How to teach your dog to give the paw

Posted on November 15 2018

How to teach your dog to give the paw

You want to teach your dog to give the paw? Exercise is not complicated, but some dogs do it more naturally than others. As with all learning, patience, repetition and good humor end up giving results.

Dogs like to learn new things. The exercises stimulate them on the physical as well as the psychological and emotional levels. Although it may seem useless, even "idiotic" in the eyes of some, that of giving the leg is just as playful and informative for the animal. How to teach him how to do it? Here are some tips to help you.


Give the paw, what for?

Teaching your dog to give the paw is fun first . For his master as for all his family, this kind of handshake adapted to the dog constitutes at the same time a moment of complicity and play . Once the gesture is well learned, the animal takes pleasure in performing it, but it should not be abused so that he does not get tired. This is also valid for any type of exercise to teach his canine companion.

Nevertheless, pawing is not just a playful gesture. It can also be very useful on various occasions, such as when you have to cut your claws or treat a small paw wound. The dog gets used to the fact that his paw is held and handled, which greatly facilitates things for the veterinarian too.

1st step: make it sit down

The perfect integration of the seated order is a necessary precondition before learning the "gives the paw", as for various other exercises elsewhere.

It is while sitting that the dog will be able to rest on his 3 other legs to give the 4th. It is also this position that makes him more willing to pay attention to your orders.

If he has learned the sitting order, ask him to sit down.

Step 2: Present him a treat

Once your dog sits, hold a treat in your closed hand . Present it under his nose and let him smellthe food there.

In most cases, the dogs help themselves with their paws to reach the hand containing the treat and try to open it . If yours does not, there is no need to discourage you. Wait and you will see that he will eventually let his instinct speak.

Step 3: congratulate him as soon as he raises his leg

If he always raises the leg to try to grab the treat in your hand, you have already taken a very big step. Otherwise, wait for him to sketch the slightest movement in this direction and congratulate him as soon as he does. Give him the treat and pamper him.

Repeat until he raises his paw higher and then touches your hand . Praise him even more warmly when he succeeds.

In any case, give him the treat when he displays the desired behavior .

Then, while he puts his paw on your hand, join the oral order : "the paw", "paw" or "gives the paw" ... It is up to you to choose the expression to adopt, which will have to remain the same all his life .

Some dogs, especially the smaller ones, sometimes tend to give both legs instead of just one. In this case, push back the other leg and reward him only if he has only given one .

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