German shepherd puppy with one paw in the air

How to teach your dog to high five

If you have a dog who’s keen to learn, or even if they’re a bit on the reluctant side, teaching them to high five is nice and simple, so you’ll have them doing it in no time at all.

Your dog is more likely to learn when there are no other distractions. So, training them is best done indoors in an area they feel comfortable in, with plenty of space.

Note: For your dog to learn this, you'll need to have a good sit command already in place and have some tasty treats handy

Five steps to high five

Step one: Hold a treat for your dog in a closed fist. Allow them to sniff and lick at your hand, which will eventually lead to them pawing at your hand.

Step two: As soon as they paw at your hand, give them the treat and either use a clicker to mark the action or say ‘yes’.

Step three: Continue doing this a few times before marking the action by saying ‘high five’.

Step four: Once they seem to have this mastered, switch your hand position to meet your hand with their paw. Then repeat until they meet your hand with their paw every time.

Step five: Now go and show off your hard work and your dog’s new skill!

Not only does this trick look great when you’re wanting to show off, it also helps your dog feel more comfortable having their paws handled; useful for grooming and a trip to the vets. 

Training your dog also increases the bond between you and keeps your four-legged friend mentally stimulated. 

— Page last updated 26/03/2020

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