Training your dog to shake can be a bit challenging at first, but performing this little trick can be a rewarding experience for you and your dog. When training your dog any new lesson, keep in mind that the more you make a fun game out of it the more your dog will want to participate. Follow these steps below, always use positive reinforcement, and you and your dog will be playing the ‘shake’ game for many years to come.
Begin this lesson by associating the word ‘shake’ with the action in your dog’s mind. Pick a time when you have your dog’s attention, and when your dog is in a calm mood.
Very gently pick your dog’s paw up, say the word ‘shake’ in a firm positive voice, and then gently place the dog’s paw in your hand. After you perform this action praise and pet your dog. No doubt in the beginning your dog will initially be confused by this action, but perform the action over and over again anyway and always follow up with praise.
Once your dog seems to understand the association it is time to advance the lesson. Hold a favorite treat or toy up in one hand, hold your other hand out, and say the word ‘shake.’ At first your dog may still not be able to understand what you want; gently pick the dog’s paw up again, perform the action, praise the dog and then give the dog the treat.
Overtime your dog will begin to associate ‘shake’ with the action, and a treat and praise. Consistently follow through with these steps at least 3 times a day, every day. Once your dog is able to place a paw in your hand numerous times when you say ‘shake’, stop using the treat and just stick to enthusiastic praise and petting as the reward.
Consistently perform the ‘shake’ routine at least once a day when your dog has learned it to continually reinforce the association.