How to teach your dog 'paw' and why you need to!

You’ve probaly all taught your dog a variation of a paw/shake/high 5 but just in case you’ve not lets take a look at which behaviour you’re after.


Back to basics:


So the exercise we’re looking at here is our dog lifting their paw to meet our hand, 1 paw at a time.  


You can begin with your dog in a sit and ask for one paw then the next.  Once youve mastered this you can progress to a standing position and start to add in the back paws too.


What’s the benefits?


As your dog liftes their paw they are increasing their range of movement and subsequently improving their joint health as each time our dogs use their joints they are increasing the lubrication within the joint which in turn keeps them healthier for longer.  


As your asking your dog to target your hand with their paw this increases their proprioceptive awareness making them less likely to trip or catch themselves on obstacles when out walking or during sports as they have a greater sense of where their limbs are in space.  


Additionally as your dog is only standing on 3 legs when doing this exercise in the stand they have to adjust their balance to maintain upright meaning your dog has to engage their core muscles.  Meaning your dog has greater core strength and balance.  


When should I be doing these exercises?


In the beginning to teach your dogs how to complete these exercises you will want to do them regularly (everyday or every other day) but once your dog knows the exercise you can reduce this frequency to a couple of times a week or just in your training warm-ups.  

If you need more help with what exercises to do with your dog each week or at warm up check out our recent webinars

Warm-up webinar here

Canine conditioning for day to day exercises here

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