How to Train a Puppy to Shake its Body

Easy
2-5 Weeks
General

Introduction

You've just given your puppy a bath and now their little body is covered in dripping water. You don't want them to run around your house while wet. You wait in the bathroom, hoping they'll shake some of the water off. Time ticks by and your pup shows no sign of shaking. You wish there was a way to speed up the process. Training your puppy to shake his body can save your home from a wet puppy rampage.

Defining Tasks

Your puppy already shakes when wet or dirty. With this command, you can harness their natural inclinations to keep your home and car nice and clean. However, as with any command, you will need to be patient with your pup. Young dogs have short attention spans but are incredibly eager to please. With a little bit of perseverance, you will have your puppy shaking his entire body on command in no time.

Getting Started

For this command, you will need a place to bathe your dog, such as a tub, kiddie pool or shower, and some treats. You want a good reward that will encourage your puppy to keep performing the action you desire. It is best to work on this command somewhere that can safely get wet, such as your backyard or bathroom.

The Caught in the Act Method

Effective
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Step
1
Keep an eye on your puppy
For this method, you want to watch your puppy carefully and wait for the behavior you want to reward: shaking his body. Some times your pup is likely to shake include after a bath or after rolling around in the grass.
Step
2
Quickly reward the behavior
Whenever you see your puppy shake his entire body, say "good shake" in a happy and excited voice. You want to mark their good behavior as quickly as possible after the action. Then give your pup a treat.
Step
3
Repeat, repeat, repeat
After a few treats, your puppy will start to realize that something they are doing is getting a good result. They will likely start doing different things trying to figure out how to get more rewards. Keep practicing until you think they are putting the cause and effect together.
Step
4
Give the command before the action
Keep watching your puppy closely and start saying "shake" as they get ready to perform the action. When they finish shaking, say "good shake" like before and give them a reward.
Step
5
Try using the command alone
After a bit more training, tell your puppy to shake without a natural trigger and see if they respond. If not, practice a bit longer rewarding their natural behavior. If they do, make a fuss over how smart they are and give a big reward.
Recommend training method?

The Clicker Method

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Step
1
Charge your clicker
If you haven't already, you will need to teach your puppy what a clicker is and how to respond to it. Do this by simply clicking the clicker and giving your pup a reward. After a few times, they will connect the clicker with something positive and you can use it to mark actions you want to reward.
Step
2
Be observant
As with the previous method, you will need to keep an eye on your puppy and figure out when they shake. The best time to work on this command is when your puppy is wet after a bath, as they will instinctively shake to dry their coat.
Step
3
Reward for shakes
When your puppy shakes, mark the action with the clicker and a treat. Do this every single time you catch them shaking and they will quickly realize that a full body shake is an action that gets a reward.
Step
4
Add in the command word
Keep clicking and rewarding, but now add in the command word "shake" after the click. Give the command each time your puppy shakes and they will start to associate the word with the action.
Step
5
Use your new command
Once you think your puppy has a handle on the idea, give the command to shake. If your pup shakes their body, click the clicker and give a big reward. If not, be patient and keep practicing until they do.
Recommend training method?

The Bath Method

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Step
1
Give your puppy a bath
In your shower, bathtub, or a kiddie pool, give your puppy a bath. You probably won't have to wait too long until they give you a good shake. When they do, say "good shake" and make a big deal about the action.
Step
2
Make shake a requirement
After a few times saying "good shake" during baths, make a full body a prerequisite before letting your puppy out of the bath. You may have to wait a while, but be patient.
Step
3
Give a big reward
Once your puppy shakes, say "good shake" in a happy, excited voice and then let them out of the tub. If you have a treat on you, give that to them as well. Make sure if you give a treat, it is close to the shake so your pup understands what the reward is for.
Step
4
Extend the shake outside of the tub
You want your puppy to shake for other things besides after a bath, so look for other opportunities to reward them for shaking. Make sure to say "good shake" each time you reward the action so your pup starts to connect the word to the reward.
Step
5
Put your new command to good use
After a couple of weeks, your puppy should have a good idea of what the word "shake" means. Try getting them to shake on command. If they don't do it at first, don't get frustrated. As soon as your pup shakes on command, give them an extra special treat for being such a smart cookie!
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

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