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How To Teach Your Small Breed Dog To Wave Their Paw

Updated: Feb 22

Cute Chihuahua waving paw

The quintessential royal wave

a gesture synonymous with elegance, isn't reserved solely for humans. Have you ever wondered if your furry friend could master this sophisticated dog training trick?

Wonder no more!

Our expert Mary Puppins Dog Nannies have meticulously curated a guide to help you to teach your little one how to master this charming paw wave skill.

Prepare to witness your beloved small breed dog impress fellow dogs with their newfound finesse.


"Teaching your dog paw is a great way to spend some quality time with your four-legged friend. This simple command could help to boost your pooch's health, flexibility, and concentration too!". PDSA



Before embarking on this delightful journey, ensure your small breed dog is adept at the commands 'sit' and 'paw'.

While familiarity with 'shake' or 'high five' can be advantageous, it's not obligatory.

Keep delectable high-value treats at the ready – your secret Dog Mum weapon for rewarding accomplishments!

Step 1

Start with your small breed dog seated before you.

Extend your hand in their direction and request a 'paw'.

Swiftly acknowledge the action with an enthusiastic 'yes' or 'good!' to establish a positive connection.

Repeat this sequence multiple times.

Step 2

Once your dog is at ease with step 1, gradually elevate your hand, encouraging your dog to raise their paw higher.

Swiftly reinforce the action with your encouraging cues and treat rewards.

Repeat, gradually elevating your hand until your dog easily lifts their paw above their head. In due course, they'll be swiping the air, mirroring the royal wave.

Step 3

As step 2 becomes familiar, your small breed dog will associate the appearance of your hand with the elegant swipe.

Introduce your 'royal wave' verbal command, whether it's 'say hello' or 'wave'. This forges the connection between the gesture and the command.

Step 4

Persist in step 3 and transition your hand's posture from an extended reach to a waving gesture. You can even demonstrate the royal wave yourself!

Sustain the reinforcement of 'yes' or 'good' along with treats. Soon, you'll be waving at your small dog, prompting them to respond with their newfound skill.

Remember, brief and upbeat dog training sessions yield optimal results. Every dog learns at their unique pace, so patience is key. In no time, your little one will flaunt their royal wave, a testament to your bond and shared accomplishments.

Share your victories with us – we'd love to see your small breed dog's regal wave in action!


"Teaching him to 'wave' hello or goodbye is one adorable trick that serves this purpose. Your guests will get the enjoyment of interacting with your dog, while your dog will enjoy a stress-free moment performing a trick in the vicinity of new people. It's a win-win for everyone, and can be a small step towards the larger goal of teaching your dog that new people are a source of fun, not stress.". PetGuide


How to teach a small breed dog to wave their paw?

Start by getting your dog's attention and showing them a treat. Use the treat to guide their paw in a waving motion while saying the command "wave".

Reward them with the treat and praise when they move their paw.

What are the steps to train your small dog to wave?

The steps are: get your dog's attention, show them a treat, guide their paw in a waving motion with the treat, say the command "wave", and reward them when they do the action.

Can all small breed dogs learn to wave their paw?

Yes, all small breed dogs can learn to wave their paw with patience and consistent training. However, a dog's breed and temperament can impact how quickly and easily they learn.

What are the benefits of teaching your small breed dog to wave?

Teaching your dog to wave is a sweet technique that will wow your friends and family, strengthens your relationship, and gives your dog cerebral stimulation!

How long does it take to teach a small breed dog to wave their paw?

The duration may differ significantly according to the breed of dog.

While some people may pick things up in a few days, others may need many weeks. When teaching dogs, consistency and patience are essential.

Disclaimer: This article is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for veterinary advice. For specific veterinary dog health advice, contact a veterinary pet healthcare provider.

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Mary Puppins, dog training, wave their paw, dog trainer

mary puppins expert small dog breeds uk

Kate Phillips, Chief Editor

BSc (Hons), MSc

Kate is the UK's very own Mary Puppins, a professional Dog Nanny and expert in small breed dogs. With over 30 years' experience and successfully helping high profile celebrity pet parents raise their furry families, Kate shares her top tips with you. Kate guides readers on small breed dogs, dog health, dog training, dog nutrition, dog food, dog walks, dog accessories, dog enrichment, rescue dogs, dog behaviour, dog grooming and the best products for dog mums and dog dads to create the ultimate luxury lifestyle for their small dogs.


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