How To Train Your Dog To Shake Hands...Err Paws

3:07 PM

How to Train Your Dog to Shake Hands

How To Train Your Dog To Shake Hands

I had two dogs and both were well-trained. As part of their training, they were taught to sit and shake hands.
Because our adopted German Shepherd was a former police dog, training him to follow the sit and stay command was easy.

His trainer was the only human he would listen to. The learning curve for us wasn’t too long, but it was doable. 

His name was Fritz and the techniques we were taught to train him mirrored what he learned while in training. 

The very first step was establishing trust with the whole family.

Without that trust, training could be quite impossible. 

Dogs are generally repetition and food-based creatures, so consistency is essential.

The challenge 

Unlike Fritz, Knight, my Gordon Setter, was a little more difficult to train because we adopted him when he was a puppy.

Like most puppies, he wasn't disciplined yet. 

We signed him up for an obedience course. After some time, he learned to listen to verbal commands.

He seemed to think he was a lap dog. 

When he was fully grown, he developed the habit of greeting me at the door by putting his front paws on my shoulders and standing on his hind legs. All seventy pounds of him!

How to Train Your Dog to Shake Hands in 3 Easy Steps

1. Take the time

I took the time to teach him to sit, stay and put out his paw for a handshake instead.

2.  Use verbal cues and treats

What we did differently with Knight was to use food treats at first and combine the command with verbal cues.

We say “Knight, sit…stay, shake hands” followed by treats. 

3. Be patient

Eventually, Knight associated us coming into the house with sitting, staying, and shaking hands without the need for a food treat.

Dogs shake hands trick

This training will be more or less difficult based on several factors including age, health, and breed. 

Some breeds are simply more difficult to train than others. 

I have found that the easiest breed to train, between the two, was my German Shepherd. 

Knight was a bit of a show-off and he wanted to show us how independent he was. 

Fritz was more about protecting the family especially the children. Listening to verbal commands was a lot easier for him.

Do you train your dog to shake hands? What other tricks does your dog know? 

Submitted by a guest blogger.

Wait! I've got more stories for you...


Trouble posting your comment in the box below? Please comment here instead.

  1. This is really amazing! Hope you can have a read at my new blog post.


  2. Dear Lux, really cute tips:)
    Baci, Valeria - Coco et La vie en rose FASHION & BEAUTY

  3. Interesting post :) I do not have dogs and training rabbits is not that easy :D

  4. Wonderful post!
    Have a nice week!
    Gil Zetbase

  5. great suggests, love this article my dear
    new review on my blog perfect manicure in 6 steps
    have an happy day, kisses

  6. Interesting post my dear, thank you for sharing :-)

  7. I don't have a dog yet but great tips. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Interesting. I am still trying to train my other half-half on keeping the house clean. Challenging as well.