Now that your pup has mastered the basics, it’s time to move on to some fun tricks! Today, we’re talking training tips for teaching a dog to wave goodbye! The trick is bound to melt the heart of the audience because a few things in this world are more adorable than a waving dog.
You might be thinking that training your dog to do cool tricks is not for you or that it’s something too complicated. It’s quite the opposite, actually. You don’t need a professional to train your dog as long as you’re patient, committed, and willing to learn.
Dogs are highly intelligent animals, so don’t you ever think for a second that they can’t learn something as simple as a wave. You don’t believe me, do you? Well, I’m going to walk you through the process of teaching your dog to wave goodbye. Let’s check it out!
Tips for Teaching a Dog to Wave Goodbye
What do you need?
Let’s start with the basics. To train your dog to wave, you’re going to need a couple of things.
First, get a bag of tasty treats. Dog training is based on positive reinforcement. In other words, Charlie learns that doing something on command will get him a special treat. So you want something so yummy that he can’t resist it. You can use a clicker in combination with the food.
Then, you have to pick the right time. A dog that is stressed, overexcited, or moody, might not respond well to training. Your four-legged friend should be happy and in a good mood before you begin the lesson.
It’s also crucial that you pick a quiet room with no distractions for your training sessions. You want your pet to pay attention only to you, not the mailman or the neighborhood cat sitting on the porch. Otherwise, he won’t learn anything.
Also, don’t overtire your dog. If Charlie seems upset, bored or frustrated, you should stop and try again later. Keep the training sessions short but repeat them several times a day. You want them to be something fun for your pet, not something he hates.
The last thing you need before you start teaching your dog to wave is the “shake paw” command. Oh, no. My dog doesn’t know this. Don’t worry. It’s not a big deal, but your dog has to know to sit on command. From there on, I’m going to explain the “shake” technique and how to upgrade it to “wave.”
Teaching a dog to shake paws
We’ve all seen this cute gesture, right? Well, it’s not hard at all to teach your dog to shake your hand. Just follow these steps:
- Get your dog in the “sit” position and take a treat from the bag.
- Show the yummy food to your dog and then close your fist around it.
- Say “shake” and place your closed fist near his nose.
- Wait for him to try to get to the treat.
- When Charlie touches your hand with his paw, praise him. Then open your hand and give him the tasty food.
In time, your dog will connect “shake” to the action of pawing at your hand and the treat. When that happens, you can slowly try to phase out the treats.
The steps are the same, with one difference – you don’t reveal the hidden food. Instead, you give Charlie a treat with your free hand. After you have reinforced this response, you should repeat the exercise with no food hidden in your hand.
If it’s not working, go back to the previous step and practice more. Always remember to praise your dog verbally or use your clicker.
Teaching a dog to wave
Now that your dog knows how to shake paws, it’s time to learn how to wave. Follow these steps:
- Give the “shake” command, but when your dog raises his paw, you move your hand a bit higher. This action should force your dog to move his paw higher, searching for your hand. That’s basically the “wave” gesture.
- Praise the dog as soon as he raises his paw and reward him with a treat.
- Repeat until the dog starts to raise his paw over his head.
- When you reinforce that behavior, it’s time to introduce the “wave” command. You can also use “wave bye.” Say “shake” and when the dog reaches for your hand, say “wave” and move your hand higher.
- Praise and reward when the dog does it right.
- Keep up the practice.
You can also use a clicker to reinforce the behavior. When Muffin raises his paw to get your attention, you use the clicker and give him a treat. Repeat as often as you see your dog making this gesture.
Usually, the dog will understand that he is doing something that gets him treats and he will start to do it on purpose. Then you can introduce the “wave” cue.
I told you that teaching a dog to wave goodbye is easier than you thought, didn’t I? Just remember that all dogs are different and that they learn at a different pace. Don’t get frustrated or angry if Rover is not getting what you want from him in just a few sessions. Be patient, and everything will work out.
So does your dog know how to wave goodbye? How did you teach him? Was it hard? Don’t be shy and tell us in the comments.