Quick & Dirty Dog Training Tips: SHAKE!

When training your dog there are many different “tricks” you can train your dog to. These tricks vary in usefulness, while some of these tricks can save you and your dog trouble such as sit and come, other tricks, such as shake, simply help build obedience and the bond between you and your dog.

Shake is a simple trick to train, but has many steps for you to follow in order to be successful when training your dog. As always it important to remember, patience is key to training your dog successfully. It is always frustrating to train a dog anything, but shake may at times seem even more frustrating as you are relying on the natural instincts of your pet. Here are some tips to help you with training your dog:

  1. The first step to this may sound silly to start, but the key to any kind of training is treats. When training your dog to shake, it is even more important. The key to teaching your dog to shake is being sure that you have a treat that will keep your dog’s attentions, so it is important to note before training your dog which treats your dog gets most excited for.
  2. Now that you have your dog’s treats picked out its time it’s time to train your dog. It’s important to be sure to have your dog sitting in order for them to learn this trick. Take a treat in your left hand, show it to your dog, and then cover it up between your thumb and the palm of your hand. Lower your hand a bit too where it would be comfortable for them to reach out with their paw.
  3. Your dog will sniff at your hand and lick it, but no matter what do not give them the treat. While they are trying to figure things out, don’t say anything or move. Just let them do their thing until they begin to paw at the treat. As soon as they paw the treat praise them and pet them, but still hold on to the treat.
  4. Let them paw your hand about 5 times in a 10 to 15 minute span, and then you can give them the treat. For teaching to shake it is always useful to have plenty of treats nearby or in your pocket. Continue with this until they begin pawing your hand regularly.
  5. Now that they are pawing your hand regularly, take your left hand and hold it open, and hold it their till they give you their paw. As soon as they give you their paw hold it for a few seconds and then treat them.
  6. Now that they know how to shake, you can begin working on the verbal command. Typically when training you do this earlier, but shake is a bit different than other commands. Begin this by saying shake, pausing a second, and then holding out your hand. It may take a moment, but they will give you their paw. Continue doing this over and over and eventually they will begin responding quicker and quicker.

With all tricks, as stated above, it takes time to train a pet, and it is important that you practice patience with them. As your dog begins shaking regularly you can begin working in more distracted environments getting to the point where they can shake on command in a room full of people. You will also be able to start lessening the treats given to them, rewarding them randomly actually will help improve their performance over time, as they will be more eager not knowing whether or not they will receive a treat. Always treat your dog with love and respect, as they are a part of your family.

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