How to Teach a Dog to High Five

A dog that already knows how to shake can learn to high five quickly.
Dog looking up to the sky image by Tourmalet06 from

Teaching a dog to high five can help him express happiness after certain events, just as humans do. A dog can perform a high five after completing another action, such as fetching. This teaches him that a high five is a reward for additional actions. The high five trick requires a sitting position to retain balance with one paw off the ground; so your dog must learn to sit first.

Sitting Position

Step 1

Stand in an area and call your dog to you.

Step 2

Hold a dog treat between your thumb and forefinger slightly in front of your dog’s nose so he cannot reach it.

Step 3

Move the treat in an arc toward his tail and say, “Sit.” The natural movement of a dog lifting his head and moving backward will put him in a sitting position. As soon as he sits, click a training clicker and give him the treat and lots of praise.

High Five

Step 1

Tell your dog to sit, while you sit or kneel down on the floor in front of him. Click the training clicker and give him a treat for sitting.

Step 2

Hold a treat in the palm of one hand with your hand closed. Hold the training clicker in your other hand. Let your dog smell the treat in your closed hand. When he paws your hand, open your hand, click the training clicker immediately and let him have the treat. Repeat this step holding the treat higher each time.

Step 3

Hold a treat and the clicker in one hand. Raise your other hand open with finger pointing up at your dog’s shoulder level. Tell your dog “high five.” If he does not place his paw on your hand, lift his paw, touch it to your hand, click and give him the treat. Practice this step a few times and he will give you a high five on his own.


  • Keep training sessions limited to about 10 minutes at a time and repeat them two or three times a day until your dog learns commands. Longer training sessions can cause irritation to a dog, such that it takes longer for her to learn a new trick.


  • When teaching a dog to sit, do not hold the treat too high over his head or he will tend to jump up instead of sit.

  • If a dog backs up instead of sitting while you are training him, move to a corner so he has to sit and cannot simply backup instead.

  • Use soft treats for training, as a dog will eat them quickly. Hard training treats take longer to chew and can result in a loss of attention.

  • After your dog learns a new trick, you can praise and pet your dog without the need for treats.

  • A dog associates the sound of a training clicker as a job well done and a treat forthcoming.

  • Train your dog in a quiet area without distractions so you can hold his attention.

Items You Will Need

  • Dog treats
  • Training clicker


About the Author

Mary Lougee has been writing for over 10 years. She holds a Bachelor's Degree with a major in Management and a double minor in accounting and computer science. She loves writing about careers for busy families as well as family oriented planning, meals and activities for all ages.

Photo Credits

  • Dog looking up to the sky image by Tourmalet06 from