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How to Teach a Dog to Roll Over

Learn how to teach a dog to roll over.

Teaching your dog the basic commands of "sit," "lie down," "stay," and "come" is important for having a dog with good manners and also for safety.

There are other commands you can teach your dog that are more about having fun. Teaching these tricks to your dog can bond the two of you closer together. One such trick is "roll over."

Train Your Dog to Roll Over on Command

The "roll over" command can be a bit tricky to teach a dog to respond to because rolling isn't always something that dogs do naturally. Still, many dogs can be trained to do it with some patience and positive reinforcement.

Your dog will need to know how to follow the "down" command before you can teach him to roll over. You can learn how to teach it here: "How to Teach a Dog to Lie Down."

Clicker training can be a great way to teach commands to dogs. Learn more here: "Clicker Training for Dogs: An Overview."

Here are the steps for teaching your dog to roll over:

  • First, give your dog the "down" command.
  • Get him to lie flat on his side, with his head down on the ground, by using a treat or gentle hands.
  • Next, place a small treat near your dog's nose, then move it over his body toward his backbone.
  • Use the treat to guide your dog into rolling all the way over, and then give him the treat.
  • After your dog will do this consistently a few times, begin saying "roll over" as you guide him into a roll.
  • Gradually, reduce your involvement in guiding him to roll over until he will do so in response to the command alone.

If your dog is clicker trained, you can use the clicker in place of the treat to let him know when he's got the right idea.

Note: Take this training as slowly as your dog needs. Have patience, and don't train for too long at once. Usually, a 5-10 minute training session 1-2 times per day is sufficient. You may need to move quite slowly, gradually moving in tiny increments toward having your dog roll completely over.

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