Jump to Hand Classroom

This game is a great foundation for many skills and behaviors that you can use in everyday life, training or just having fun with your dog.  Before you teach your dog many of the games or begin any classes, you need to teach your dog to jump to your left and right hand.

Visualization – While doing this skill, you want  your dog to respond quickly as soon as you present your hand and give your dog the “get it” command. The final jump height will be the height you decide to present your hand.  In other words, the height your dog will jump on finishes will be determined by the height of your hand.  Remember that small dogs cannot jump as high as larger dogs.
  1. Get treats out and ready before getting your dog out.
  2. Hold the treat between your thumb, index finger and middle finger, with your palm down and knuckles up.
End Goal – For your dog to jump up to your hand and get the treat  quickly and without hesitation.


  • To begin, hold one treat in your left hand and one treat in your right hand.
  • Hold both treats in such a way that each will be clearly visible to your dog when the treat hand is “presented” to your dog.
  • Keep your arms by your side until the treat/hand is “presented” to your dog.
  • Simultaneously tell your dog to “get it” while moving your hand at a height where your dog is looking upward and where he can easily lift his front feet off the ground to take the treat from your hand.
  • When you begin to teach your dog this game, keep the treat/hand low and close to your dog until he is easily jumping up to get the treat.
  • Once your dog has jumped for the first treat, quickly turn toward your dog and present the treat with your other hand, giving your “get it” command.
  • Repeat this sequence several times until your dog is jumping promptly and with enthusiasm.
  • Once your dog is jumping to your hand with enthusiasm begin to wean off the treats by randomizing having a treat in your hand.
  • HOLD your hand a distance from the ground that is comfortable for your dog to jump.  This will help him develop the drive to react quickly each time you ask him to jump.

Lastly – Present your hand higher or further over time to encourage more speed in your dog’s response and additional height in the jump. The length of time it takes for your dog to learn to jump higher and with more speed will depend on your dog’s age, size and physical type. In addition, remember to wean off the treat in your hands.


* As with any skill you teach your dog, practice the Jump to Hand Game in many different locations, distractions, and situations.

* Have your dog jump from different positions (stand, sit, or down) as well as from in front, or from either side of you.

* Wean off the treat in your hand quickly so your dog will jump readily on your signal/verbal command.

  • If your dog is not readily jumping for the treat, make sure he is hungry and use high value treats.
  • If he hesitates or will not jump at all, make sure he doesn’t have a physical condition which is deterring him from jumping.
  • Be sure that you present and are holding the treat so that your dog can see it.
  • Hold your hand still and away from your side.
  • Lastly, be sure you are holding your hand low enough where your dog can easily jump to get the treat.

Enjoy teaching and playing this exhilarating game with your dog!