Q:

How can you train a dog to roll over?

A:

Quick Answer

To teach a dog the “roll over” command, you will need to put the dog in a “lie down” position, then coax the dog with a treat to flop onto its side. Then, repeat the process to complete the full roll. You need a dog, treats and patience.

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Full Answer

  1. Find a quiet room

    Move the dog to a room without noise or distractions. You want to have the dog's full attention.

  2. Give the dog the “lie down” command

    If the dog does not know this command, kneel in front of the dog, and coax the dog to lay on its stomach. The dog should be comfortably lying on its stomach before you move on.

  3. Show the dog a treat

    Use a closed fist while kneeling, once the dog is lying down on its stomach, showing the dog that you have a treat. The dog should be able to smell the treat. Do not let the dog eat the treat.

  4. Arc your fist

    Move your fist half way over the dog’s head as you say “roll over”, making the dog roll its head to follow the treat. Be sure to always use a calm and happy voice when issuing commands.

  5. Assist the dog

    If needed, with your free arm, help move the dog to lie on its side.

  6. Reward the dog

    Once the dog has flopped on its side give a treat and lots of happy praise.

  7. Give the dog the “lie down” command

    The dog should, again, be comfortably lying on its stomach before you move on.

  8. Move your fist in a full arc

    With the treat in hand, move your fist in a full arc around the dog’s head.

  9. Assist the dog

    With your free hand, as your other fist moves around its head, help your dog if needed to complete the full roll.

  10. Be patient

    Some dogs do not like their stomachs exposed. If the dog does not want to complete the roll, do not use force or harsh tones. Dogs do not respond well to negative treatment.

  11. Practice often

    Be sure to practice often with the dog. Once the dog can do the full roll on command, move to a new room, or invite a friend to watch. Slowly add new distractions to reinforce the command.

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