Ray caught on very quickly to “Shake a paw” (with either paw), “Wave”, and “High five.” *
Sometimes when he felt he needed some attention, he would come over to where I was sitting and plant a paw on my leg. This was all very nice until he got a little excited. His paws are quite large and claws very strong so if he accidentally swatted me with his paw, it could be quite a noticeable event! This also applied to the “Shake a paw”, and “High five” greetings in that if there was any miscalculation, the impact could be significant. If a small child was involved in the greeting, the result could be of concern.
The “Wave” was safe because it was always done at a distance and so there was no physical contact. Carol decided to work on the “Fist bump (aka Hand bump)”* as a way of developing a greeting that involved physical contact, but the underside of his paws would not be involved.
It really wasn’t long before she was ready to demo a “Fist bump” with Ray, so I watched with anticipation. The problem, at least from my perspective, was getting Ray to understand that contact was expected on the front of his leg just below his “wrist” (and above his foot). He would therefore have to bend his “wrist” joint so that his foot drops.
His first attempt was pretty good but things fell apart a little after that as Carol guided her fist towards him only to be met with pads and claws! His success rate at that time was probably barely 50% however, perseverance paid off. A day or two later, his success average was much higher and it was really interesting to watch him lift his leg up; drop his foot by flexing his “wrist” joint and therefore presenting the front of his leg for contact! Carol just had to quickly direct her fist onto his leg.
At the time of writing this Post, it would be misleading to suggest that he has it permanently etched in his memory however, after a very brief refresher he is ready to “Fist bump” anybody on request! *Related Post “High five”, Shake a paw” etc. – Nov 22, 2014