When my new dog friend Shasa showed me how her dog gives her paw on command – and even gives both of them when she says Want a manicure?, I knew I had to get busy. This Sit and Stay stuff was kid stuff. Yes, I’m thrilled Petey is finally housetrained, but I want him to impress my friends with tricks!
So, I taught him some. Getting him to give me the first paw on command was hard work. I just kept picking up his paw while I said Gimme your paw! – over and over and over again. I’d do this at the end of our walk, when he was used to just getting a treat and going inside. I think I really confused him and made him weary. He was like What is this !? and would start to lose his balance sometimes. But finally – he just knew to pick it up when I said it. Yay !!! This took about two days of these 10-minute training sessions 4-5 x a day.
Once he got it, I was reluctant to start teaching him Gimme the OTHER paw!, because I didn’t want to mess with his head. Sure enough, when we started on that, he was, like Whaddya mean, Gomer – I AM giving you my freakin paw, now shut up and gimme the treat, A-hole !! But I just kept at it, the same process where I picked up his right paw while saying Gimme the OTHER paw! This time, it only took 20 minutes for him to get it! Yay !!!
Now, I make him do it for a treat every time. It’s so cute – especially the way he gives me the 2nd paw. The first one, he just gives me straight forward. But the 2nd one, maybe it’s a balance thing as he simultaneously puts down the first one while picking up the other, but he sort of “winds up” and gives me his other paw in a roundabout arc, as if he were throwing a pitch. I totes love it, it’s the cutest.
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