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Dog Tricks, Shake, High Five, Wave Hi and Bye
I am not the type of person who comes to most peoples minds when they think dog trainer. Teaching tricks is my favorite part of the job! I have learned through experience that tricks build a dogs self esteem and confidence. Their faces and eyes light up and they want to do it again and again like little children! Speaking of “like little children” I think in my humble opinion it is silly not to compare a puppy to a child. There are so many obvious similarities. An adult dog compares more to an adult person regardless of the size. I might get into that some other time in a different article.
If your dog already knows how to shake it should not take you long at all to teach High Five, Hi and Bye. Depending upon how far you want to be from your dog when you want them to wave. If your dog doesn’t know shake I suggest you teach them shake and practice that for a while and maybe teach High Five, Hi and Bye the next days.
Teach your dog how to Shake
Have your dog or puppy sit facing you, gently tap behind their wrist with your finger. You may have to play with this a little at first to get them to lift their paw. As they lift their paw take it in your hand for a second and release get happy and give lots of praise and a treat. Repeat a couple of times. If you are having trouble getting your dog to lift its paw get a treat and holding it next to their head draw it away to the side trying getting them to follow the treat with their nose until they are leaning to the side and one of their paws is off the ground. As soon as the paw comes up take it in your hand for a second and release then give lots of praise and repeat.
After you have done this by tapping their wrist a few times offer your hand and look expectantly at your dog maybe look at your dog’s eyes then your hand and back. Each time you repeat this wait a little longer before tapping their paw. This makes them have to think about what’s going on, what you want and how to get the treat. If your dog isn’t getting it do the wrist tapping again, tap their wrist lightly and quickly and then offer your hand instead of lifting their paw. If your dog lifts its foot, even if it doesn’t make contact with your hand, make a big deal out of that! If not don’t give up try again this time tap lightly then lifting the paw, you don’t want them to get discouraged.
If your dog is sensitive about letting you handle its feet start by touching its foot and giving it a treat if it doesn’t react badly. Touch the paw if your dog remains calm give them a reward and repeat until your dog is moving in the right direction (letting you touch its foot slightly more that you had previously been able to or at least acting less worried about it). When your dog is more at ease with you handling its paws stop training and take a break. Always stop training when your dog has a success with something like this if you don’t your dog wont learn this trick as quickly. It is human nature to keep going when your dog gets some trick you are trying to teach them but don’t if you do not stop on successes your dog will get tired of training and may not be as enthusiastic about learning as they would otherwise. After your break do it again and again when your dog is more comfortable with you handling its paw stop training and maybe this time wait until the next day to play some more.
Teach Your Dog to High Five
If your dog has shake down pat offer your hand and shake with your dog a few times give praise and or treat shake again then casually offer your hand in a high 5 position and your dog will probably do it. High 5 is so easy to teach. Yes, seriously it’s that easy! Shake, Shake, Shake, and then rotate your arm and put your hand in a high 5 position and say High 5 at the same time.
How to Teach Your Dog to Wave Hi and Bye!
Some folks say wave but I say Hi and Bye with my dogs you can come up with whatever command you want to give. Hi and Bye are simple and easy to teach as well. Surprisingly not many people know about this adorable trick. Give your dog High 5 a treat and praise then give your command Hi and slightly wave your hand in the same place in space where you usually put it for High 5! When your dog goes to hit your hand move your hand and give lots of happy praise. Most dogs look confused at this point because they didn’t make contact like they normally do yet they got praise. Repeat that a couple of times and then back up a little (1 foot or so) having your dog stay in the same place. When you wave this time have your hand further from your dog and wave. You will gradually increase your distance from your dog making sure you stop on a good note every time you practice. After a little practice your dog or puppy will be waving at you across the room!
How to stop your dogs from pawing you
Some people have a hard time with their dogs pawing them after they have taught their dog to shake. To prevent this your dog from pawing you; if your dog wants to shake and you did not ask for them to shake ignore your dog. Shaking or pawing for attention can get very annoying so be aware. All too often we are caught up doing something like watching TV, using the computer or reading and our dog gets lonely walks over and paws us. Without thinking we drop a hand on their head and pet them before we have thought about it that encourages them to paw at you for attention so be aware! If your dog paws you for attention ignore your dog until they have stopped pawing you, if you pet them it reinforces pawing as a good method of getting your attention.
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