By Coco and Sue Ridgley

“If you aren’t having fun, you aren’t doing it correctly.” Kyra Sundance.

“Paws up” was the first trick Coco learned. I started with using a treat to lure him to put his paws in the air and then stuck my arm out under them when they came down. Then, I said, “paws up” and stuck out my arm. After a few tries and a lot of encouragement, he started to put his paws out on my arms. I used hot dog pieces (tiny) or his favorite roast beef to keep him interested. We were taking our first obedience class and one of the requirements was a trick on the last class. I “sang” “How much is that doggie in the window” while I walked around him and he sat and stayed! At the end, we did “paws up” on my arm. His first performance!

Using positive reinforcement is paramount with a Lhasa. So, instead of “no” or correcting him, I say “almost” and “try again”. We only work in 5-10 minute sets, or until the 10 treats I have are gone. Then, we work again later, quitting with him wanting to do more. (I was a teacher of children and know from research that an average child takes up to 35 repetitions of something to “get it”. For a dog, that’s at least 100 times. 100 = 5 days x 10 times in two sessions a day, so
in a week, your dog should be able to do most things.)

After you’ve taught “paws up” on your arm, teach your Lhasa to put his paws up on a small box that is upside down on a surface that won’t scoot. I started with a small wooden box. I also use a big dog dish (upside down) that has rubber matting glued to the top and also to the rim so that it won’t scoot. Try a firm sofa pillow, an upside-down basket or a big rock (outside). “Paws up” is a beginning trick that can lead to other tricks (“move it” around in a circle, “close” for a
drawer or door, etc.)