Have you ever noticed how much attention a dog that is well trained to do a few simple tricks can receive when out in public or from friends and family? Teaching your dog to respond to the “roll over” command is one of the cutest tricks they can learn. Of course, not all dogs can necessarily learn tricks as quickly or in the same manner and not all dog owners have the patience to teach a pet. With a little time and attention, however, you and your dog can achieve star status. From time to time I will be writing articles on how to teach your dog classic tricks. This article is the first in the series and will be focusing on how to teach a dog to roll over.
Rolling over is a fairly natural behavior for dogs much like lying down or sitting. In the animal world, rolling over is used to express a playful emotion or to convey submission in the presence of a more dominant dog. Since this “trick” is already a behavior that is instinctual to your pet, it makes training them to do it all the easier. You just have to coax them into responding correctly to your spoken “roll over” command. The following steps will help guide you through the process.
1. Position your dog so that they are lying down.
2. Kneel in front of your dog close to eye level and call their name to focus their attention on you.
3. Get one of your dog’s favorite treats and hold it in front of your dog’s nose.
4. Move your hand and the treat slowly from the dog’s nose to the side of their face and over their head.
5. Verbally repeat whatever command you would like that will initiate this trick in the future.
6. Your dog should start to roll over as they are enticed by the smell of the treat.
7. As soon as your dog completes a full “roll over” give them heavy praise and reward them with the treat.
8. Repeat the process several times.
These steps will definitely get the process started. It is important to not overdo the training or attempt to do it too many times in a row. Despite the fact that your dog will have a belly full of treats if you do, they also tend to have relatively short attention spans and get bored easily. Different dogs have different learning potential so don’t expect every dog to master this trick after a few attempts. Most of the time, it takes a few training sessions and a good bit of patience and dedication on your part to complete the process.
Perhaps the most important thing to remember when training your dog to roll over or do any other trick is to make it fun for your dog and you. Make sure that this is a bonding experience for you both and that you are connecting with them. Training your dog to roll over will definitely help in enhancing your relationship. It is also a guaranteed way to show off how smart your dog can be and is very impressive and enjoyable for others.