How to Teach Your Dog to Roll Over in 3 Easy Steps!

How to Teach Your Dog to Roll Over in 3 Easy Steps!

Author WDF Staff


Training is a vital part of dog ownership. Not only will it teach your dog to behave, but it will also help you and your dog bond. They will start seeing you as an authority and listen to things you tell them. Dogs love having a structured life, and they thrive on rules and schedules. If you have a dog, you probably noticed they know the exact time for their walks or meals.

One of the fun commands you can teach your dog is the “Roll over” command. While it doesn’t have a practical use like “Stay” or “Sit” commands, it can be a neat trick you can use for giving your dog a bit more mental activity. If you have a dog that loves learning, they will love learning new tricks, and “roll over” can be one of those tricks. Here is how to teach your dog to roll over in 3 easy steps.

Before you start

Before you start, you should teach your dog the “Sit” and “Down” commands. This is a great starting point that will make the “Roll over” training a piece of cake. The second thing you should decide on is a training method. The best thing to do is continue training in the same manner you taught your dogs previously. Personally, we love and prefer clicker training.

Clicker training

Clicker training has many benefits. The most significant one is that it lets your dog know the exact moment they are doing something right. The clicking sound will let your dog know what is expected of them, and the possibility of confusing your dog is minimal. If you are not familiar with it, check out this article - Getting started with clicker training.

dog rolling over

Teaching the dog to roll over

Make sure you have everything you need to start your training session. You’ll need high-value training treats, a clicker, and patience. Some dogs learn faster than others, but with a correct approach and patience, all dogs can eventually learn to roll over. Pick a place that will have fewer distractions. Starting in your living room or your yard might be a good idea. Here is how you teach your dog to roll over in 3 easy steps;

Step 1

Some dogs might do a full roll in step 1 of roll-over training, but we learned that breaking it into small pieces is effective in most cases. The starting point of the roll-over training is the “down” position. Your dog should be lying down on their belly, and you should use a treat to motivate them. However, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a treat. You can use their favorite toy.

When the dog gets in the lying position, you want to hold the treat in front of their nose. Make sure they can smell it. Move the treat from the nose towards their shoulder, and as soon as your dog starts turning their head, you click and give them a treat. Repeat until the dog is constantly turning their head around.

Step 2

In this step, you will try to get your dog in the position where they will be lying on their back. Start by moving the treat further behind their back, so your dog has to lie down on their side to follow the treat. At this point, some dogs are too excited to lie on their side, and they will start turning their head towards the other side to get to the treat. Make sure you move the treat slowly, so your dog can follow it and lay on their side.

As soon as your dog lays down on their side, you should click your clicker and give them a reward. Some dogs might be too excited about training, so you should select the part of the day when they are not at their most energetic. Some owners preferred training after their walks or right before bed. The training session should be no longer than 15 minutes.

If the dog is constantly lying down on their side, and you have successfully rewarded that behavior, you have completed the second step in teaching a dog to roll over. The key thing for this step is to take your time and move little by little until the dog completes the task successfully 90% of the time.

There are some things all dogs should know. Check out this article for more information - Dog commands all dogs should know.

Step 3

In step 3, you will get your dog to lay on their back and actually roll over. When the dog is in the side-laying position, you should start moving the treat toward the same shoulder you moved it to get them in that position. Take your time and move slowly. To follow the treat, your dog will have to turn on their back and on the other side. This is how you lure your dog into doing what you want from them. Once they are on their side, it is easy to get them into the upright position by holding the treat above them and letting them know they can stand up. As soon as they complete the roll, make sure you click and give them a treat. Repeat until the dog is constantly doing the roll.

The last part is actually including the “Roll over” command. Before your dog starts getting down to roll over (Step 1), include the command you want to use for that trick. It can be “roll over,” or simply, “roll.” Whatever you want will work. Say the command clearly, then start luring the dog with treats. Eventually, you will say the command and stop using the treat as a lure. That should happen when the dog starts doing the trick before you use the treat as a lure. Repeat until the dog is consistently listening to your command.

In conclusion

Teaching a dog to roll over is not that hard if they already know the “Down” command. This is a fun trick that will help your dog develop their cognitive skills and help you closely bond with your dog.

World Dog Finder team

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