How to Teach a Dog to High-Five? Everything You Need to Know

Teaching a dog to give high-five can be fun! It is one of the easiest tricks to teach your dog. This can strengthen your relationship with the dog. Grab high-value treats to encourage your dog to internalize the command quicker.

How Long Will It Take to Teach a Dog to high-five? 

Learning span will vary depending upon how fast the dog is acquiring the concept. Most dogs will readily master the skill, whereas a few might take time. Your consistency and generosity will help your dog to grasp the idea quickly.  

Tools Needed to Teach a Dog to high-five 

Tools you need to teach your dog to high five are:

High Value Treats
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Steps to Teach a Dog to high-five 

Here, we have outlined a few brief steps to teach your dog to high-five: 

Step 1: Get Ready for Training 

  • Locate a Distraction-free Place to Train
    • You’ll have to select a place free from distraction and then train your dog. This will help your dog to focus and learn to high-five fast.
  • Give High-Value Treats
    • Reward your dog with high-value treats until they master the command. Treats must be nutritious so that it doesn’t hamper your dog’s overall health.  
    • Consider rewarding your dog with Strawberries, bananas, and apples excluding their seeds; carrots, and cooked sweet potatoes are also in the list.  
  • Be Careful While Training
    • Reward your dog when your dog performs the desired action. Do not reward your dog after or before the task is done. This would mistakenly encourage bad behavior.

Step 2: Teach Your Dog to Sit 

  • Start Training Your Dog
    • Your dog must first learn to sit before you can teach them to high-five. You can skip this step if your dog already knows how to sit and go straight to teaching them how to high-five.
  • Begin Hiding Treats
    • You should start hiding the treat from your dog after he learns to sit on command. Guide your dog into a sitting position throughout this phase of training without a treat in your hand.
    • Reward after your dog performs the task, but keep it hidden until the task is done.
  • Remove Hand Signals
    • You will have to eliminate the hand signals after your dog has learned to sit with your hand guiding it into place. Add a verbal cue ‘sit’ instead of hand gestures.

Step 3: Teach Your Dog to High-Five 

  • Keep a Treat Ready
    • Command your dog to sit. 
    • After he sits, sit on the opposite side, facing him.
    • Make a closed fist with one of your dog’s favorite goodies. Remember, your fist should be in a vertical position.
    • Allow your dog to become aware of the reward you are carrying by presenting the hand with the treat to it. 
    • Wait patiently until your dog paws at your hand.
  • Introduce the High-Five Command
    • Introduce the High-five command when he attempts to paw at your hand for the treat. 
    • Instead of offering a closed fist with the goodie inside, give a high-five with your hand. 
    • Reward, when he touches your palm. 
    • Repeat this with high-value treats.
  • Introduce Verbal Command “High-Five”
    • Keep the procedure the same.
    • When he touches your palm, say ‘High-Five” in a happy tone, loud and clear. 
    • Then treat him lavishly. 
    • Repeat this procedure. 
    • Your verbal command and touching your palm will help your dog understand that he will get a treat if he touches your palm while sitting. 
  • Repeat the entire procedure with the other hand.
  • Remove Treats
    • By now, your dog has acquired the command. Hence, it is time to eliminate the treats gradually.
    • Instead of treats, reward him with lots of love and generosity. 
  • Train High-Five with Open Hand
    • After eliminating the rewards, repeat the entire process with an open palm.
    • Reward only when the desired task is done and acquired by your dog.  

Pro tips:  

  • Be patient while training. 
  • Never force your dog for training.  
  • Consider training with other people with the help of a leash if you want him to high-five others. 
  • Never train for more than 15 minutes. 
  • Exercise your dog before training to gather concentration.  

Final Thoughts

Training your dog to high-five can be fun. After your dog has mastered the command, use it every time when he completes his desired tasks. Then, reward him with a high-five as positive reinforcement. You and your dog will have a gala time after mastering this fun trick!

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