How to teach your dog ‘paw’

Teaching Your Dog ‘Paw’

Teaching your dog ‘paw’ is a fundamental training easier and enjoyable for both you and your pet. Doing this will help build your dog’s bond with you, as well as provide them with a simple and rewarding activity. Below are the steps you can take to show your pup how to do this exciting trick.

1. Set Up for Success

To begin teaching your pup ‘paw’, you must set up yourself and your pup for success. Pick a spot with no distractions and plenty of space. Give them treats they can’t resist, as this will be a major form of reinforcement when they get the trick right. Do your best to focus your pup’s attention on you.

2. Assign a Cue

For any trick you are teaching your pup, it is important to have a cue they recognize to let them know what you want them to do. For the ‘paw’ trick, the best cue could be something like ‘give me your paw.’

3. Practice Physically Raising Your Pup’s Leg

Start this practice by gently holding your pup’s paw and encouraging them with a reward. As your pup gets used to this exercise, increase the pressure slightly to raise their leg. Offer some verbal praise, but no treats for this step.

4. Use Treats as Reinforcement

Once your dog is able to raise their paw with the cue, it’s time to start reinforcing the behaviors with a treat. Give them a reward each time they do the trick correctly. Increase the amount of time they stay with their paw up in order to strengthen their understanding of the trick.

5. Try New Variations

Once you and your pup have gotten the basics of the paw trick down, you can start introducing different variations. See what your pup is most interested in and give them more challenges. For example, you can ask them to shake their paw or to high-five you.

No matter what variation of the trick you end up teaching your pup, it’s important to go at your pup’s own pace and offer lots of rewards and praise. With the right training, your pup can go from novice to paw-shaking champs in no time.

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