How To Teach Your Dog To Roll Over

This is a continuation in our series of “How To Teach My Dog To ___?” As we explained in our the first article, on How to Teach My Dog To Speak, when you type a word or phrase into the Google search engine search bar, Google gives you suggestions for popular words or phrases other people have typed in, often before you can even finish your sentence.

We decided to have some fun by searching on this phrase “How to teach your dog to…” so we could see what top ten results Goolgle came up with. Teaching your dog to roll over was Number Two on the list, so let’s get a closer look at that.

First of all, it’s really helpful if your dog knows the “down” command, as it’s much easier to teach your dog from this position. So, the first step is to get your dog into the “down” position directly in front of you.

Then, kneel down in front of him and hold a small treat, preferably one that he loves, on one side of his head near his nose.

Next, move your hand with the treat in it away from his now and toward his shoulder, enticing your dog to roll flat onto his side. Do this a few times and verbally praise him as well as give him the treat every time he is able to follow your hand and lies on his side with his head on the floor.

Once he’s doing this, then you simply continue to move your hand from his shoulder to his spine and this should cause him to roll onto his back. Continue moving your hand that is holding the treat so he rolls over onto his other side.

Now that your dog is doing this consistently you can add a verbal cue by saying “Roll over.”

The next step is to gradually reduce your hand motion until your dog can roll over with just a verbal command. Don’t forget to praise him for being such a good dog! 

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By Ellen Britt

Dr. Ellen Britt has loved dogs since she was a child. She is particularly fond of the Northern breeds, especially Alaskan Malamutes. Ellen worked as a PA in Emergency and Occupational Medicine for two decades and holds a doctorate (Ed.D.) in biology.

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