How To Teach a Dog To Give Paw – Everything You Need To Know

Puppies and dogs learn very easily and quickly how to give paw. You can either teach the dog to give a  paw when asked or whenever the dog greets a new person. Keep the training session short and fun with treats. Please do not force the dog to learn when they don’t want to or when they are sick.

How Long Does It Take To Teach a Dog To Give Paw?

Dogs can learn in a day or two to give paws, but repeated training is needed. Like children forgetting the skills they learned in childhood without practice, puppies will also forget when they grow up, so it is vital to repeat any training.

Equipment Needed To Teach A Dog To Give Paw

Step By Step Guide To Teach a Dog To Give Paw

Teaching your dog to give paw can be broken down into 2 parts. Part 1 is to teach the dog to give it’s paw; Part 2 is to increase the duration for the paw to be in your hand, to add distractions and to remove the treats from the process at which point your dog has mastered the trick.

Part 1: Method 1

Step 1: Hold your dog in the sit position and give treats.

Step 2: Tap gently below the dew claw at the back of its paw.

Step 3: Once your dog reacts to the tap, gently pickup the paw.

Step 4: Use a clicker or verbal cue like ‘give me your paw’ or ‘shake’ to mark the position.

Step 5: Reward the dog with treats and repeat the training till the dog masters it.

Part 1: Method 2

Step 1: Hold the dog in the sitting position and give treats.

Step 2: Put out your palm to the level of your dog’s chest.

Step 3: Your dog will sniff and lick the hand but eventually put its paw out of curiosity.

Step 4: Even if your dog’s paw does not touch your palm, reward it with treats once the dog raises its paw.

Step 5: Till then, you can repeat the verbal cue like ‘Give me your paw’ or ‘Shake’ or you can mark the position with a clicker or verbal cue when the dog puts its paw on your palm.

Step 6: Repeat the training many times until the dog could give its paw without sniffing or licking once you put out your palm.

Part 1: Method 3

Step 1: Hold your dog in the sit position by giving treats and stand in front of the dog.

Step 2: Take the treat in your hand and move it towards the dog with your fist closed.

Step 3: Once the dog starts to react to the smell of the treat, move your hand under his nose. Repeat the verbal cue ‘Shake’ or ‘Give me your paw’.

Step 4: Let the dog try to open your hand with its paw and dig at it. When its paw reaches your hand, mark it with a clicker and give the dog treats.

Step 5: Practice repeatedly until the dog understands the cue and try it with the other paw.

Part 2

Once the dog learns to place the paw when you give your hand using any of the three methods for part 1, do the following:

Step 1: Gradually increase the time of your dog’s paw on your hand and reward the dog.

Step 2: Now introduce movements by slowly moving the paw up and down. Make sure your dog is sitting comfortably while doing this.

Step 3: Train your dog with each paw and provide treats on successful completion.

Step 4: After the dog masters give paw and shake with each paw, improvise the training by adding distractions and other environments.

Step 5: Practice repeatedly even after the dog masters the training.


  • The success of the training lies in waiting for the dog to touch your hand before introducing the verbal cue.
  • This training will be helpful to trim or clean dog paws.
  • Maintain the same verbal cue. If two people use two different cues, it will confuse the dog, and it may not respond to any cue.

What To Do If General Tips Don’t Work?

If your dog is uncomfortable giving a paw or is in pain while doing so, something might be lodged in the paw, or it could be because of health issues. Do not force the dog and consult a vet to check for the possible problems.

If your dog isn’t paying attention or is distracted, give it some rest and start the training after a while freshly when the dog is eager to learn.

Leave a Comment