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Teaching your dog the paw command is a fun trick to add to your dog’s skill set.
Even though it’s quite simple, it’s a real crowd pleaser and teaching your dog tricks is a great way to strengthen the bond between you and your dog.
What is the “paw” command?
The “paw” command is teaching your dog to give you its paw in your hand like a handshake.
There are many different names for this command, such as “shake”, “paw”, “give paw” etc. Whichever name you pick, make sure to be consistent to it.
Unlike some other commands, this one is more for fun and your dog should be able to learn it in no time.
If you want your dog to be popular with visitors and offer its paw anytime it meets someone, read on to find out how to teach the paw command to them.
Steps to teaching the “paw” command
Step 1: Preparation
Get a handful of treats and go to a distraction-free area with your dog. It’s essential for your dog to sit while learning the paw command, so make sure you’ve already taught them the “sit” command.
Step 2: Offer the treats
Take a treat and hold it in front of your dog with the treat enclosed in your hand, just a little above their paws.
Your dog will try to get the treat with its mouth, and when they realize they can’t, they will eventually stretch out their paw to you.
An important thing to remember is not to grab their paw too hard since your dog is getting used to you holding their paw. Be gentle.
Step 3: Praise and repeat
As soon as your dog gives you its paw, open your hand and give them the treat while praising them.
Repeat this until your dog consistently gives you its paw.
Step 4: Introduce the command
When you’re pretty confident that your dog will give you its paw, it’s time to introduce the word for the command.
For the first couple of times say the command at the exact moment when they give you their paw.
After that, say the command while offering your hand and wait for your dog to give you its paw. Give them the treat only after they completed the desired behavior.
Try to avoid saying the command repeatedly.
Instead, say it only once, and wait for your dog to think it through. More often than not, they will offer their paw just after a couple of seconds.
Step 5: Switch hands and phase out the treats (optional)
If you want to get fancy you can try this command using either hand to request your dog’s paw.
Hold a treat in the opposite hand from the steps above and ask for your dog’s paw. Repeat this step until they make no mistake.
After a while, give treats less frequently and slowly eliminate the treat completely. Of course, you can still give your dog an occasional treat to reinforce the behavior.
Overall, this is a really fun command which can be easily taught to any dog. Just remember to keep the training sessions short and enjoyable for both you and your dog.
Here is a video that demonstrates teaching the command:
Are there any other cool tricks you would like to learn how to teach your dog? Let me know in the comments.