How to Train a Pit Bull to Give Paw

Easy
1-3 Weeks
Fun

Introduction

Socializing your Pit Bull will be key to his training and demeanor. Pit Bulls are very intelligent and eager to please. When you train your Pit Bull to give his paw, you can take an opportunity to show others how affectionate and sweet your little guy is. These dogs are friendly with lots of energy, and with motivation and positive reinforcement training, they are eager to learn. After training basic commands, asking your Pit Bull to give you his paw is a great fun trick to teach, so he has a greeting when he meets people outside your family.

If you own a Pit Bull now, you will soon learn if you socialize him from an early age with people as well as other dogs, he is well set up with positive relationships for years to come. These fun tricks, such as giving his paw, are a great way to break the ice and get your Pit socialized.

Defining Tasks

Positive reinforcement training for Pit Bull is really not any different than it is for other dogs. You are going to teach your Pit a command, what happens when you say the command, and reward him for reaching his goals. You'll want to ensure your little guy knows how to sit first because this trick will always start from a sitting position. If you plan to use a clicker, this is another way to give your pup positive reinforcement training with the rewarding sounds of the click along with the tasty treat as a prize for a job well done. Make sure you're focusing on milestones as your little guy is learning how to give you his paw. This is one of those tricks that build trust between dog and owner so have fun with it. Though you can train your Pit Bull at any age, including rescue dogs, it is easier to train younger pups. If yours is older or a rescue, take your time and be patient. With positive rewards for good behavior, he’ll get it. 

Getting Started

Even though this is an incredibly easy trick to teach as well as for your dog to learn, make your training sessions short and focused so your Pit Bull can enjoy the rewards he earns. Grab some tasty treats before each training session so you can reward him with something he'll enjoy. The only other thing you may consider is providing a distraction-free training environment for your short training session so you have his full attention.

The Pawing for Treat Method

Effective
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Step
1
Sit
Have your Pit Bull sit in front of you. If he doesn’t know the 'sit' command yet, go back and teach this to him first. 'Sit' is a foundation command for many tricks and obedience commands to come.
Step
2
Treat
Hide a treat in your hand and hold your hand out in front of your pup’s nose. Do not let him get at it, but let him sniff it and know it’s in there hiding for him.
Step
3
Command
Give your Pit Bull a command such as ‘shake’ or ‘give me your paw.’
Step
4
Pawing for treat
Be patient and give your pup a moment. He will eventually start pawing for the treat in your hand. He might sniff first, but stand firm and stay still while he explores how he can get to the treat.
Step
5
Treat
Grab his paw and shake it when he holds his paw up to paw for the treat. Say "good boy" after your shake and give him the treat.
Step
6
Practice
Keep practicing with your pup until he gives you his paw when you ask and not only when he wants to get a hidden treat.
Recommend training method?

The Nudge Paw Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Position
Have your Pit Bull sit and give him a treat for doing so.
Step
2
Treat for paw
Hold another treat out and show your pup he can earn it.
Step
3
Command
Give your Pit Bull pup a command asking for his paw. You can use the word ‘shake’ or ask your pup to "give you his paw". Whichever command you use, make sure it is the same command each time you ask for his paw.
Step
4
Nudge
After asking for his paw, use the hand not holding the treat and nudge the back of his paw up.
Step
5
Air paw
Once his paw is in the air, grab it and hold it with the hand holding the treat, repeat the command, and then give him the treat as you let go.
Step
6
Practice
Go over this with your pup several times before you stop nudging ad use only the command to get him to give you his paw. Be sure you are offering him a nice treat each time his paw lands in your hand.
Recommend training method?

