To shake hands is a pretty basic ability, which any dog can learn. Even your unruly little rascal!
But what is the best way to teach your Labradoodle to shake hands?
- Sit down facing your dog, which is also sitting.
- Have a nice treat in your hand, perhaps a meatball or something which smells delicious.
- Hold the treat in your closed hand in front of the dog, somewhere around chest height. The dog will sniff and lick your hand, but keep your hand closed. The dog’s next reaction will be to use its paws to try and open your hand.
- If the dog raises just one of its front paws, open your hand, and allow the dog to take the treat.
- Now you start from the beginning again, but this time, demand that the dog raises its front paw a bit higher than before. For a Labradoodle it’s entirely normal to use its front paw to try and get food, so most will learn it very fast, perhaps even in the first attempt, so you have to be ready to quickly open your hand and release the treat when its paw touches your hand.
- When your Labradoodle surely lifts its paw and touches your hand, every time you present the treat in your closed hand, you can begin to phase out the treat.
- You do this by presenting your closed hand in front of the dog exactly like before, but this time without a treat in it. The dog will most likely display the same behavior as before, which you quickly reward with a treat you have in your other hand. Continue doing this, until this behavior is guaranteed.
- The last step during training is to teach your Labradoodle that your hand doesn’t have to be closed before the dog displays the correct behavior. You do this by gradually opening your (empty)hand, a bit at a time. This can be tricky for the dog to get used to, so have a bit of patience. Combine “easy” attempts where your hand is almost closed, with “harder” attempts where your hand is half open, so it doesn’t just get harder and harder for the dog, but it also gets the feeling that training is easy and fun, even if you challenge if by upping the difficulty.
- Finally, you can add a verbal command. So perhaps by saying “shake” when the dog lifts its paw to place on your hand. It doesn’t make sense adding a verbal command until the dog has learned the right behavior. When you have done this a few times, you say “shake” when you can see that the dog is thinking about lifting its paw – when there’s a high probability that it will. Usually when it’s very observant of you, and perhaps shifts its weight to the other leg. When you have trained this a few times, and the dog combines your verbal command “shake” with the expected behavior, you can try saying “shake” before the dog thinks about lifting its paw. If the dog lifts its paw afterward, the behavior is taught, and on command.
Good luck, and let me know how it goes!
Some of My Favorite Products For Dog Owners
I hope this article has helped you just a bit in everyday life as a dog owner. Being a dog owner for more than 25 years, I’ve tried many different products with varying success, but these products below are some that I can highly recommend to every dog and their owner without hesitation!
These links are affiliate links, so if you do end up using the links, I will earn a commission. But it’s products that I use daily myself, and I have the utmost praise for.
Dog Food: Every dog needs to eat correctly, and finding the best food for your dog can be challenging, as the market is absolutely flooded with products. But since 2015 when the company was founded, I’ve been using Ollie Petfood. With their product being tailor-made to suit every dog’s specific needs, and as my dogs love the product, I’m pretty sure I’ve found a product I will continue to use for many years more. If you use my link you can get 50% off your first order.
Dog Training: If you’ve ever owned a puppy, you know that it requires a lot of training to grow into a well-behaved adult. Brain Training for Dogs has helped me immensely with the mental training part of raising a dog, and it’s something I strongly recommend you consider.
Grooming: If you have a dog in your home, you’re going to need a brush, and for this, I recommend a Hertzko Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush. For that price, you simply can’t beat this brush for everyday grooming.
If you’re looking for the most up-to-date recommendations, check out my recommended products section that I’ve created to help every dog owner!