Gimme Paw! A Great Trick to Improve Fitness

Paw is a very cute trick that a lot of dogs are taught as puppies.

As dogs get older, paw is sometimes a trick people wish they hadn’t taught. Often dogs enjoy paw or shake a bit too much, offering it at inopportune times, such as when you are trying to watch TV or are wearing shorts.

But paw is more than just a cute or annoying trick; it is an easy way to help your dog stay fit.

When your dog is standing and lifts a front paw, he naturally offsets his weight to his opposing hind limb. This can help with building muscle and improving core strength, while at the same time helping your dog improve his sense of balance.

Teach your dog to give you paw from a stand as well as a sit to get the maximum benefit. You can have your dog offer paw before eating, before he goes outside, after a walk. Find ways to work it into your every day routine.

Here’s an example of Roka doing paw from a stand. Since he is on a platform it is more obvious when he shifts his weight. His right rear leg is a bit weaker and you can see how he moves off the platform to adjust after he has done paw with his left front paw.

Be sure to only reward paw when you’ve asked for it so you can watch TV in peace, but try to practice a few times a day. This is a great way to utilize a skill your dog may already have to improve his balance and strength. If your dog is a bit too crazy about paw, check out our training tip video on being picky:

And, if your dog doesn’t know paw or shake and you are interested in teaching him paw and other fun tricks, check out our self-paced online training class beginning September 12:

Happy Training!

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