Difficulty: Moderate Prerequisite: None Items Needed: Clicker, Treats
A dog that shakes on command can be quite an impressive trick! The only problem: You have to catch your dog in the act of shaking first. This isn't a behavior that happens often: such as sitting, laying down or even barking. Nor is it one that you can introduce with a touch stick, such as spinning or playing dead. You have to catch your dog in the act of shaking, which can be tricky. First, you have to be observant! When does your dog shake? When he gets up from a nap? When he comes back inside? After he's had a bath? Notice these and pick the one that will be the easiest to teach. Usually the most effective training session is immediately after a bath, when your dog is wet and frisky.
Step 1: Catch this trick with the clicker. Click and treat after you give him a bath or after you go outside in the rain when he shakes the water off. Step 2: If he offers the behavior again click and jackpot. Step 3: Click and treat and give the command "shake" whenever he shakes. Step 4: Give the command -- when he shakes, jackpot.
In teaching this trick to Caspian, we had some trouble catching him in the act of shaking. We tried rubbing him down really good—which almost worked. He shook when we messed up his fur, but it was more confusing for him then when we would catch the behavior naturally. What we started doing is clicking when he shook after getting out of the bathtub, or when he came inside on a rainy day. Once we were able to figure out what makes him shake, it was a simple matter of repetition for Caspian to get it.
The behavior doesn't happen often enough for my dog to get it! There are a few tricks you can try to get your dog to shake. First, make sure he's wet. You could try getting a spray water bottle and spritzing some water all over his back. You can also try rubbing your dog back and forth vigorously. This usually causes dogs to shake. Your main problem is getting your dog to realize what he's doing. When the action happens naturally, the dog doesn't think about it much. You have to point it out to your dog, "Hey, good job shaking there. I want you to do it again."
Tip: "Treat big the first few times so your dog will be motivated to find out why he's being rewarded!"