handshake between woman and dog - High Five - teamwork between girl dog

Our dogs and cats do all sorts of adorable things that are almost human. But did you ever think of teaching your pet to do human-like tricks? Teaching your dog or cat basic tricks is a fun and rewarding way to share your time together. One fun trick to teach your dog or cat is to give a high five. Read on to learn how!

How to teach your pet to high five

Step 1: Pick out some of your pet’s favorite treats that are small enough to fit in your hand in a closed fist. Choose treats that have an enticing aroma. For cats, try Tuna, Rabbit or Duck. Dogs seem to especially like Beef Liver.

Step 2: Choose a time each day to practice with your dog or cat to get them used to taking treats out of your hand. This helps increase their excitement when it comes to training.

Step 3: Show your pet the treat in your open hand but instead of giving it to them, close your hand around the treat into a fist and place your hand near the floor. If your dog or cat makes any movement to acknowledge the treat in your hand by touching your hand with its paw, immediately open your fist and reward them with the treat.

Step 4: Continue practicing while gradually moving your hand higher and higher, so your dog or cat gets used to reaching up and touching your closed fist with their paw.

Step 5: Now that your pet has learned to reach up and touch your fist in order to get a treat, it is time to try the same method but with your hand open, with no treat. As soon as your dog or cat touches your hand with their paw, give them a treat, use the command “high five” and reward them. Eventually they will begin to learn that touching your hand will bring them a reward. They will also begin to associate the words “high five” with performing the trick.

Step 6: Once your cat or dog is consistently high fiving, you can start moving the height of your hand to just above their head. With time, patience and lots of treats, your pet will immediately give you a high five when you present your hand and give the command “high five.”  

Try to practice with your pet for about 15 minutes a day and if you feel yourself getting frustrated it is best to end the training session. Use lots of snacks and praise and your pet will have their high five down in no time! Check out some of our other blogs for more fun ways to spend time with your pet and sign up for our email list to receive special savings and promotions throughout the year on your pet’s favorite Vital Essentials food and treats.