How To Teach Your Dog “Paw”

dog giving paw
Photo by Fabian Gieske on Unsplash

Teaching your dog to give paw is a great way to strengthen your bond and lay the groundwork for more advanced tricks. With a little patience and by following these steps, your furry friend will be a pro at shaking hands in no time! Let’s jump in.

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Start by showing your dog what you expect. Hold a treat in a closed fist in front of them, letting them sniff and nudge your hand. Resist the urge to open your fist just yet.

Your dog will likely try various tactics to get the treat, including pawing at your hand. As soon as they lift their paw, even slightly, it’s time for a reward!  Say “paw” clearly and open your hand to deliver the delicious treat. This positive reinforcement helps your dog associate the action of pawing with the reward.

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If your dog seems a bit confused and isn’t offering their paw, don’t worry!  A little gentle guidance can nudge them in the right direction. The moment their paw makes contact with yours, praise them with a “paw” and a yummy reward.

The final step is to fade out the lures. Gradually remove the treat from your closed fist. Focus solely on the hand signal and verbal cue, rewarding every successful “paw” with a treat.

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