How to Teach Your Dog to Do a High Five

Three Parts:Getting Ready for TrainingTeaching Your Dog to SitTeaching the High-Five Command

Teaching your dog a new trick can be a lot of fun and is great way to bond with your canine friend. Some tricks, like having your dog high-five, can be fairly easy ones to teach. Grab some treats and have fun teaching your dog how to high-five.

Part 1
Getting Ready for Training

  1. Image titled Teach Your Dog to Do a High Five Step 1
    Find a quiet place to train your dog. You will want to find an area to work with your dog that is as free from distractions as possible. By removing your dog from a noisy or busy location, you can help it to focus and learn how to high-five quickly.[1]
    • Never train your dog for more than fifteen minutes at a time. This can cause your dog to become frustrated and hinder training efforts.
  2. Image titled Teach Your Dog to Do a High Five Step 2
    Get the best treats. When you train your dog, you will be rewarding them with treats until they learn how to high-five. Make sure you find a good mix between healthy ingredients and your dog's favorite flavors when selecting a treat.[2][3]
    • Store bought treats are considered safe to give to your dog. However, you must still avoid over-feeding your dog.
    • Apples, strawberries, bananas, cooked sweet potatoes, carrots, lettuce and spinach are some examples of healthy and safe treats for your dog.
  3. Image titled Teach Your Dog to Do a High Five Step 3
    Train your dog carefully. When you reward your dog, you will have to do so at the exact moment they behave in a way you want them to. Rewarding too far before or after they respond to your command will only confuse them and may accidentally reinforce poor behaviors.[4]
    • At the same time, give your dog a treat and offer a positive response such as “Good boy”.
    • Reward your dog just after they perform an action that you want to encourage.

Part 2
Teaching Your Dog to Sit

  1. Image titled Teach Your Dog to Do a High Five Step 4
    Start training with a treat. Before you teach your dog how to high-five, they will need to learn how to sit. If your dog already knows how to sit, you can skip this part, and proceed directly to teaching them how to high-five. Otherwise, take the following actions to begin introducing the sit command to your dog:[5]
    • Get your dogs attention.
    • Present your dogs favorite treat, holding it in your closed hand, a few inches from its nose.
    • Bring the treat above your dogs head and slowly move it behind.
    • Your dog will try to follow the treat with its nose and will have to sit down to do so.
    • Say “Sit” as your dog does so.
    • Reward the dog with the treat after it sits.
  2. Image titled Teach Your Dog to Do a High Five Step 5
    Start hiding the treat from your dog. Once your dog begins to sit on your command, you can begin hiding the treat from them. This phase of training is done by guiding your dog into a seated position with and empty hand. Your dog will learn to equate your verbal commands with the treat.[6]
    • Keep a treat nearby, either in your opposite hand or in a pocket.
    • Even though the treat is hidden during this phase, you will still reward your dog with it after it sits.
  3. Image titled Teach Your Dog to Do a High Five Step 6
    Remove hand signals. Once your dog begins to sit with your hand guiding it into to position, you will want to start removing the hand signals. Instead of bringing your hand back and over your dog's head, simply say “sit” and wait for your dog to do so.[7]
    • Try holding your hand out, in front of your dog, but do not bring it over their head.
    • If your dog still doesn't sit, use your hand to guide it into position, using less range of motion each time.
    • Keep training your dog in this way, using the hand signal less and less, until they sit with only the verbal command.
    • Reward your dog with treats when they sit by verbal command only.

Part 3
Teaching the High-Five Command

  1. Image titled Teach Your Dog to Do a High Five Step 7
    Get a treat ready. Take one of your dogs favorite treats and hold it in a closed fist. Present the hand with the treat to your dog, allowing it to become aware of the treat you are holding. Wait patiently for your dog to paw at your hand.[8][9]
    • Hold the treat around four or five inches away from your dog's nose.
    • Reward the dog once it paws at your hand. This reinforces the behavior that you are trying to train.
    • Don't grab your dogs paw and try to force the high-five.
  2. Image titled Teach Your Dog to Do a High Five Step 8
    Introduce the high-five command. Once your dog begins to paw at your hand, trying to get the treat, you can start to introduce the high-five command. Instead of presenting a closed fist with the treat held within, offer your hand in the high-five position.[10][11]
    • Wait patiently for your dog to paw your open palm.
    • Once the dog high-fives your hand, say “high-five” and reward your dog.
  3. Image titled Teach Your Dog to Do a High Five Step 9
    Reduce rewarding with treats. Eventually you will want your dog to high-five on command, without offering a treat first. This can be done over time, by gradually reducing the amount that you reward your dog with a treat after it high-fives you.[12][13]
    • Start slowly, removing treats as rewards only occasionally.
    • Gradually decrease the amount of treats you reward your dog with until it is able to high-five without them.
    • Replace treats with affection and verbal praise.


  • Always be patient with your dog. Never force any training.
  • If you want to have fun with your dog and other people, try having your dog get used to doing a High Five with other people.
  • Don't be afraid to offer the occasional treat after your dog has learned to high-five without them.
  • Train no more than 15 minutes at a time.
  • If your dog is used to clicker training, you can also add clicking whenever you offer a treat.

Article Info

Featured Article

Categories: Featured Articles | Dog Tricks