How to Teach Your Dog Hands Up

How to Teach Your Dog Hands Up
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How to Teach Your Dog Hands Up trick is a really cool trick to make your little dog know when they’ve been caught.

It is one of our cooler tricks to teach your dog.

Be careful with the older or out of shape dogs. Your dog, your call. SIT is a good prerequisite.

See how to teach a dog to sit if you need more info on that trick.


Get on the ground facing your seated dog. Use the” SIT” command if needed.

In this step, you are getting everything setup. You want your dog calmly seated in front of you.

Don’t praise or reward your dog for sitting at this time as they are expected to do more to earn this bonus.


Slowly move a treat straight up from in front of your dogs’ mouth. As they lift their front paws off the ground to follow, say “HANDS UP” and PRAISE and REWARD them.

This step has two objectives.

First, you want your dog to lift their front paws off the ground as they follow your hand with the treat up. At the same time, you say the verbal command “HANDS UP” so they begin the connection with this action they are taking.

Next, you want to make sure you verbally praise (Good Girl, Good Boy) and give a treat to your dog when they do it correctly.

If they do not do it right, do not give them the treat and make them start over again.


Keep working with your dog, making it harder to earn a treat until they sit with their bottom on the ground and paws up in air.

Consistently say, “HANDS UP” each time and PRAISE and REWARD them when they get it right.

This is where you want a perfect, or at least very good, performance to get the praise and treat. Don’t get frustrated. Keep working at it and you will get there.


Work toward just saying “HANDS UP” for them to take action. A cool twist to this trick is to associate your finger as the queue for the hands up.

How to Teach Your Dog Hands Up is doable by most dogs – and owners. Be positive, consistent and persistent. 

Tell us about your experience in the comments below.

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Steve Larrivee

Steve Larrivee

As a dog lover since his youth, Steve Co-Founded Athenas Pets with his son Kevin to promote dog training to the masses. Athenas Pets, focuses on training products and providing the "know-how" so the average dog owner can train their dog like a pro.

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