You can teach “Paws Up” on a wall, on a chair, on a stool, on your arm or any other prop. A cute act is asking the dog to “spread ‘em” against a wall and then pat down the dog.
Make sure to do this trick on a non-slip surface so when the dog goes onto his back feet to put his paws up, he doesn’t slip. If you are unsure if your dog should be standing up with his paws against a wall, you can simply teach the dog to do the paws up behavior on low secure object rather than a wall. In this trick your dog’s body weight is being shifted onto their back legs, so take care and ask a physical therapist if you are unsure if your dog should do the trick.
Lure your dog to put his front feet up onto a wall, tree or stool. Make sure the surface his front feet are to rest is not slippery. Some walls and trees can be super slippery! Click and then feed a treat in rapid succession while your dog has his feet up. Then say your release cue and encourage your dog to take his paws off . Click and treat your dog for taking his paws off the wall. Take care if you use the walls in your house- they might get scratched!
Lure the dog onto the tree and click as you remove the hand that you lured him with.
Pretend to have a treat in your hand, lure your dog onto the tree with the same gesture, then click and give your dog a treat while he still has his paws up.
Add a cue. Say the verbal cue ‘Paws Up’, pause, then lure your dog to put his paws up. We like to teach our dogs that when we are at a distance, the object we point towards is the one to put their paws up on.
You can start proofing the behavior by adding distance, distraction, and duration. Move a little, click AS you move, and then feed a treat. Then see if you can move and click and treat your dog after you move. If your dog is successful you can try doing more movements before clicking and treating. Don’t always make it harder and harder for your dog. For example, if you take 5 steps away from the dog and it’s the first time you have done that, go back and only take 2 steps away from your dog the next time.
Start to increase the time your dog has his paws up before you click and give him a treat and make the time between treats greater and greater for continuing to have his paws up.
Add a twist to the Paws Up behavior
Paws up on your arm
Paws up on your leg
Say your prayers – we will be covering this in the Weekly Inspirations
Paws up on your back as you walk forward
Paws up on a shopping cart to push it
Copyright Emily Larlham 2015