High Five for Fitness


If you are short on time, high five is a quick and easy exercise is great for developing strong shoulders and upper arms. Especially useful for dogs that like to jump or participate in agility-like sports.

What is High Five?

High Five is when the dog reaches for your hand in either a seated or a standing position. It strengthens both abduction and adduction muscles – those that pull muscles towards the body and those that push the muscles away.

tools-high-fiveWhere Can I Do High Five Exercises?

High Five can be performed inside or outside. Start with a level surface. Conditioned dogs can advance to using an unstable surface like a balance disc for this exercise. Try using Disc or K9FITbone for front paw placement.

High Five Guidelines:
1) From a sit position, lift one paw to your hand.
2) Say “High-Five” and reward placement with a treat. Your Dog will associate paw placement with treat and start to reach on his own.
3) Move placement of treat to change height of leg and extension to target different parts of the muscles.
4) Strive to keep the pastern (wrist area) straight. Work both sides evenly.

K9FITvest Workout SwagTip-high-five

*reprint from 2017

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8 comments on “High Five for Fitness
  1. Emma says:

    My sisters and I do high fives. We never thought of it as an exercise, it has been more just for fun. Thanks for joining the hop!

  2. Kate Obrien says:

    Great suggestions – I’ve been trying to teach this to Jack.

  3. Mark S says:

    I never thought of a high five as exercise either, but it is probably no different than a leg lifts for humans. Great suggestion.

  4. browndogcbr says:

    Hi Y’all!

    Shouldn’t be hard for me to learn. I already give left paw and right paw and do shake hands.

    Y’all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  5. Mort totally loves the high-five… he is pretty darn enthusiastic about it and will even take a flying leap with the paw in the air and almost knocks me over when we meet paw-to-hand. And he’s only 27lbs! I should maybe re-cue it “Power High Five!” It was a really good exercise because he had issues with touching his paws, and this made a really positive game out of it. Now too positive, perhaps 🙂

  6. Diane Silver says:

    Like the idea of doing this on a K9FItbone too. Great idea!

  7. I have used high five as balance work on balance pads but never thought of it as strength training too. Great post!

  8. We do high fives a lot. it is one of the easiest to teach. 🙂