The Paw to Hand Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Sitting down
Sit down in front of your Pit Bull and have him sit as well.
Step
2
Hold a treat
Put a treat in your hand and show it to your dog. Let him sniff but do not give it to him just yet.
Step
3
Other hand
Hold your other hand out and ask for his paw. At first, you might need to keep both of your hands close together. One hand to hold his paw and the other with the treat. To keep your little guy from getting to the treat, consider closing your hand around the treat.
Step
4
Give me your paw
Ask your pup to give you his paw. You can also use a command such as ‘shake.’ Be prepared for him to sniff the hand that is hiding the treat.
Step
5
Paw to hand
When your little guy realizes he’s not getting to the treat by sniffing it, he will likely paw at your hand to get to it.
Step
6
Celebrate
Once he places his paw on your hand, give him some good boy excitement and celebrate with the treat.
Step
7
Practice
Keep practicing this, only after several times succeeding in this way, stop hiding a treat and only hold out your hand and use the command. Be sure to still give him a treat once he shakes your hand.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers and Success Stories

Question
Stella
American Pit Bull Terrier
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Stella
American Pit Bull Terrier
2 Years

How can I make her give me her paw

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
92 Dog owners recommended

Hello, keep trying the methods described in the guide on the page where you submitted the question, which is here: https://wagwalking.com/training/give-paw. The Give Me Your Paw Method is effective because Stella will associate the scent of the treat with your hand and should automatically move to touch the hand. Consistent training is key. The High Five Training guide also has similar concepts you can try: https://wagwalking.com/training/high-five. Good luck!

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Question
Athena
German Shepherd
3 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Athena
German Shepherd
3 Years

My dog is NOT listening what SO ever

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Question
princess
Bully Pitbull
2 Years
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
princess
Bully Pitbull
2 Years

Why is my dog not doing paw?Every time I try to teach her she just looks at me and I get angry and tell her to go away and call her stupid.I looked up so many ways to teach her shes just not getting it.I hold the treat in my closed fist and wait and she sniffs it and she does not start pawing at my hand and I get really impatient and I say shake.And she LAYS down like can my dog my dog get stupider.Im bored and I just want to teach my dog new things

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
707 Dog owners recommended

Hello Asia, First, know that if pup is stressed during training because you are stressed, her ability to learn actually decreases. Training can be very frustrating at times. Try to choose times to train when you feel up for a bit of a challenge and can feel more patient with her - then she will also be more likely to feel relaxed and ready to learn. When she is afraid of your reaction, those chemicals and activity in a fearful brain actually makes the brain operate differently and she won't be able to learn as well. I suggest a different approach for teaching this. Some dogs simply don't understand and think it's wrong to paw at you - so that approach is no good with them. I suggest trying the following method instead. With pup sitting in front of you, tap the back of pup's front paw until they lift it slightly off the ground, while happily saying "Paw or Shake". As soon as they move it at all, praise enthusiastically and reward with a treat. Repeat this each time, rewarding with a treat each time, until pup starts to lift the paw all the way off the ground when you do this. When pup is lifting the paw up, require pup to lift it higher before rewarding with a treat the next time. Continue to praise for attempts though. When pup will lift the paw a couple of inches off the ground when you tap and say shake or paw, start to tell pup to Shake or paw, then wait seven seconds, then tap to remind pup to lift their paw if they don't lift on their own. Do this until pup starts to lift the paw consistently without needing the tap a few seconds later. When pup can lift when you say paw, place your hand under their paw when they lift it, praise and reward right when their paw touches your hand - even though you caused it to by putting your hand under their paw. Repeat. Next, place your hand slightly below where pup's lifted paw is, wait until pup lowers their paw a bit - accidentally touching your hand on their own (by accident on their part at first). As soon as pup touches your hand on their own because your hand was under the paw, praise and reward. Repeat until pup starts to intentionally touch your hand because they are associating it with the treat being given. When pup starts to understand that touching your hand is what earns them the treat, wait until pup puts their paw all the way into your hand, rather than just touching it slightly, before you reward. Practice this often for lots of short training sessions frequently, rather than fewer long ones to help pup focus and not get as distracted during training.Expect this to take several days or weeks to teach (that's the normal amount of time for most dogs), not just one or two sessions. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

M

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