How To Teach Your Dog To Cross His Paws

A simple and adorable trick that you can easily teach your dog or puppy is to have her cross her paws. Many pets will do this by accident and it always puts a smile on my face when I witness this cute sitting posture.

You can easily teach train your dog to lie down and look elegant with its paws crossed by following these simple instructions:

Step 1: Start the exercise with your dog in the down position (of course he should already be trained to do so before attempting the ‘cross paws’ trick)

Step 2: Now have your dog offer his paw on command. If he does not know how to respond to this command yet, simply reach out and grab one of his paws. Be sure to click once (using a clicker) and offer a small treat each time. It is important that your dog remains in the down position while doing this.

TIP: If he still struggles to understand how to give you his paw, simply use the treat and place it in the palm of your hand a few inches is away from one of his paws. Soon enough, he will naturally move to touch the treat that is in your hand in hopes that you will release the tasty snack. Be sure to click each time he taps your palm.

Step 3: Continue having your dog offer his paw, but be sure to concentrate only on one paw at a time and do so repetitively with a click and a treat.

Step 4: When your dog has reached the stage where you can rely on him to target your hand with one of his paws, slowly move your hand closer to your dog’s other front paw.  Now in order to offer you his paw, he must lift it up and move over sideways in order to reach your hand.

What may happen is that he may choose to lift the opposite paw instead of continuing with the trained paw. Each time this happens, all you have to do is pull away from your hand and simply ignore this response from your dog.

Step 5: You are almost done. When your dog can target your hand as it has moved to the opposite side, near his other paw, quickly snap your hand back at the last second. His moved paw should now land right over the other paw and in a crossed-paw fashion. Be sure to click and offer a treat.

Step 6: Continue repeating this training regimen and each time his paw crosses over, slowly fade your hand away so it is further from the dog. Eventually, your dog will automatically cross his paws when he sees your hand signal and an increasingly longer distance away from you.