Teach Your Dog to Give A High Five
Getting your dog to give you a high five is a cute trick that makes everyone smile, and it's also a fun way to bond with your four-legged best friend. Fortunately, this is a fairly simple trick to teach your pup. Here's how to teach your dog to do it.
Before you begin, select a quiet spot for training sessions where your pup won't be distracted. You'll need a lot of treats, so pick some that are small. Time to start high-fiving!
Step One: Get Fido to Sit
If your dog already sits on command, you're off to a good start. Otherwise, you might need to spend some time teaching him to sit before moving on to the high five. To get him to sit, simply hold a treat in front of his nose and slightly out of reach until he sits down. As soon as he sits, give him the treat. After he does this a few times, start telling him to sit as you hold the treat in front of him. Keep practicing until he learns to associate the word "sit" with the action and starts doing it on command.
Step Two: Get Him to Paw Your Hand
Once your pup is sitting up, hold a treat in your fist and hold your fist in front of his nose until he lifts a single paw and touches your fist without leaving the sitting position. Give him a treat as soon as he does this correctly, but only when he does it correctly. If he stands up, or jumps up on your fist with both paws, return to starting position and try again. Keep practicing until he does it the right way consistently.
Step Three: Take a Break
By this point, your student might start to get bored or tired and start refusing to cooperate. If this happens at any time during the training, don't force him to keep going. Take a break and pick it back up after your pup's mood has improved.
Step Four: Present Your Hand for a High Five
Once Fido is consistently tapping your fist with his paw, it's time to present your open hand in the high-five position. Keep it there until he touches it with his paw. Be patient. It might take a while for him to make the connection and understand what you want. You might need to let him smell the treat residue on your palm or hide a small piece between your fingers in order to motivate him. As soon as he touches your hand with his paw, reward him with a treat and praise.
Step Five: Introduce the High Five Command
Once your dog starts performing the high five action consistently, start introducing the command by saying "high five!" every time he touches your palm. Gradually phase out the treats by rewarding him instead with praise. After practicing a few times, start saying "high five!" as you present your hand, rewarding him with a treat only when he performs the action on command.
Step Six: Keep practicing!
While this is a fairly easy trick for your dog to learn, it takes repetition and consistency for him to retain it. But with patience and practice, your doggie will be ready to show off for your friends in no time.
Does your pup already know how to high five? Share your training story below!
Photo Credit: Matt Bauhaus
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