How to Teach My Dog to Give me Their Paw

By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. June 14, 2017
How to Teach My Dog to Give me Their Paw

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Who doesn't want their dog to learn tricks? Surely no one raised their hand?! Just as I assumed...seeing your puppy spinning, lying down or playing dead is very entertaining. But best of all, you are not only encouraging their intelligence, you are reinforcing their training and strengthening your relationship with one another.

One of the most popular dog commands is the paw trick. Are you unsure where to begin training this? You've come to the right place.

In this new AnimalWised article we will explain step by step how to teach your dog to give you their paw. Keep reading to find out how!

You may also be interested in: How to Train Your Cat to Give their Paw

Tricks to teach a dog

All puppies (including adult dogs) have the ability to learn. You can be sure about that. It is true that some dogs learn faster than others, but with perseverance and love your pet will undoubtedly learn.

The first thing you have to be clear on is that you must be patient. Don't despair if your dog doesn't learn within the first few sessions. If you get frustrated, your pet will notice and get overwhelmed. Learning should be fun for both of you:

  • Short training sessions: Find a relaxing and silent area and avoid all possible distractions. The dog training session should last between 5 and 10 minutes, and never more than 15 minutes. Your dog will only get overwhelmed. Of course, you can practice two to three times a day playing games, walking and eating between sessions.
  • A good training consists of positive reinforcement, repetition and affection. Do not yell or scold your dog if they haven't learnt a trick yet as this will demotivate them.
How to Teach My Dog to Give me Their Paw - Tricks to teach a dog

Your dog must know how to sit

Does your pet still not know how to sit? You cannot ride a cart without a horse! First teach your dog to sit, then you can and continue with the paw trick.

How to Teach My Dog to Give me Their Paw - Your dog must know how to sit

Be armed with dog treats

You will already know that there are a variety of treats available in shops, but be careful not to overfeed your dog. It is always important to avoid obesity. Always look for treats that can be split into smaller pieces.

If you like cooking, you also have the option of making your dog some delicious cookies. Yum!

How to Teach My Dog to Give me Their Paw - Be armed with dog treats

Choose the appropriate word and gesture

All commands must be linked to a word. Ideally, it should be one. In this case, the most logical would be 'paw'. You should also take care and always use the same hand. Otherwise they may get confused. Then, after teaching them to give you their paw, you can start with the other hand.

Remember you can use other words - be creative! As long as it is simple for your pet.

How to teach my dog to give me their paw

Method 1

  1. Tell your dog to sit and take their paw at the same time you say the command word. Always use a pleasant tone of voice.
  2. Right after, give your dog a treat.
  3. At first your pet will look at you with a face of confusion. I am sure you know which expression I am referring to. This doesn't matter, it's completely normal.
  4. Repeat the exercise using the same method so that they remember.
  5. Don't overdo it during training sessions, they should be short.

Method 2

  1. Grab a treat and let your dog smell it.
  2. Then with a snack inside it, put your hand near the side of your dog's nose.
  3. Normally, your puppy will try to open up your hand with its paw.
  4. Just when your dog attempts it, open your hand and let your dog eat the treat.
  5. Not all dogs will act in the same way although it is preferable to use it to encourage your dog's intelligence and self-learning.

For both methods always remember to give your pet praise every time it performs the action.

How to Teach My Dog to Give me Their Paw - How to teach my dog to give me their paw

Stop giving treats

Once they have correctly repeated the command a few times, stop giving them treats (or at least try not base the whole process of training on them). Praise them with hugs and affection, they are also valid and your dog will love them!

The next step now will be to see if your pet obey the command without having to reinforce the behaviour. However, from time to time it is always good to reinforce learning, which is why we recommend devoting time each day (or every few days) to practicing tricks your dog has already learnt.

If you have taught them to give you their right paw, you can still teach them to give you their left one. In this case, people who use longer words. For example, 'How are you doing', or 'High five'.

Training your pet should be a fun process for all - best of luck!

How to Teach My Dog to Give me Their Paw - Stop giving treats

If you want to read similar articles to How to Teach My Dog to Give me Their Paw, we recommend you visit our Basic education category.

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