At the canine freestyle seminar last weekend here in Melbourne, Richard Curtis showed us how to teach our dogs to put their paws around a cane. You can use this movement in different ways when it is solid, for instance having the dog put her paw around your leg.
He taught us to hold the cane diagonally in front of us with the dog sitting facing us and ask for a paw touch on our hand. If we then move our hand further from the dog so she can't reach our hand, her paw will fall down onto the cane. We should click or mark that action and reward.
When this is established, it's just a matter of raising the cane gradually, rewardingtouches, until the cane is vertical. We can then tidy up the action by rewarding the paw wrapping more around the cane rather than just touching.
I think the following video is hilarious and shows how Penny was smarter than me at the seminar. She worked out what I wanted almost straight away and kept nudging me for her treat, but I was so focused on listening to Richard's instructions that I didn't see how well she was doing it. In the background of the video you can hear the people who were filming it for me chuckling at my silliness.