How to teach your dog to high five

06 Dec 2023

Show your appreciation for your dog with a big high five and take part in our Pet Trick Challenge to support the dogs and cats at Battersea.

We’re challenging you to high five your pet, donate £5 and tag 5 of your friends to do the same with their pets!

Get your free pet care guide

Our free guide is packed with expert advice and answers to all your questions on toxic foods, body language, training, and brain games for your pet. We’ve even included recipes for making pet-safe homemade treats and toys.

Not sure if your pet is up to the challenge yet? Here’s a step by step guide on teaching your pet to high five. 
Tip: If your dog already knows how to give a paw then you can skip straight to step six.

Step one

Take a handful of treats that your dog likes. First, hold a treat in your hand and move it above your dog’s nose then upwards and slightly over them to encourage them to move back into a sitting position.

If your dog doesn’t know how to do this, take a look at our video on how to teach your dog a sit first. Practise this a few times and reward your dog whenever their back end touches the ground.

Step two

Once your dog is sitting, hold a treat just above their nose and then move your hand across to their right, until they shift their weight on to their right paw. If they lift their left paw up at all then say “yes” and reward them with the treat.

Step three

Repeat step two until your dog is lifting their paw up off the ground each time you move the treat to the right of their nose.

Step four

The next step is to pre-empt your dog lifting their paw and put your other hand out flat to catch it. When you feel them touch your hand with their paw say “yes” and reward.

Step five

Repeat step four until your dog offers their paw into your hand each time you present it.

Step six

Next, present your flat hand again but as your dog lifts their paw change your hand position from a flat palm to a high five upright position. As before, say “yes” and reward when your dog touches your hand.

Step seven

Repeat that process until your dog is consistently high fiving when you present your high five hand.

Step eight

Once your dog has learned this you can then start to add a cue of “high five!” as you present your hand. You can then say “yes” and reward as normal when they complete the high five action.

Take on the Pet trick challenge!

Now that your dog can high five, you are ready for the Pet Trick Challenge! Share on social media (don't forget to tag us!), donate £5 to Battersea and call on five of your friends to do the same with their pets. Keep an eye on our social channels as we will be sharing our favourites in the coming weeks.