A New Dog Trick – High Five

Teach your dog a new trick. Teach him how to high five in a few short sessions.

Teaching new dog tricks to your canine friends can be rewarding. When friends and family come to visit, you can show off how smart your pooch is and how well-trained and behaved he is. One trick that never fails to impress is the high five. This is a very simple trick to teach your dog. Most dogs will learn how to high five within a few sessions. The trick is mainly in how the owner presents the palm for a high five. The details in this article will walk you through the steps you need to teach your dog to do this fun trick.

Choose the Dog Treat

The first step to training your dog is to choose the perfect dog treat. The ideal treat is one that is healthy for your dog and that he loves. If your dog goes nuts over pieces of cucumber, then that might be the treat you’d like to use. If he loves pepperonis, those are not good for him and you’ll want to find a healthy alternative or one made especially for dogs. Use caution when feeding a dog table scraps as some foods are toxic to dogs. Just a few common ones to avoid include:

  • Onions
  • Chocolate
  • Strawberries (any berries)
  • Grapes
  • Apple cores

Hand Position for this New Dog Trick

The hand position to teach the trick of high five to your dog is of utmost importance. Where you place your hands can mean the difference between a successful trick teaching session and an unsuccessful one.

  1. Grasp the treat in the left fist.
  2. Hold the right arm out with a flat palm as though doing a “high five”
  3. Place the closed left fist directly behind your palm.

*Note: This video teaches how to do high five through teaching to shake. I disagree that the dog has to know shake to learn high five. Both of my dogs know high five and neither knows how to shake. This is just another technique if your dog does already know the shake hands trick.

Training Session

Now that you know the proper hand position, it’s time for a training session. Start by giving your dog a small treat. Allow the dog to see you place another treat in your left, closed palm. You may even want to let the dog sniff your closed palm, but do not give him the treat. This trick works best if the dog sits, but small dogs may even need to jump up a bit, so experiment and see what works best for your particular breed of dog.

  1. Kneel on the floor.
  2. Allow the dog to sniff the closed fist holding the treat.
  3. Place your right hand out, palm in front and hold the closed left hand behind the open palm.
  4. Say, “High five.”
  5. The dog will likely try to get to the treat. If the dog uses his nose, say no and place his paw on your palm, then give him the treat.
  6. Repeat for up to 10 times per session and no more than two sessions per day.

Most dogs learn this trick within a few sessions, but if your dog takes longer do not worry. Some dogs master certain tricks more easily than others. It doesn’t mean your dog is a slow learner. It simply means that this trick is more challenging for him.

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Crabby Housewife

Crabby Housewife

Lori is a full-time housewife and writer, living in the Midwest with her husband of 27 years – they have two daughters. They have a house full of pets and her house is never quite perfect.