Looking for something new to do during this pandemic? Have kids and looking for a fun family interactive activity? How about training your pup to do a new trick! It will both mentally exhaust them as well as give them more bonding time with you! Who doesn’t want to spend more time with their pup? Especially if it’s something that will give you a good laugh and will bring smiles to others who may need it during these diﬃcult times. How about teaching your pup to wave as people walk by your house? He/She can even do it through the window if you don’t have anywhere to porch sit!
All you need is your pups favorite treats and a little bit of patience. Choose your trick and spend 10 minutes, a few times a day, working towards mastering your trick with your pup. If you like the idea of your dog waiving at those passing by on their walks, start by teaching your dog to give you a high five. Your pup already knows how to high five? Great, you are ahead of the game!
If your pup doesn’t already know high five, don’t worry! There are many ways to teach high five. I prefer to start oﬀ sitting on the floor in front of them and asking them to sit. Give them a treat and get ready to start working on high five! Once you are both settled, put a treat in
your hand and hold it up as if you were asking for a high five. Most dogs will paw at what they want so they will paw your hand because they want the treat that’s in it. If they jump up or paw with both paws, don’t reward. Just simply reset them in a sit and try again. Once they paw your hand, with one paw, give them the treat! Keep at it until they are consistently pawing your hand with a single paw and not leaving their sit command.
From there, you can start to ask for a high five without the treat in your hand. This doesn’t mean they don’t get their treat, you want them to love learning this trick with you. This just means they get the treat a bit later. If you have to back track to a high five with a treat in your hand, that’s ok. Give them a few more tries to remind them what they are working on and then try it again without the treat. When they are consistently giving you that high five without the treat in your hand, you can move on to the next step. Waving hello!
Now that you have a high five, the hard part is over! Just transition over to a wave by holding your hand slightly out of reach, normally they would paw your hand but since they can’t reach it will end up giving you a high wave hello! Don’t forget to use those treats as positive reinforcement when they do what you are asking them to do. Keep practicing and you will have your dog waving hello in no time!