The Super Easy Guide on How to Teach Your Dog to Shake Hands in 6 Steps

How to Teach Your Dog to Shake Hands

Some dog tricks are classic. They’re the kind of tricks that any dog, no matter how crazy, can still seem to learn. Here at Good Doggies, we’re all about having fun with our sometimes less than perfect mannered pups. So today we are going to show you how to teach your dog to shake hands in 6 easy steps.

Not only will you thrill your friends and family with your dogs brilliance (ok, maybe not), you will get to spend some fun time with your dog teaching him this trick. Time spent doing this kind of stuff with your dog gives you both a chance to bond.

Before you get started, your dog must first know the basics of sitting before you can train them to shake hands. Check out this post on how teach your dog to sit if you need help. Once you have that down, it’s time to get the hand, er paw shaking.

1. Teach your dog to sit down.

The basic command that your dog must learn first is to sit down. It is the only way they can shake hands. When your dog knows how to sit, then you can continue to the next step.

train dog to shake hands

2. Get some delicious treats for your dog.

Teaching your dog can be a bit of a challenge and to lure them to follow you, you must prepare a nice treat for them as a reward. Bite-sized treats are enough for training without giving them extra calories. Consider what treats your dog like, soft or hard treats.

dog shake hands

3. Show (and smell) the treat to your dog.

Don’t give the treat to your dog yet. Just simply keep the treat in your hand and bring them in front of your dog’s nose and showing it. Once you have his attention, you can focus on teaching them the trick.

how to teach your dog to shake

4. Use the command “shake hands”.

Say this command while holding the treat in your fist and showing it to your dog. Grab their paw and put it in your hands repeatedly. That way, it will be easier for them to remember the trick.

soldier shaking dog's paw

5. Say “yes” when they begin to follow the trick.

When your dog realizes that you have a treat, they will try to get it from you and it will be easier for you to teach them. If they show behavior that satisfies you, say “yes” in a very enthusiastic and excited way.

6. Reward the dog for shaking.

Once your dog already learns how to lift their paw on your command then go to the next level. Begin rewarding the dog when they do something closer to shaking hands. Continue with the training until the dog is offering their paw.

Hints and Tips

  • Practice your dog for 5 to 10 minutes a day. Avoid going beyond it as it can get you and your dog tired and frustrated.
  • Tomorrow is another day. There is always a room for improvement. Do not get easily frustrated when your dog takes some time learning the trick. Always end your practice on a positive note and acknowledge your dog’s effort.
  • If your dog is a bit stubborn then be patient.
  • Ignore any other attempts that your dog makes, try to refocus them on what you are teaching them.
  • When they show improvements then begin to treat them so they will know that every right move you will feed them.
  • Lift their paw and say “shake hands” and practice it for few times.
  • You can try to make your own treats. Try cooking a small portion of meats, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Do not overfeed your dog, keep them small as possible.
  • Don’t feed them with treats that will take long to chew as it will take most of your training time and you will end up watching them eat.


There you have it. Stick with the plan and your dog will be shaking hands like a politician at a 4th of July parade. Plus you’ll get to have some fun with your dog along the way. Does your dog shake paws? Drop us a comment and tell us all about it.

Want access to hundreds of dog training videos from a pro? Check out Doggy Dan’s website

How to Train Your Dog to Shake Hands

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