Teaching a Dog to Sit and Shake Hands

Teaching a Dog to Sit and Shake Hands requires patience and consistency. The first step is to choose the right command word for “sit” and use it consistently. With a treat in hand, gently press down on the dog’s hindquarters while saying the command word. Reward the dog with the treat and praise them when they successfully sit. Once the dog has mastered sitting, the next step is to introduce the “shake hands” command.

Step-by-Step Guide to Teaching a Dog to Sit

  • Start with a treat in your hand and hold it close to your dog’s nose.
  • Slowly move your hand upwards, allowing your dog’s head to follow the treat.
  • As their head moves up, their bottom will naturally lower into a sitting position.
  • Once your dog is sitting, praise them and give them the treat as a rewar

Techniques for Teaching a Dog to Shake Hands

  • Start by getting your dog into a sitting position.
  • Place a treat in your hand and close your fist.
  • Extend your closed fist towards your dog.
  • Encourage your dog to paw at your hand by using a verbal cue like “shake”.
  • When your dog paws at your hand, open your fist and reward them with the treat.

Establishing a Foundation

Training dogs to sit and shake hands begins with establishing a foundation of trust and respect. Positive reinforcement techniques, such as using treats or praise, can be employed to encourage desired behaviors. Patience and consistency are essential during this phase.

Teaching the “Sit” Command 

To teach a dog to sit, a simple yet effective method is the lure-reward technique. Holding a treat above the dog’s head and moving it backward, the dog will naturally lower its rear end in an attempt to follow the treat. After the dog sits, a treat is given as a reward, along with verbal praise. Repeating this process reinforces the association between the verbal command “sit” and the desired action.

Introducing the “Shake Hands” Command 

Once the dog has grasped the concept of sitting, introducing the “shake hands” command becomes easier. Using a treat as a lure, place it in your palm and present it to the dog. As the dog attempts to get the treat, gently grasp its paw. Repeat this process, associating the verbal command “shake hands” with the action of extending the paw. Treats and praise should be provided as rewards for successful execution.

Using basic commands to teach advanced tricks and behaviors

 Building upon basic commands to teach more complex tricks and behaviors can help strengthen the bond between owner and dog while also providing mental stimulation for the pet. Once the dog has mastered the “shake hands” command, additional commands such as “lie down,” “roll over,” or even more advanced tricks like fetching specific objects can be introduced. The key is to consistently use positive reinforcement, take breaks for play and rest, and never force the dog into performing a trick if they seem uncomfortable or resistant. With patience and consistency, the possibilities for training and bonding with your dog are endless.

Tips for Maintaining and Reinforcing the Learned Behaviors

  • Continue to reward your dog for correctly sitting and shaking hands, but gradually reduce the frequency of treats.
  • Use verbal praise and positive reinforcement to acknowledge and reward your dog’s good behavior.
  • Practice the commands regularly to ensure your dog remembers and follows them consistently.

What are the benefits of teaching a dog to sit and shake hands?

Teaching a dog to sit and shake hands promotes obedience, improves communication, and enhances the human-canine bond.

What are the basic steps involved in teaching a dog to sit?

The basic steps for teaching a dog to sit are luring with a treat, rewarding the sitting position, and practicing regularly.

What are some common challenges or difficulties in teaching a dog to sit?

Some common challenges in teaching a dog to sit are distractions, impatience, inconsistent training, and physical limitations in certain breeds.

What should I do if my dog is not responding to the training methods?

If your dog is not responding to the training methods, try using higher-value rewards, breaking the training into smaller steps, seeking professional help, or using different training techniques that suit your dog’s learning style.

What is the best way to start training my dog to sit?

The best way to start training your dog to sit is by using a treat to lure them into the sitting position and rewarding them when they achieve it.


Training a dog to sit and shake hands provides practical benefits and strengthens the bond between dog and owner. Through positive reinforcement techniques and consistent practice, owners can successfully teach their dogs these essential commands. Training enhances the dog’s safety and discipline and creates a joyful and fulfilling companionship. So, let’s grab those treats and embark on an exciting journey of training our furry friends!

By Tom

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