Learning how to teach a dog to roll over is challenging but rewarding. Figuring out the roll over sign command is easy enough, but rollover dog training itself may take a little effort. However, if you have a little patience and you’re willing to do some work, it won’t be long before your beloved pup will be performing this cute trick.
Training A Dog To Roll Over
Here are the simple steps to getting your dog to follow the rollover command. Remember to give a lot of praise and a belly rub now and then during your training session.
As with any kind of training, teaching your dog to roll over will probably take time. It’s a rare pup who will do this immediately. There’s a pretty good chance your dog will want to wiggle around or jump in order to get the special treat you have in your hand.
- First, approach your dog while they’re lying on the floor. Take the treat and hold it near the dog’s nose, slowly moving it toward their shoulder. As soon as your pup turns their head, give the treat along with some praise. Repeat this until your dog turns their head regularly.
- As your pooch turns their head, stop providing the treat every time. Only give a treat when the head turn results in the dog lying on their side completely.
- Once your dog does this, give the food treat again. That way, you’re rewarding the behavior that is the closest to rolling over.
- It won’t be long until you can pretty easily get the dog to lie on their back. Once that happens, simply show the treat, and they’ll very likely roll over completely.1
Getting Your Dog To Repeat The Roll Over Behavior
Now that you know the basics, you’ll want to reinforce your rollover dog training so your pup will do it on command. Sometimes a tasty treat is a strong motivator — but it may not always be necessary. Here’s how you can get your pooch to roll over any time you want.
Using The “Roll Over” Command
Once your dog starts rolling over regularly while using a treat as motivation, you’ll want to get them used to rolling over when you tell them to. This involves using both a verbal and visual command. Hold the treat in front of you, say “roll over,” and then move the treat so the dog follows it with their head – eventually rolling over all the way.2
Get Your Dog In The “Down” Position
Even though dogs are motivated by treats, you’ll eventually want to get your pup to roll over without having to bribe them. The first step is to get them in the down position.
Face your dog, tell them to “sit,” and grab a treat between your fingers. Slowly move your hand palm-down toward the ground. Then, move your hand slowly along the floor toward your body. The idea is to get your dog to follow your hand down. As soon as your dog’s body touches the floor, give a lot of verbal praise. Do this a few times, always giving plenty of praise.3
Next, work on getting your dog to get on the floor without having to use a hand motion at all. Say “down,” and then lower your hand toward the ground. Repeat a few times, still providing praise. Then just say the word “down” without using your hand to get the dog into the down position. Keep doing this until they respond to the verbal command – making sure you give your pup plenty of love each time.4
“Down” Not Working? Try Another Command
If the “down” verbal command isn’t working, consider using a clicking device or some other type of verbal command. Clicker training is often successful, but your dog might simply respond better to a different word than “down.” It could be “good,” for example. Experiment a little. Whatever works, stick with it.5
Finishing Your Rollover Dog Training
Once your dog gets into the down position on command without the need for treats or hand signals, it’s time to complete the roll over training. Here’s how to get your dog to lie on their side, onto their back, and eventually to roll over at any time.
- Getting your dog on their side – With your dog on the floor in the down position, move your hand in a sideways motion, going from the shoulder to the base of the tail. If all goes well, the dog will roll to the side, and may also start rolling on their back. Try this a few times, always giving praise and affection.
- Getting your dog on their back and rolling over – Try moving your hand in a more curved motion than before, and see if this gets your dog to completely roll over to the other side.
- Repeat the motion – It’s now time to put everything together. Use your verbal command to get your dog into the down position. Then, use the hand motion to get your dog on their side and eventually to get them to roll over. Keep doing this until you’re satisfied that your dog has learned to do the trick.6
How Can Training Your Dog Make Your Life Better?
A regular training regimen can do wonders – not only for you, but also for your beloved family member. While most people assume that you can only train a puppy, dog training can be effective at just about any age. These are some of the many ways both you and your pooch may benefit.
- You’ll form a stronger bond – When you train using a lot of belly rubs, praise, and other positive reinforcement, you strengthen the relationship between you and your dog. It will show your pup, who wants nothing more than to please you, how to behave the right way. Positive reinforcement is a lot better than any sort of punishment-based training. Just remember to follow up with a treat during training. Eventually, you’ll be able to only give treats occasionally.
- You’ll avoid a lot of hassles – Some dogs have a hard time learning where to do their “business.” They may do it whenever the urge hits them – whether they’re inside or outside. By starting house training early, you can nip this problem in the bud. Puppies need to go more often – about every 1-4 hours. But adult dogs who are properly trained can “hold it” for as long as 10 hours.
- Your dog will gain confidence – Training your dog using positive reinforcement may make them friendlier toward other people and dogs in the neighborhood. Socializing can help give them the confidence they need to be a dog everyone loves to be around.7
It’s Worth The Effort
As you can see, learning how to teach a dog to roll over isn’t really that complicated. However, it will take some effort. Just remember to stay patient and show a lot of love each step along the way. The work you put in will eventually be worth it.