Picture of Cute Dog Rolling Over
How to Teach a Dog to Roll Over in 5 Simple Steps

How to teach a Dog to Roll Over in 5 Simple Steps

There are a number of tricks that you can teach a dog, from being able to play dead to giving a hi-5, whether they’re a puppy or an adult. And, even though there are many different ones that you could try out, you may want to consider teaching your furry friend one of the most common tricks of them all; rolling over.

For this trick (as well as many others), it can first be important to teach them a number of basic commands, such as “sit”, “down” and “stay”. Generally, most individuals find that training dogs to roll over and complete a number of other tricks is a simple task when the canine understands these initial commands which, with a little pet training, can be taught with ease.

Not only is it often a really easy skill for a canine to learn, but it’s also fun, too. So, if you want to know how to teach a dog to roll over in just 5 steps, read on.

Can any dog learn to do this trick?

All dogs are different and with so many ways that they can differ from each other, some people find that their dogs are able to learn some exercises, but not others. So, how can you find out if your canine can roll over?

Often factors such as age, size and breed can play a huge role in a dog’s ability to learn tricks. Fortunately, most find that almost any kind of canine can be taught a range of commands and tricks – no matter how large (or small) their body is.

This is because all canines have active, intelligent brains and, although they may be smaller in some dog breeds than others, all of them are capable of learning. Dog training exercises can often be good for quite a few reasons, since they can increase their intelligence and focus whilst being a bonding experience for you and your furry friend.

The reason why canines are generally able to learn this trick in particular is because their body type (and other similar factors) won’t typically affect their ability to roll over. So, whether you have a fully grown Chihuahua or a German Sheppard puppy, it’s likely that your pet will be able to be taught to do this kind of trick.

In general, there are three simple parts when teaching a puppy dog something; command, action and reward. However, it’s important to keep in mind that your timing of giving treats has to be perfect. Usually, you’ll have to reward them when they finish their task – but not too long after, as they may not understand that the treat is associated with them actually doing the trick.

While it may be easier to teach some dogs than others, being taught to roll over is typically considered to be one of the simpler tricks for them to learn – just remember that it might take a little more time and patience for some dogs to get to grips with everything that it entails.

How to train a dog to lie down

Before you try training a dog to roll over, your canine companion will first need to know the “down” command. In general, it can be a much quicker process for pets that already know this command – but don’t worry if your furry friend doesn’t know what “down” means just yet (as it can often be even easier to teach than most other commands).

When trying to get a canine to lie down, it’s often best to practice on a soft surface; such as a carpet or bed. There are two main reasons for this:

  1. It’s much more comfortable for pets to practice on a softer surface and it’s unlikely that they’ll hurt themselves whilst learning.
  2. In most cases, it can even help to boost their confidence when trying to teach them commands and skills if they have something soft to land on.

It’s often easier to kneel in front of your furry friend when trying to train them this command. Here are a few top tips from professional dog trainers:

  1. Tell your dog to sit
  2. When your pet is sitting, hold a treat in your hand so that they can see it (with your palm facing the ground)
  3. Letting them sniff and lick it, slowly lower your hand down
  4. When your hand is on the floor, slowly bring the food closer to you until they lay down
  5. As soon as they do this, give them the treat and praise them for being a clever dog

Once you have mastered the above, the next thing to do is try this without holding anything. To achieve this, follow the first five steps – but say “down” when lowering your hand. Then give them a reward for good behaviour. Now, they may be able to lie down with a verbal cue – although with some dogs, it may take a bit more practice before they get the full hang of it.

Teaching a dog to roll-over

Once they have the hang of laying down on command, teaching a dog to roll over can begin. The steps involved are as follows:

Step 1: Getting them to lean on their side

Kneel beside your dog whilst they’re lying down. Then, while holding a treat, move your hand from your pet’s nose to their shoulder. If they follow it, then it’s likely that they’ll be in a position where they’re leaning back on their side. If they are, give them the food and repeat this process 5 times to ensure they understand why they’re being rewarded.

Step 2: How to move them onto their back

Now that your canine companion is on their side, they can be taught to move onto their back. Using your bait, slowly move your hand past their shoulder and down the floor. Although they may not get into the right position on their first try, make sure to give them their prize and encourage them until they’re able to roll fully onto their back.

Step 3: Rolling over without a lure

If your furry friend can roll onto their back with ease when following a treat, it’s time to try and go through all the same motions without one. Repeat the steps above (without anything in your hand) 5 times and give them treats when they do it correctly.

Step 4: Teaching them the command

Now it’s time to teach them the words “roll over”. Before going through any of the steps again, tell them to roll over and move your hand from their nose to ground. Again, reward them and do this 5 times.

Step 5: No more motions

Lastly, use your verbal cue without giving them any directions with your hands. Give them a few minutes to work out what you’re asking – but if they don’t respond, try repeating the last step again until they understand what you want.

Most find these to be some of the best steps for teaching a dog to roll over – and after all this work, your pet should be able to roll over on command, which is certainly a crowd-pleaser!


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