How to Teach a Dog to Shake
Dog Training

How to Teach a Dog to Shake

“Shake" is a cool trick to teach your dog. It is one of the simple dog tricks to show off to your friends and a mannerly way to meet people. This trick is relatively easy to teach and takes only a few training sessions. From preparation and practice to phasing out the treats, the article guides you through all the essentials to understand how to teach a dog to shake.

Prepare for Training

Training a dog to “shake paws" does not require a lot of preparation. You only need your beautiful doggo and a handful of treats. You will need a clicker if you are clicker-training your dog. 

The training of this trick involves your dog giving their complete attention and offering a paw to “shake.” Also, it is best to practice the “sit” command before you train them to “shake a paw.” 

Have Your Dog “Sit”

Now that you are ready with the treats - have your dog sit calmly by giving them the “sit” command. If they do not know how to "sit," teach them the sitting command before you start training them to shake paws. 


And here is how to teach a dog paw shake. Put your hand out carrying a treat and show it to your dog. Then close it into a fist so your dog cannot take the treat. While keeping your closed fist under their nose, give the “shake” command. It is how you entice your dog toward the treat. 

Hold up for your dog to start scouring your hand for the treat. They would start the search by sniffing around, and when that does not do anything, your dog paws at your hand. Just as your dog touches your hand or puts their paw in your hand, praise them and open your hand so they can have the treat. 

Practice this fun trick 2 to 3 times a day for 5 minutes. Your dog will offer their paw to “shake” after consistently practicing the command. 

Phase out the Treat

When your dog begins offering their paw, you can start to phase out the treat. Place the treat in your hand and close it. Then give your dog the “shake” command, and just when they offer a paw, reward them with a treat from your other hand instead of the closed one. Keep repeating this multiple times. 

Switch Treat Hands

Now, bring your hand into a fist without carrying a treat in front of your dog and ask them to “shake.” When your dog offers a paw, immediately give the treat from your other hand. Keep practicing this step over multiple training sessions until your dog realizes what they need to do. Start over or practice a few steps if your dog cannot understand what you are expecting. 

Don’t Use Treat

At this point, you can almost eliminate the treat. What you can do is not give a treat every time your dog shakes a paw. Gradually decline offering treats to your dog. They will start to "shake" on command without getting a treat. However, you may have to sometimes reward your canine friend with a treat to maintain the behavior.


Teaching your dog to "shake" is a great way to nurture good behavior in your dog, which makes them approachable. When you begin to train your dog to shake, you must offer them plenty of high-value treats for which your dog will work hard. According to an article by Zoetis, this trick helps when you want to wipe off the mud from their paws or trim their nails. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How to teach a dog to shake hands?

To teach your dog to shake, you need to get them to sit, offer a hand with treats and when they give a paw, reward them with treats and praise. Keep doing it with switching and eventually eliminating the treats.

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