If your dog knows some basic commands like sit and lay down, then it’s time to learn how to teach a dog to roll over. It seems simple enough, but some dogs can be stubborn and difficult when learning new things. So, it’s important to be patient and consistent with your dog. Don’t set your expectations too high right off the bat in order to allow them time to fully understand this new trick.
How to Teach a Dog to Roll Over
You can teach your dog to roll over in as little as five steps. For dogs who are quick learners, this should be a breeze. But for others, it might take some time, so don’t rush it.
Step 1: Have Training Treats Ready
Before any successful training session, you’ll need to have training treats ready or another exciting reward for your dog. Most dog parents use small, low calorie treats that your dog already adores. Others use their dog’s favorite toy if their dog needs to lose some weight. A good option for dog parents who want to give treats without their dog gaining weight is to use bits of fruits and vegetables that are safe for dogs, such as carrots or blueberries. Have these handy so you can reward your dog every time they do something right.
Step 2: Ask Your Dog to Lay Down
If you want to teach your dog to roll over, you first need to teach them to lay down. If they don’t know how to lay down, make sure they learn that command first. For rolling over, ask your dog to lay down and reward them when they do. Then, kneel down in front of them with their training treats easily accessible to you.
Step 3: Lure Them to Roll
Next, hold a treat near the side of your dog’s head. Slowly move the treat toward their shoulder, and they’ll likely lay on their side. Start by practicing that a few times, and reward them each time. Some dogs will find it easier to roll onto one side over the other, so try having them roll both ways. From there, you can stick to whichever one seems more natural for your pup.
Once they know how to roll onto their side, you’ll need to lure them into completing the roll. This part is a little trickier for most dogs, so it might take a few tries. When they are lying flat on their side, slowly move the treat from their shoulder to the floor to encourage them to complete the roll. They should quickly learn to roll onto their other side, but it might take a few tries to get it right. Rolling onto their back can be scary for some dogs at first, so repeat these steps as often as your dog needs you to.
Step 4: Use the Command
When your dog finally rolls over completely, make sure to praise them. Say the command “roll over” as you praise them and hand them a treat. Every time your dog successfully completes the trick, make sure you say, “roll over.” Using a consistent hand motion with this cue can also help your dog learn it easier. Most dog parents make a circle motion with their finger as a cue. Once you settle on the hand motion and command, always keep it the same to avoid confusing your dog.
Step 5: Praise and Repeat
Repeat these steps over and over again to help your dog remember their new trick. Every time they do it, give them a treat and tell them how good they are. Soon, they’ll be excited to roll over because they know they’ll be welcomed with love and support. The more often you practice this command and all other commands with your dog, the sooner they’ll get the hang of it and the more comfortable they’ll be.
Moving Forward with Training
Rolling over won’t come easily for every dog, but it’s worth all the time and patience. Training your dog will help form a closer bond between the two of you and it will help them learn to trust you more. If your dog doesn’t seem ready to learn “roll over” yet, then stick to the more basic commands like sit, stay, and come. The more your dog practices the commands they already know, the sooner they’ll be ready to learn new ones. So, always be patient with your dog and set aside plenty of training sessions for them.