explore

Your dog will probably want to sniff your hand because he knows there's a treat hiding beneath your thumb. Do not let him get to the treat.

5

Repeat command

Hold your hand palm and thumb out facing your dog with the treat hidden underneath your thumb and continue to repeat the command 'high five'.

6

Stand firm

If your dog decides to sniff the treat again, lift your hand up away from his nose. Repeat the command high five and put your hand back in position closer to his paw.

7

Paw

Eventually, your dog will tire of you not allowing him to sniff your hand and find the tasty treat. When he tires of this, he will begin to paw at your hand. As soon as he puts his paw up to your hand say the command 'high five,' tap his paw with your hand, and give him a treat.

8

Practice

Practice this over small training sessions several times a day. Any time your dog's paws touch your hand when you say the command 'high five,' be sure to reward him with a treat.

9

Flat hand

Once your dog understands the high five command, hold up your hand without the lure of a treat and begin to use the command high five. Be sure to reward your dog with a tasty treat when his paw touches the palm of your hand.

The Work For It Method

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1

Sit

Ask your dog to sit. Reward him for obeying your command.

2

Hand palm out

Hold your hand flat, palm out, facing your dog.

3

Wait

Your dog will probably look at you like he has no clue what you want. Tap the palm of your hand with a treat. Wait patiently for your dog to sniff your hand.

4

Command

After you have shown your dog your hand waiting for a high five and the treat you used to tap your palm, encourage his paw to touch your hand. Say the command 'high five.' As you say the command, tap your palm again.

5

Sniff

Your dog may sniff or lick your hand. Curiosity will get the best of him and he will eventually paw at your palm. Wait for this.

6

Be patient

Keeping your hand open, palm facing out. Encourage your dog to lift his paw and touch your palm. If he has sniffed and has shown no interest in lifting his paw, lift it for him and touch it to your hand. Say the command 'high five' and then give him a treat. Drop both hands down once you have touched paw to hand.

7

Reward

Be sure to reward your dog when he touches his paw to your hand.

8

Repeat

Repeat and practice the high five command until your dog understands every time you put your hand up and say the command, your expectation is for him to touch his paw to the palm of your hand. This will take practice and lots of repetition.

The Help Lift Paw Method

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1

High five hand

Hold your hand up like you're going to give your dog a high five.

2

Lift paw

Lift your dog's paw up from behind and touch it to your hand.

3

Command

Give the command 'high five' as soon as you touch his paw to your hand.

4

Praise and treats

Offer lots of verbal praise and a treat for doing a high-five, even though you helped him.

5

Repeat

Repeat the steps above, lifting his paw for him and touching your hand when you say the command 'high five.' Over time, stop lifting his paw and hold your hand up giving the command 'high five.'

6

Patience

Wait patiently for your dog to connect the repeated steps above to your expectation of him lifting his paw to give you a high five. If too much time passes, repeat the steps above helping him give a high-five by lifting his paw to your hand.

7

Rewards

Be sure to offer rewards every time your dog successfully gives you a high five.

By Stephanie Plummer

Published: 10/11/2017, edited: 01/08/2021

Training Questions

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Training Questions and Answers

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Ranger

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lab

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2 Years

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Question

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He will not listen to me when I say high five

Aug. 3, 2020

Ranger's Owner

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Alisha Smith - Alisha S., Dog Trainer

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257 Dog owners recommended

Hi! I am going to give you some detailed information on how to teach high five. Teaching a dog to give you their paw as a high five, rather than a shake, is pretty straightforward. All we need to do is capture a natural action and give it a name. First things first! You never want to grab your dog’s paw to try to teach them to high five. This won’t make much sense to your pup, but also, many dogs have sensitive paws. Grabbing the paw might actually make your dog afraid of the high-five trick. Instead, try these steps. Start with your dog in a sitting position so they can more easily lift their paw. Place a treat in your hand and make a tight fist. Hold it at nose level and wait for your dog to grow impatient and paw at your hand. The moment they do, mark it with a click or a “Yes!” then reward them out of your other hand. Repeat this five times. Place a treat in your hand and make a tight fist and hold it at nose level. Before your dog has lifted their paw, say “High Five!.” The moment they lift their paw and touch your hand, mark it with a click or a “Yes!” then reward them out of your other hand. Repeat this five times. Next, we want to start reshaping the position of your hand into a true “high five.” With no treat in your hand, hold your flat hand up to your pup with your palm facing their nose. Say “High Five!” then click/”Yes!” when they touch your hand with their paw. Reward and repeat. If your dog is having trouble at this stage, it might be because they don’t understand that the game works the same way even when your hand is flat, open, and empty. Before you repeat step three, try each of the following five times. Hold your empty fist in front of your dog. Say “High Five!” then click/”Yes!” and reward. Hold your hand as if you were holding a baseball. Say “High Five!” then click/”Yes!” and reward. I’ve just got one final nugget of wisdom: Once your dog is consistently high-fiving, begin to slowly reduce the frequency of your treats. Start by rewarding them with food once every other high-five, then every third high-five. If your dog begins to struggle with the game, you know you’ve decreased the food too quickly.

Aug. 4, 2020

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Rolo

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Old Tyme Bulldog

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11 Months

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How to train your dog to give u a high five

July 6, 2020

Rolo's Owner

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Alisha Smith - Alisha S., Dog Trainer

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257 Dog owners recommended

Hi! For starters, you never want to grab your dog’s paw to try to teach them to high five. This won’t make much sense to your pup, but also, many dogs have sensitive paws. Grabbing the paw might actually make your dog afraid of the high-five trick. You will want to begin with your dog in a sitting position so they can easily lift their paw and have balance. And grab some treats! Place a treat in your hand and make a tight fist. Hold it at nose level and wait for your dog to grow impatient and paw at your hand. The moment they do, give your dog an enthusiastic “Yes!” then reward them out of your other hand. Repeat this five times. Place a treat in your hand and make a tight fist and hold it at nose level. Before your dog has lifted their paw, say “High Five!.” The moment they lift their paw and touch your hand, give a "yes!" then reward them out of your other hand. Repeat this five times. Next, we want to start reshaping the position of your hand into a true “high five.” With no treat in your hand, hold your flat hand up to your pup with your palm facing their nose. Say “High Five!” then ”Yes!” when they touch your hand with their paw. Reward and repeat. If your dog is having trouble at this stage, it might be because they don’t understand that the game works the same way even when your hand is flat, open, and empty. Before you repeat step three, try each of the following five times. Hold your empty fist in front of your dog. Say “High Five!” then, ”Yes!” and reward. Hold your hand as if you were holding a baseball. Say “High Five!” then, ”Yes!” and reward. Once your dog is consistently high-fiving, begin to slowly reduce the frequency of your treats. Start by rewarding them with food once every other high-five, then every third high-five. If your dog begins to struggle with the game, you know you’ve decreased the food too quickly. Please let me know if you have additional questions. Thank you for writing in!

July 15, 2020


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