How to Teach a Dog Paw?

How to Teach a Dog Paw

Here’s a breakdown of how to teach your dog the “paw” command, plus key takeaways:

Before You Start

  • Teach “Sit” First: This ensures a calm, focused starting position.
  • Choose the Right Treats: Use high-value treats that your dog loves.

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Treat in Hand: Hold a treat in your fist, close to your dog’s nose.
  2. Wait and Encourage: Wait for your dog to naturally paw at your hand to get the treat. You can gently tap their paw to encourage the behavior.
  3. Reward and Praise: The moment your dog lifts their paw, say your chosen command like “paw” or “shake”, then immediately give the treat and lots of praise.
  4. Repeat and Add Command: Do this consistently until your dog starts associating the action with the word.
  5. Increase Difficulty: Gradually practice in different locations and with an empty hand (rewarding from your other hand).

Tips for Stubborn Dogs

  • Be extra patient and enthusiastic.
  • Use even higher-value treats.
  • Break down the training into smaller steps.

Key Takeaways

  • Consistency: Short, regular practice sessions are key.
  • Positive Reinforcement: Focus on rewards and praise, never punishment.
  • Timing is Everything: Reward the correct behavior immediately.
  • Start Simple: Train in a quiet place with minimal distractions.
  • Have Fun: Make training enjoyable for both you and your dog!

What Your Dog Should Know Before Learning to Paw?

Before teaching your dog paw, your dog should know how to sit. Knowing how to sit is one of the basic commands that every dog should know. And if they don’t, you have to teach your dog to sit first before teaching him to paw.

Here is how you can teach your dog to sit with easy steps.

Step 1

Hold a reward in your hand: Every dog loves treats and praise. So, keep a reward like a hotdog, small liver cookies, or bits of cheese in your hand.

Step 2

Place your hand (which has a treat) near the dog’s nose so they can smell the treat.

Step 3

Then move your hand slowly to their forehead from their nose. The dog will follow your hand with their nose, and it will cause them to lower their backend to the floor.

Step 4.

And when the dog’s rear hits the floor, click and give them the treat as they are now in a sitting position.

Step 5

Start using verbal cues like sit, good (when they follow your command to sit)—dogs like these verbal cues.

Step 6

Repeat the process many times. Because you know practice makes everything perfect.

Once your dog knows how to sit, he is all ready to learn to paw. And just the training of sit and law is also a simple training.

How to Teach a Dog Paw?

You have to follow some simple steps to teach your dog paw within some days. This will be a fun and interesting training period for you and your dog. Follow the below-given steps to teach your dog paw.

  • Select and give a treat to your dog whenever required.
  • Select the correct verbal command for the training
  • Pick the right environment, as well as area
  • Command your dog to sit
  • Hold a treat in your hand in front of your dog’s nose
  • Wait patiently for your dog to give his paw to you
  • Start giving a verbal command that you have chosen
  • Start challenging the training a bit for your dog
  • Keep practicing

Step 1. Select and Give a Treat to Your Dog Whenever Required

  • Dogs love treat. They love it more when you give them treats, surprisingly. Keep some treats like salmon fillets, cooked sweet potatoes, hot dogs, cheese, small liver cookies, etc.
  • Give your dog these treats when they follow your instructions. Make sure you don’t give your dog the treat if he doesn’t follow your instructions. Because if you give your dog a treat every time, they are not going to follow your commands strictly.
  • Also, it is advisable not to choose a treat for your dog which are crumbly. It is so because your dog may not pay his full attention to your instructions and take more interest in sniffing out and eating the crumbs.

Step 2. Select the Right Verbal Command for the Training

  • There are many commands different people use while training their dog paw-like ‘give your paw,’ ‘shake,’ or ‘paw.’
  • Choose a single command for your dog and make sure to use the same command during the whole process. Because many commands can confuse the dog.
  • You can also make sure that your family uses the same command when they ask for a paw from the dog.
  • Try to use as a short command as you can use. Because dogs learn quick commands fast in comparison to the bigger ones.

Step 3. Pick the Right Environment As Well As Area

  • The area and the environment in which your dog trains are essential factors in deciding how successful your dog’s training will be.
  • Dogs easily get distracted by noise or by people. So make sure to choose an area where the noise or any kind of disturbance is less.
  • You know your dog better than others. So make sure you choose a comfortable environment for him.
  • You can choose a quiet place in your house or your dog’s room for the training. Try to avoid the public place for the training sessions as they are very noisy and will disturb the training.

Step 4. Command Your Dog to Sit

  • Now start the actual training process for your dog. Once you have decided where you are going to train your dog. Take him to that place. Command him to sit.
  • If your dog doesn’t know how to sit, you can follow the above-given steps to teach your dog how to sit. And once your dog learns how to sit, you can start his training to give his paw.

Step 5. Hold a Treat in Your Hand in Front of Your Dog’s Nose

  • Once your dog sits, take your hand (on which you are holding the treat) near your dog’s nose.
  • Just make sure not to show the treat to your dog during the whole training session.
  • You can hide the treat once you get your dog’s attention.

Step 6: Wait Patiently for Your Dog to Give His Paw to You

  • Keep the treat in front of your dog’s nose and wait patiently to see if your dog is giving you a paw.
  • If your dog uses his paw, give him a treat. Your dog will love it. But if your dog tries to get the treat with his mouth, don’t give him the treat. Make sure you don’t give them a treat when they don’t follow your instructions.
  • Also, when your dog gives his paw to you, praise him verbally like ‘good boy,’ ‘well done, etc.
  • Tap on their paw and encourage your dog to raise his paw if your dog is not stretching his paw out.
  • If your dog tries to give his paw to you, give him a treat and encourage him to do more of it.

Step 7: Start Giving a Verbal Command That You Have Chosen

  • Once your dog starts using his paw consistently, start using a verbal command in the training sessions.
  • Give the verbal command to your dog after closing your fist before he lifts his paw to get the treat
  • If your dog follows your verbal command, give him a treat. These treats will encourage your dog to do more good in the training.
  • Continue the verbal command until your dog learns it.

Step 8: Start Challenging the Training a Bit for Your Dog

  • Once your dog starts to respond to your verbal command, increase the challenge a bit during the training.
  • Try to do a session in different locations and different environments. And see how they are performing.
  • Also, you can teach your dog to lift both his paws. Give him treats and verbal praises when your dog starts lifting both his paws.

Step 9: Keep Practicing

  • Keep practicing some days after your dog learns how to give his paw.
  • With practice, your dog will master the command of giving his paws when asked.

How to Teach Stubborn Dog Paw?

Are you stuck thinking about how you are going to teach a stubborn dog to paw? If your dog is stubborn, it will take a little more than usual to teach him how to paw. Keep practicing daily, and your stubborn dog will also learn to shake his paw.

Try to trick your stubborn dog more into treats, so he follows your command more. Once you are able to trick your dog with treats, your dog will learn to shake his paw easily.

Being a dog owner, you have to teach your dog some basic as well as important commands. Giving a paw when asked is one of them.

Now you will think about how to teach a dog paw? As you have seen above, it is simple and fun training that you can give to your dog. You can teach your dog as many interesting things as you want.

Aapt Dubey
Aapt Dubey

Aapt Dubey, a devoted canine enthusiast and experienced dog Owner, brings boundless passion to our team. With a heart full of love for our four-legged friends, Aapt is dedicated to sharing insights on dog care, behavior, and training to make every pup's life happier and healthier at

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