Even the simplest pet trick can impress. The secret is presentation. Take shaking hands – or “giving paw” in canine parlance. It is one of the easiest dog tricks in the book, and one that can be gussied up to make your animal appear really smart. Here’s a quick lesson from Babette Haggerty, the noted dog trainer and co-author, with Barbara Call, of “The Best Dog Tricks on the Planet” (Page Street Publishing).
Even my dog? Because the pawing instinct is so natural, any dog can be taught to shake. “Shy dogs, nervous dogs, dogs lacking in confidence might take a little longer,” she said. But the instinct is universal, and she has never seen a dog that can’t do it.
“Back (the treat) up with praise,” she said. “A lot of times I want them to be able to do (a trick) if I don’t have a treat. A lot of time they’ll work for three words of praise. They work for the excitement.”