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First of all, sorry to our lovely cat and small-furry owners out there. This one is for dog owners. However, if you do manage to teach this trick to another pet we would absolutely love to see!

Teaching your dog a fun trick is all about patience, positive encouragement and reward. By practising for just five minutes or so a day, you can teach your dog to shake hands in no time.

Step 1: Can your pet perform the command, “sit”? If so, ask him to do so.

Step 2: Kneel next to your dog and hold out a treat in your hand at your dog’s chest height. Show it to him so he knows it’s there, and then close your hand again.

Step 3: Most dogs will then try and open your hand by pawing at it. If your dog stands up, gently remind him to sit again. As soon as your dog lifts his paw to try and touch your hand, take his paw, praise him enthusiastically and give him the treat. Repeat this until your dog is doing it easily.

Step 4: Now it’s time to add a command. “Shake” will work just fine, but you could always say something more playful like “How do you do”!

Step 5: Now, every time you present the treat, say the command, and then praise your dog and give him the treat when he holds up his paw.

Step 6: Keep practising little and often, and your clever dog will soon be able to greet your neighbours.

Happy training!