Teach Your Pet Pooch to Give a Paw to the Guests

Teach Your Pet Pooch to Give a Paw to the Guests in 6 Steps

One common complaint of many puppy owners is that their furry friends greet people by jumping on them and licking their hands and faces. If you are tired of yelling at your dog not to do this, consider teaching it the “Give a paw” command.

This is a trick with a purpose; it helps your pupper develop a healthy greeting etiquette, can be so much fun, and has many other practical benefits. Care for your canine’s paws just like you pay attention to grooming its behaviors. Do regular paw checks, trim hair between pads, trim nails, apply a moisturizer, and massage.

Tiny foreign objects like gravel, weeds, bits of glass, thorns, and mud can accumulate on the paws, causing injuries and infections. You can use tweezers to remove any debris; however, consider being prepared with dog insurance NZ just in case your furry baby needs medical help to get things sorted.

Puppy insurance helps provide your little pupper with top-notch medical care during accidents, injuries, particular illnesses, medical emergencies, and much more. So, contemplate purchasing a policy. Meanwhile, teach your pet pooch to give a paw in a few simple steps.

Teaching your puppy the “Give a paw” command

This command provides a novel way to replace the typical jumping up on guests, biting them, or checking other exuberant habits with a calmer and more composed greeting gesture. When it comes to shy dogs, help them socialize initially; when they are no more afraid of meeting unfamiliar people, teach them this command. This way, you and the puppy can win; the best part is that no punishment is involved.


For this, you must have already taught your furry baby the “Sit” command. Instruct your dog to sit but don’t treat it just yet.


Hold a stinky treat on your palm and make a loose fist to hide the treat. Now, all you need to do is extend the loosely clenched fist to your puppy at its elbow level or lower.


The most likely reaction from your pup is licking your hand. Let your fur baby continue licking, neglect the drool, and maintain your posture. When all attempts fail in getting to the treat hidden inside the fist, your puppy will slowly try and pick up a paw to open the fist. When this happens, mark this behavior with a “Yes” or a click (if you use a clicker). Instantly unlock your fist and allow your puppy to nibble on the tasty treat.


Repeat this until your puppy gets a clear idea of the rule. Present your clenched fist with the cue “Paw” so your canine reaches its paw to touch it. Allow for only paw touches.


Now, practice the above steps with an empty fist. Extend a bare fist, say “Paw”, let your canine feel your fist with its paws, open the fist, and shower your puppy with lots of high-value treats with the help of the other hand. Practice this several times until your pup learns to give a paw.


Gradually repeat the procedure with an open palm and not closed fists, and there you go; your puppy is now a master at giving its paw. It seems like shaking hands, right?

Puppies can contract allergies and infections on coming in contact with specific grasses, pollen, and trees. Intensely licking their paws can point to underlying health issues that might require medical intervention. Dog insurance in NZ helps manage unplanned vet costs effectively in times like these and many others. Consider buying puppy insurance, so providing quality medical care need not be a significant economic challenge.

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