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How to teach your dog to say hello

Learn how to teach your dog to say hello.

What could be more impressive than your dog sitting and offering a paw to shake hands to say hello. When someone comes to the door it will prove really helpful. This advanced version of giving a paw, involves your dog learning a new way of greeting people. Behaviour that is  both polite and extremely cute is a bonus.

teach your dog say hello
training your dog to say hello


Learning how to teach your dog to say hello has 3 positive aims :

Correct your dog from jumping up

Correct jumping up by replacing the action with “say hello”

Teach your dog a really well-mannered way to greet people and guests. Saying hello is much more polite than the exuberant method your dog might choose. If your dog has a tendency to jump up at people, This is a really good way to direct them into more acceptable behaviour.

Also, a big plus when your dog has been on a muddy walk and shares their joy with others.

Impress your friends & guests

It is a definite crowd pleaser because your dog will be well-mannered, cute and super smart

Performing “say hello” on command is a really cool way for your dog to learn to be introduced to people. It also makes your dog seem really well behaved and well trained. Your dog will look really intelligent and obedient and everyone they meet will be impressed.

Get your dog used to having their paws handled

Get your dog used to people touching their paws – it will help if paws need attention from the vets or dog groomers

Not all dogs like their paws to be touched. This is a cool way to get your dog used to people and strangers touching them in a positive way.  It will ensure your dog is more comfortable and relaxed if they need their paws to be seen by a vet or dog groomer in the future.


How to teach your dog to say hello

Teaching your dog to “say hello” is really easy and they should learn the basics very quickly.

You can use whatever command you like best. We have opted for using the command “say hello”. However, you could use “shake hands”, “shake paws”, “say high-five”, or “say howdy”. Try keeping it short as dogs don’t respond well to long sentences.

It is best to start teaching shake hands with just you. Then lead on to friends and family members in the home. Finally, move on to when someone comes to the door. This way the actions will be embedded in your dog’s brain before the excitement of someone new arriving causes them to forget the trick.


Ask your dog to sit whilst standing in front of them.

Touch your dog’s upper leg gently. Instinctively your dog should raise their paw. Take hold of the underneath of the paw, saying “say hello” as you do. Hold and shake the paw for a few seconds repeating the command and giving a treat as a reward.

Practice this a couple of time a day until your dog is responding to the command without any prompting or needing to touch the leg.

Discuss the training techniques with any visitors in advance so they can reinforce the idea of what is expected. Ask visitors to turn away if your dog is too enthusiastic with their greeting. This will reinforce what behaviour is acceptable.


Once learned, your dog will be a model pooch and will be able to meet and greet in a way that will even please those people who don’t like dogs. Who knows it could even save you the cost a few dry cleaning bills !

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