Teaching a dog or puppy new tricks can be a fun bonding experience, and with the right attitude and methods, your dog can learn and continue their training through a variety of tricks. Once he has mastered sit and stay the next question owners may ask is how to teach their dog to roll over. When it comes to the basics of teaching this trick to your dog there are three key components to consider: movement, treats, and commands. A movement of rolling over may seem simplistic to us but the concept is rather alien to your dog, and for him to learn the trick effectively, it is worth breaking the trick down into a sequence of movements.
Simplified steps to the ”roll over” trick:
- By now he should know how to sit and lie down, so begin by signaling him to sit.
- Coax him onto his back by giving him the ”down” command.
- Place one of your hands on his outer thigh and the other on his inner shoulder. Say ”over” in a confident tone as you gently roll him away from you. (Some suggest pushing or pulling limbs in the desired direction as guidance, but this can be uncomfortable for all concerned so it may be better to have him follow your hand and a treat.)
Treats are essential in training because they provide a reward that your dog can focus on and want to work for, and this is why special treats that are not often given work much better. At first you can give him a treat once each individual stage is completed, but as the training progresses this can be limited until he receives one treat for a fully completed trick. Once the rewards and movements are in place, it is time to move on to the command. The ultimate goal is to have your dog respond only to the words, without the guidance of your hands or treats, but it can take time for him to make the association between the command and their response, so it requires a gentle transition.
Tips for a Fluid ”Roll Over” Movement
Because this is a trick that requires a lot of patience and time, there are other tips and factors to consider that can make the experience easier on you both.
- When you are coaxing your dog through these different movements, it is important to keep up the praise and enthusiasm. If your dog hears the fun you are having and is given the praise he seeks, he will be more open to responding and find the training less stressful.
- If your dog is less responsive to food treats, you can use something else more tailored to their personality.
- When it comes to the commands, always remember the tone you are using, because not only should it be playful and enthusiastic, it needs to remain the same for an association to be made.
- Training sessions can be repeated 3 times a day, each 5 to 10 minutes long
There is sometimes skepticism of whether or not to teach him this trick. It is easiest when he is a puppy because he will have fewer issues over dominance that could make him less inclined to show his belly. If your canine is of a larger breed, it still can be a worthwhile trick, especially if he is agile. Learning how to teach a dog to roll over is much like learning other tricks- simple guidelines will get results. For any trick, tone and reward are vital for good results, as is patience and enthusiasm, but more importantly your dog should be having fun. If he does not appear comfortable with the movements, then move on to another trick.