Teaching your dog to shake hands is a great way to impress your friends, get your pup to make contact with others, and prepare your pup for harder to learn tricks. It is also a great way to help him or her become desensitized to having their paws touched all the time when they go to the groomers or get their nails trimmed. Beyond this, it helps your pup learn problem-solving, help improve memorization, and even boost social interaction. In the video below, you can see Cody the Shih Tzu learning how to shake hands for the first time.
As you can see it takes the owner a second or two to get Cody to actually sit down in the right spot. But once he does, the owner asks him to come “up” for a treat, which are conveniently broken down into smaller pieces rather than one whole treat as it allows for more practice. Cody remembers the “up” command, but gets easily distracted as you can see. The owner does ask Cody to sit a lot, and he does pretty diligently. When the owner asks him to shake, he immediately goes for the treat multiple times over and over. After about three to four tries, Cody actually puts his paw in the owner’s hand but still relentlessly tries to get the treat. After a while, Cody loses interest and lies down. About ten minutes later, when the owner asks him to shake, he does it on command.