BonniDune Kennel is located in
Southern Indiana, USA. Although I started
with German Shepherd Dogs, today BonniDune is
dedicated to showing, trialing and producing
sound, versatile Border Collies.
BonniDune is proud to be recognized as an AKC Breeder of Merit.

Puppies Born December 25, 2013

How To Teach A Border Collie To Shake Hands


Teaching your Border Collie to shake hands is a fun and impressive trick that can strengthen the bond between you and your furry friend. While Border Collies are highly intelligent and trainable, it’s important to use positive reinforcement techniques and be patient throughout the training process. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to teach your Border Collie to shake hands.

Step 1: Get the Basics Right

Before starting the training, make sure your Border Collie has mastered basic commands like sit, stay, and come. These foundational commands will make it easier for your dog to understand and follow the shaking hands command.

Step 2: Choose a Cue

Select a word or phrase that will serve as a cue for your Border Collie to offer its paw for a handshake. Common cues include “shake,” “paw,” or “gimme five.” Consistency is key, so choose a cue you’re comfortable using and stick to it throughout the training.

Step 3: Prepare Treats

Gather a handful of small, tasty treats that your Border Collie loves. These treats will serve as positive reinforcement and motivation during the training sessions. Ensure the treats are easily manageable and can be quickly consumed by your dog.

Step 4: Introduce the Cue

With treats in hand, say the chosen cue word while gently tapping your dog’s paw. Repeat this several times, associating the cue with the action. Be patient and give your Border Collie time to understand the connection between the cue word and the desired behavior.

Step 5: Offer Your Hand

Extend your hand, palm facing up, towards your Border Collie and say the cue word. When your dog lifts its paw to touch your hand, reward it immediately with a treat and praise. Repeat this step, gradually reducing the tapping motion and relying solely on the verbal cue.

Step 6: Reinforce and Repeat

Consistency is crucial in dog training. Practice the handshake command daily, gradually increasing the duration your Border Collie holds its paw in your hand before giving the reward. Reinforce the behavior with positive reinforcement, treats, and praise each time your dog successfully shakes hands.

Step 7: Generalize the Behavior

Once your Border Collie has mastered shaking hands at home, it’s important to generalize the behavior to different environments and situations. Practice the trick in various locations, with different distractions present, to ensure your dog can perform the handshake command reliably.


Teaching your Border Collie to shake hands can be a fun and rewarding experience for both you and your furry companion. Remember to be patient, use positive reinforcement techniques, and remain consistent throughout the training process. With time and practice, your Border Collie will master this impressive trick and strengthen the bond you share.

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