Aside from being able to proudly answer “yes” to questions such as “So cute! Can he/she give me a hand shake?”, this trick can also come in handy when wiping your furry friend’s paws after a long walk.
Say the command, “hand shake,” gently grasp the dog’s paw and lift it, then praise and reward. Repeat this a few times. Then say the command again and wait and see if she can lift her legs on her own. Reach out with your hand and touch her paws to give a hint. Even if she moves her legs just a little bit, praise her. Gradually increase your expectations.
Make sure that it is not uncomfortable for your dog to grab and lift her leg. If necessary, build this up step by step, and reward even if she lets you touch her legs.
👉 You may want to use a clicker for the task so that you can capture the moment you need to confirm as quickly and accurately as possible – i.e., the lifting of the leg.
👉 Be patient. Give her time to think, but if she doesn’t really understand the task yet, repeat the first step a few times, i.e. raise her leg gently.
👉 If she’s already doing well with one leg, practice with the other. If you ask for the high five with your right hand, ask her for her left leg, if you ask with your left hand, ask for the right paw opposite your hand.
👉 If the task is already going well with both feet, raise it to a professional level, ask to put their paw on your feet, knees, or just give another family member a hand shake.