Training method for teaching a dog to shake hands

(1) Make sure the dog is urging for food and a little hungry, and have his favorite treat on hand as a reward for taking part in this unique learning activity.

(2) Choose a suitable setting, like a room with minimal noise, and give the dog a small amount of food to get him in the right frame of mind and whet his appetite for learning. Before training, a few snacks will boost his motivation.

(3) When the dog has finished eating and is seated in a fixed position, begin moving toward or touching his front leg to direct his paw to shake hands. He will probably raise his leg, which is the first step in the handshake gesture. Reward him right away after he completes the task. While saying "shake hands," move toward his front leg. If the dog lifts his leg, you can shake then release it then give him another treat. After he settles into a fixed position, repeat the lesson again. Give the dog a handshake and verbal praise like “ Good dog” if he waits patiently during training with his paw raised.

(4) Only use the "shake hands" command after the dog clearly understands that you are no longer touching or approaching him with your hand. If he raises the paw, shake and reward him with a small treat. If he doesn't, issue the command couple of times. While you are shouting, make a tender gesture to guide him if his paw is still down.  After some encouragement and not for long, he should be able to form the basic action of shaking hands.