Kids and Dogs: Shake

What you will need:

Handful of treats (We used Dr. Harvey’s Coconut Smiles)
A Dog 
And your kids (and if you don’t have any- well you’ve just got a great trick)


1.Cue your dog to sit.


2.Take his paw in your hand and move it up and down. As you are moving it up and down say “shake.” You may have to help your child, depending on age. My son, Anthony, is teaching Boy “shake” today. He is five and needed a little assistance. 


3.Deliver a treat. My son is more comfortable with putting the treats on the floor in front of the dog and that’s okay. Other children will be comfortable handing the dog a treat. And if you couldn’t tell, Boy sure does love his Coconut Smile treats! Yum yum!


4.Continue to repeat this in 1 minute sessions for the next few days.


5. On third day of training, hold out your hand and say “shake.” See what your dog does. If he puts his paw in your hand, he’s got it! Praise and deliver a treat. Repeat this for several sessions.

Let us know how it goes for you and your dog! What do your kids enjoy best about teaching shake or other tricks?

PS. If you want to try out Boy’s favorite treat, save 10% by using code: MH117





12 Days of Christmas: Day 11



Boy and I both enjoy the “shy” trick. He feels that he is meant for the big screens and, you know, he has a large enough personality for me to agree with him.


Place a small piece of rolled tape on the top of your dog’s snout.

Cue your dog to lie down so he will have to use his paw to remove the tape rather than shake off or rub it off.

As soon as he take his paw to brush off the tape you will mark the behavior with a word (like “good”) or a clicker. (For this particular trick I personally prefer the clicker because micro behaviors are better captured.) You will mark any sort of paw movement; no matter how small. Take the tape off after each click.

When it looks like how you want it to look start adding the verbal cue, this will allow for the word association of the behavior (you will still continue using tape).

Then you will start generalizing the positions like having your dog in a sit (you will still continue using tape).

During the last step you will stop using the tape. You will start by acting as if you put the tape on his nose even though you didn’t and wait for him to move his paw to cover his face. As soon as he does, mark it and say your verbal cue. My verbal cue for Boy is, “Are you shy?” 

Phase out the non-verbal cue of touching the nose by simply pointing to the dog’s nose and eventually fading out the point. You will still mark your dog for covering his face. Once he is consistently responding to the verbal cue 80% of the time, start fading the clicker (or verbal marker).

Happy Training! Let Boy and I know how it goes!




Blog written by Michelle Huntting
Building the bridge of communication between dogs and pet guardians 



Check out Michelle’s other 12 Days of Dog Training Tips or the Pet Holiday Zen Tips!
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12 Days of Christmas: Day 9


9 Hugs – Performed by Earl and Ethel from Earl’s World!

Teaching your multiple dogs to hug on command is an impressive, adorable and incredibly talented trick to teach. The final result will never seize to impress your friends and family, and will come in handy when you need a party trick to entertain your guests!

To teach this trick, you need to teach at least one of your dogs, preferably the larger one, to give their paw and/or teach them the paw target command.

Once this has been mastered, replace your hand with the presence of your other dog. Encourage your dog to place his paw on your other dog’s shoulder, by placing your hand there to begin with. Once your dog is confident doing this, slowly move your hand away, pointing to your other dog’s shoulder instead. Every time your hugging dog places his paw in the correct place, reward your dog with your dog’s favourite reward. Keep practicing, then replace your paw giving command with the ‘hug’ command, until your dog is happy to place his paw on the shoulder of your other dog with the simple command.

If your dog is anything like my older dog, he may start placing his paw on your other dog whenever the dogs are in each other’s presence, in anticipation of a reward! This causes a good deal of hilarity and laughs!

Enjoy training!




Blog written by Guest: Earl’s World!

Check out Michelle’s other 12 Days of Dog Training Tips or the Pet Holiday Zen Tips!