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Teach Your Dog to Shake

Teaching your dog some simple tricks is fun and entertaining for both you and your pooch. The success you’ll have training your dog depends on rewarding correct behavior. Different dogs like different rewards – some like food, some like praise and some will do just about anything for a little one-on-one playtime with you. Find the reward that best motivates your dog to learn and make sure you work with your dog for 5-15 minutes each day, ending each session with a reward.

Shake a paw

Teaching your dog to “shake” is easy – most dogs learn this one really fast. Make sure you have a food treat ready before you start the lesson. Then, follow these steps:

  1. Give the command to “sit.” Reward your dog by praising it verbally, but hang on to the treat for now.
  2. When you dog has held the sit positions for a few seconds, give the command to “shake” by saying “shake.” It’s best to stick with one-word commands, so say “shake” instead of “shake a paw” or “give me your paw.”
  3. As you gave the “shake” command, gently pick up one of your dog’s front legs near its elbow and slide your hand toward what what be its wrist. Hold the “wrist” lightly and give it a little shake. Don’t let your dog move from the sit position.
  4. Reward your dog with a treat.
  5. Practice this over and over until your dog lifts a paw on its own. Every time your dog gets it right, reward your dog with a treat.

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