How To Teach A Dog To Roll Over

So you are beginning to train your dog? Congratulations! This is an exciting time for everyone as you get to watch your dog develop and grow and your dog gets the chance to be challenged every day in a fun way. Below we outline how to teach your dog to roll over as well as give some useful tips that can be applied to dog training in general. Best of luck!

How To Teach A Dog To Roll Over

How To Prepare To Teach A Dog To Roll Over

Before teaching your dog to roll over you should take the time to teach the basic command of “down” as this will be the starting position for teaching your dog how to roll over.

Breaking a trick into simple steps is the best way to support your dog in their learning process. 

To teach the down command follow the below steps for either technique one or technique two:

Technique One

What You Need: a number of small treats

  1. Begin in a room where there are not many distractions, such as a bathroom
  2. Wait for your dog to lie down on their own and reinforce this behavior with attention and a treat
  3. Give the command for your do to get up again, luring them back into a standing position with a treat when necessary
  4. Wait for your dog to lie down again, reinforce the behavior and now have your dog stand again
  5. As your dog goes to lie down again say “down” so that your dog can learn to associate this word with this action
  6. Repeat and slowly stop using treats until your dog is simply responding to the down command

Technique Two

This technique should be used if your dog does not go into a lie position alone

What You Need: a number of small treats

  1. Hold a treat in your hand to your dog’s nose and slowly bring it to the floor
  2. When your dog’s elbows reach the floor give them the treat
  3. Repeat steps one and two and then begin to bring your empty hand to the floor and give your dog a treat after he lies down
  4. Once your dog is following your hand signal begin to also introduce the word “down” so your dog can associate this command with this action

It is important that when you are training your dog to lie down you never forcefully put your dog into the lie down position. If you are struggling to progress with this command, take a break and try again another time. 

How To Teach A Dog To Roll Over

How To Teach A Dog To Roll Over 

Now that your dog can perform the “down” command you are in a great place to teach your dog and help them to master how to roll over.

Teaching this trick can take some time so patience is necessary but as long as you support your dog and give plenty of positive reinforcement we know that you will get there!

Follow the steps below to teach your dog how to roll over:

What You Need: a number of small treats

  1. Kneel in front of your dog and give the “down” command
  2. Take a small treat and hold it to the side of your dogs head near the nose
  3. Move your hand slowly from your dog’s nose to their shoulder, still holding the treat in your hand, luring them to roll flat on their side
  4. Repeat steps two and three a few times and give your dog lots of praise and a treat each time they lie flat on their side with their head on the floor
  5. Now things get a bit more advanced! Continue the movement of your hand, while holding a treat, once they are lying flat. You are aiming to lure them to roll onto their back by moving your hand from their shoulder to their backbone
  6. Once they are lying on their back continue with the hand movement until they roll onto the opposite side, completing a 180-degree turn, or roll over, from the starting position
  7. Once they get to grips with following the treat from the starting position to the end position of a roll over begin to add the verbal cue “roll over”
  8. Slowly reduce the hand movement and simply use the verbal cue, giving your dog a treat after performing the command. Remember to keep praising and rewarding all of your dog’s fantastic work!
How To Teach A Dog To Roll Over

Top Tips For Training Your Dog

We hope our outlined technique helps you with teaching your dog how to roll over. Training your dog can be difficult and requires a lot of patience and understanding.

Below we share some top tips that we found helpful when training our dogs:

Training Times

You should aim to spend 5-10 minutes per day training your dog.

Make sure your dog is calm and focused, after a short walk is usually a good time as your dog has exhausted their excess energy and can now concentrate better. 

Never Force It

If your dog is not responding to training don’t force it. Stop and try again another time. It will take time for you to realize when is the best time to train your dog.

When teaching commands never force your dog into different positions, this will not assist with the training process and could add stress to your dog. Don’t yell at them if they can’t do it yet!

Continuous Practice

After a dog learns a new command or a trick it is up to you to give your dog the opportunity to practice their new skills to make sure they don’t forget it.

Incorporate practice into playtime, rewarding your dog with their favorite toy rather than a treat

Positive Reinforcement

Attention is very important during training times as you don’t want to become dependent on giving your dogs treats constantly.

A rub and verbal praise will be well received by your dog and make them want to continue with positive actions to get more

Small Treats

Small, yummy treats that your dog likes and can quickly eat are essential for training.

If you are giving your dog treats that take some time to eat then it creates a slump during training time and you need to work to get your dog to focus again.

You can reward your dog with a larger treat at the end of training sessions if you want to

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Final Thoughts

Training your dog is a great way of getting to spend one-to-one time with your furry pal. Never take for granted the struggle dogs can have learning even the most basic commands.

Learn how to read your dog so that you can see when the training is not going well and when they may be confused or getting stressed.

Understanding your dog’s actions will help you to be the best owner possible and help create a beautiful bond between you and your dog.

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