“Shake” and “paw” are pretty cool tricks, but your dog is capable of so much more!
Wanna supercharge your dog’s paw or shake skills? Teach your dog how to use his paw to touch different things.
Here are some of the cool things paw targeting can get you:
- Ring a wireless doorbell to go outside (or come inside)
- Turn on a push-light
- Play a kid’s toy piano
- Give you a high-five (or high-ten!)
- Knock a cup over to reveal hidden treats
- The sky’s the limit!
Now, doesn’t “shake” seem kind of boring?!
What you’ll need:
- large indestructible target (large margarine lid, plant “coaster”, 8.5″ x 11″ piece of paper, etc.”
Here’s how to teach your dog to use his foot:
- Gather your dog and the supplies above.
- Place the target on the floor and wait for your dog to walk on it with his paw.
- If your dog is sitting or lying down, toss a treat to get him up and moving first. (It’s hard to put his foot on a target if he’s still.)
- Click the instant your dog’s paw touches the target, and toss the treat a little bit away so the dog moves off the target.
- Continue to silently wait for one of your dog’s paws to touch the target, clicking and treating each time.
- Once it’s clear that your dog understands that touching his foot to the target means he gets a click and treat, start adding the cue just before the dog touches the target with his paw. Click and treat every correct response.
- After 10 – 15 repetitions, begin to say the cue about one second before the dog touches the target with his paw, clicking and treating correct responses.
- Continue to gradually move the cue earlier, clicking every correct response.
- Then, begin to remove the target and ask for a different behavior (like sit, for instance). You’re helping the dog pay attention to your cues.