Did you miss Part 1? Read Part 1: Basics here.
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Say hello - How to teach your dog to wave at the camera with the paw
I taught Baerbel this trick not specifically for the camera but because it is so funny to tell your dog to say hello and he does! The look on the face of the hoomans watching this is priceless. J
But I noticed pretty quickly that it is a wonderful command for dog photography.
Before Barbel learned to wave she already knew two similar commands “shake” and “high five” on which I could build on. So I will briefly describe how I taught her those before going on to the raised paw.
Teach your dog to shake. Take a treat in your closed hand and hold it out towards your dog. Your dog will try to figure out how to get to the yummy treat inside your hand. Maybe he will sniff your hand, chew it or lick it. As soon as he decides to use the paw, open your hand and give him the treat. Repeat that over and over again until your dog truly understands that you want him to touch your hand with his paw. When he got the connection go on to step 2.
The first step: Shake the paw
Add the verbal command “shake” (or whatever word you choose to use) as soon as the paw touches your hand.
Hold out your hand without the treat in it and say “shake”. If he does, reward and praise him.
Teach your dog to give high five. I started that as soon as Baerbel knew “shake” very well. I knelt beside her and told her to shake but held my hand up for a high five, although very low at her heads level. She was puzzled at first because she knew my hand to be palm-up, ready to take her paw but she started pretty fast to try and reach my hand with her paw anyways. When she succeeded I praised her a lot and gave her a treat. When she got that right I started to use the high five command every time I held my hand up in that way and she really quickly learned to differ between shake and high five. I started to raise my hand step by step so know she also gives me high five when I’m standing up.
The second step: Give High Five
Teach your dog to wave. I did this similarly to step 4 and went from high five to wave this time. I did this by telling her to give me high five but holding my hand so far away from her that she had no chance to reach it with her paw. To my astonishment she raised her paw trying to reach my hand the first time exactly like I wanted her to. This was a trick, in contrast to for example holding things in her mouth, she learned very, very quickly. So I just added the wave command and started wiggling my fingers when I raised my hand to let her say hello.
Done! Now your dog can say hello by waving the paw.