In nature, dogs roll over in different circumstances, but how can dogs be trained to purposely roll over on command? This trick looks impressive, and the best part is that it can be easily taught to dogs that have been already taught to sit and lie down on command. All that is needed is some treats, a rug or some other soft area, and a clicker (optional). In this training method, a treat is used as a lure to guide the dog to roll over.
Step-by-Step: How to Train The Rollover Tricks
As with other tricks and obedience commands, it’s best to not add the command until the dog has understood the exercise and the behavior has become more fluid. In the case of rolling over, it’s best to add the command only once the dog is capable of rolling all the way over with the help of tasty treats.
- Have your dog over the carpet area and tell him to sit and lie down.
- Hold a treat between your thumb and index finger allowing it to protrude enough to entice the dog to sniff it. Bring the treat by his nose and move it towards his shoulder so he will need to lie on his side in order to follow it.
- Pull the treat all the way around so your dog will have to roll over in order to follow it.
- When he completes the whole roll, click your clicker and give him a treat. If you don’t have a clicker, you can use a verbal marker such as “yes!” or “good boy!” followed by a treat.
- When your dog is capable of rolling the right way, you may add the command, “roll over!”
- Repeat several times, but don’t make the training session too long or Oliver risks getting bored and losing interest. Keep it short and fun. Better have several short sessions throughout the day and a long and tedious one.
- In the case the dog is unable to roll over at once, it’s not a bad idea to split the exercise in smaller parts. The dog would therefore be rewarded for initially turning his head, then for lying on his side and then for moving to the other side.
- Once the dog learns to respond to the command, it’s a good idea to start fading the lure. This is accomplished by removing the treat from the dog’s sight (you can keep it in your pocket or in the other hand) and asking the dog to roll over using the command alone. If the dog doesn’t respond to the command, you can use your hand as if you were holding the treat and guide him through. After successfully rolling, the dog can be praised and rewarded with the treat.
- If the dog is too distracted to roll over, you may need to move to a quieter area with less distractions going on. Find a quiet room where he is more comfortable.
As seen, training a dog to roll over is not an arduous task. While dogs often roll over naturally on their own, it takes some extra effort to learn to do it on command. The best news is that once mastered, with time this trick will become easier and easier to perform.