How To Train Your Dog To Put His Hands Up

This tutorial is part of The Ultimate List Of Dog Trick Ideas which contains 99 other tricks like this!

Hands up is a fantastic trick that looks great. The dog is taught to sit back and hold both front paws up simultaneously. Easy to reinforce by offering the word hands up and a treat each time the dog manages to get both front paws off the ground. The pure position of this trick makes it look like it was really difficult to teach but if you reward with good timing early on then the dog will perfect his position with little effort from you.

  1. Begin with your dog in the sit position and stand in front of him holding a treat.
  2. The idea is to encourage your dog to stay in a sit position yet offer a quick lure with the treat from his nose upwards until his front paws leave the ground, then reward.
  3. If the dog gets up from the sit position in an attempt to take the treat ask him to sit again and make the lure less prominent.
  4. Repeat the previous two stages until the dog stays in a sit position and is able to lift both his front paws off the ground.
  5. Reward each time his paws leave the ground then when he is confident to do this slightly withhold the reward until he begins to try harder by lifting both feet higher off the ground each time he does this reward his finest attempt with a treat. Add your command word.

Top Tip Timing must be perfect when teaching tricks so pinpoint exactly what you would like your dog to do more of until his position is exactly what you would like.

Dog trainers love this trick because it teaches the dog focus and to concentrate on gaining a reward by getting into an unnatural position.

About The Author

Jean Cote

Jean Cote is an animal lover, dog trainer, and founder of Success Dogs. He takes pride in his ability to help dog owners improve their relationship with their dogs, and stop the frustrating things that so often make the early years of dog ownership more frustrating than enjoyable.

3 Comments

  • Candy Brookhouse

    Reply Reply March 3, 2016

    Thank you so much, Jean! My smart boy will learn these quickly!

    • Jean Cote

      Jean Cote

      Reply Reply March 3, 2016

      No problem, you are very welcome. =)

  • Patrick

    Reply Reply March 22, 2017

    I’m trying to teach my dog “freeze” or “hands up”. The problem is when he sits he stays seated like he was trained and will not lift his paws up even a little to give me a point to start at. I’ve tried many different ways using the treat in front and over his head. I could say “paw” but I’m afraid of mixing the 2 commands.

    If I were teaching him “freeze, bang”…would you recommend working on the paws up part before rolling over. Or work backwards. Any help at all would be appreciated.

    Thank you
    Patrick

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