My little foster dog has learned a new trick — to shake someone’s hand! Although we’ve been working a lot on basic obedience skills and helping him learn to be more friendly around new people, this is his first real trick behavior.
Although, it’s so important to remember, that from the animal’s perspective, it’s really all tricks! The dog (or horse or other animal) has no way of knowing the difference between a behavior that is cute and “just for fun” and a behavior that is practical and “important.” I think it’s really important for trainers to remember this. I meet some people who lighten up and have lots more fun when they are teaching the animal “tricks,” but are serious and tense when working on “real” behaviors.
Henry is doing awesome with the Shake trick in my apartment. So, we’ve started working on this trick in new places, including on the front porch of my house, when I’m at work, and even at the pet store. He’s not quite 100% yet with this trick in new places, but he’s getting better. We’ve also started working on this trick with new people. My friend Regan, who Henry loves, practiced some shakes with him on Saturday and he did great.
Watch on YouTube: Henry learns to shake hands