How To Teach Your Dog Tricks – Teach Your Dog To Sit And Shake

One of the most amusing and enjoyable things that one can do with their dogs is teach them tricks. Learning how to teach your dog tricks is more than just fun though, and helps the dog’s obedience and understanding of the fact that you are the boss. While some tricks and commands are almost necessary, such as teaching the dog how to come, sit and stop, some others are just amusing. These include ‘shake’, lie down, fetch (anything), and beg. In this article we will go over how to teach your dog to sit and shake. The reason for choosing these two tricks is simple – sitting is natural to the dog, while shaking isn’t. The two different principles of teaching a dog tricks that are applied here can then be used to train the dog to obey and perform just about any trick out there.

How To Teach Your Dog To Sit:
This is one of the first tricks you should teach your dog, since this forms the base for many other tricks, and it also key to developing obedience in the dog right from the start. Teaching a dog how to sit is very easy if you exercise patience and use plenty of treats. The idea is to make the conditions such that the dog sits down itself, without you forcing it to. It is best to teach this to a puppy instead of a full grown dog.
Place your hand on the back of the dog, and slightly weigh down. Make sure that you don’t push the dog down, but place enough force that the dog will want to sit within a few seconds. Say “Sit” in a commanding tone, and repeat till the dog sits down due to the weight of your hand on it’s back. As soon as it does, give it a treat and praise the dog.
Now, repeat this exercise immediately. The dog will begin making a connection between it’s sitting down, and getting a treat. Make sure that you don’t criticize the dog when it doesn’t sit, but only give it a treat when it does. Stop after doing this three times back to back.
Repeat the process multiple times every day, and your dog should be able to sit on command within a couple of weeks if not much sooner. Once the dog start sitting on command, continue giving him treats every time the dog sits down. Once the dog has mastered sitting, go on to another trick that the dog gets treats for instead of just sitting. This is a good time to introduce another easy trick like ‘Shake’.

How To Teach Your Dog To Shake:

Essentially, the same technique applies here, except that the dog won’t naturally shake, so you have to make sure that the dog understands what ‘Shake’ means. Take the dog’s left paw (or foreleg if it’s a small puppy) in your hand. Hold it lightly, then shake it and say ‘Shake’. Put the dog’s paw back down. Life the paw again, and repeat the whole process. Don’t give the dog a treat yet. You need to make sure that the dog understands and associates the word ‘shake’ with the act of lifting its paw for a shake. After repeating this several times, start using the treats.
Say ‘Shake’ and lift the dog’s paw, then repeat ‘Shake’, and as you give the dog a treat, start praising him. Make sure that you’re still holding the dog’s paw when you give him the treat, as this will ensure that the dog associates the treat with the raising of paw, and placing it in your hand.
Now repeat the whole exercise several times a day with the treats, and the dog will start doing it on command in no time. Generally, a puppy that knows how to sit will pick up on how to shake even faster.
As with sitting, continue giving the dog treats for a few more days, until the dog has mastered it. Most dogs will start enjoying the attention and will start shaking readily, even without a treat very quickly.

As long as you patiently continue praising the dog with every trick and keep repeating the tricks, just about every dog will learn to obey you. The sooner you start, the better. As long as a puppy is over 12 weeks old, you can start training. However, do make sure that you don’t try to train a puppy how to sit-up (or beg) until it is about 8 months old.

The same principles as above apply to any other trick – plenty of treats, and repetition will help a dog master just about every trick. So go on ahead, and have some fun with your beloved pet now!

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One comment

  1. Excellent article. We used the same method to teach our dog to sit, stay, come, etc. As far as teaching him how to shake, we’d have him sit, then I’d get down in a squatting position in front of him (and say ‘shake’)then press gently on one of this front paws – which caused him to lift that leg. As he did so, I’d grasp his paw and say ‘shake’ again then release it, wherein he’d put his leg back in the original position. Then I would give him a scratch and some praise. I’d repeated the same process for perhaps 4-5 times. Then, when I said shake and made the motion towards his paw, he’d lift his leg. After several repeats, praising and so forth, he got it.

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