Get on your knees on the ground in front of your dog and get them in the seated position by giving them the SIT command. No treat just yet though.
In this step, you are getting everything in position. You want your dog seated in front of you to start.
In the normal sit command, you would give praise and reward treat to your dog when they sat.
But, in this step of the hug trick, you don’t want to do this yet. You want your dog to know there is something else they need to do before they are done.
Carefully lift both of your dog’s paws up onto your shoulders (bend down if needed) and say “HUG.”
This step has some key points to mention.
First, be careful when you are lifting your dog’s paws up to your shoulders. If your dog is small or little fragile this advice is for your dog. If your dog is big, this advice is for YOU!
Next, you want your dog to associate (connect) the act of hugging with the verbal command “HUG.”
Don’t treat or reward yet…
After you’ve giving your dog a nice hug, say “OK” and help them get their feet back on the ground. Then, PRAISE and REWARD them.
This is where you recognize your dog for following the “HUG” command. You do this with a verbal praise of Good Boy, Good Girl or something else of your choosing. You also give them a tasty treat.
Over time, you can treat occasionally, but always give a praise.
How to Teach a Dog to Hug is a relatively easy trick for your dog to learn.
Be careful with this trick with small children or elderly friends or family in the house. Sometimes your dog doesn’t know their own strength.
Let us know about your heartwarming experience in the comments below…
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