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Teaching your dog new skills is a great way to encourage good behavior, spend quality time with your pup, and keep them mentally engaged. All of these things can improve the bond between you and your dog and help to enhance both of your daily enjoyment. The roll over command is one of the more basic dog skills to learn, but it can be both fun to teach your dog and act as a foundation for more advanced dog skills.
In this article, we will be giving you a step-by-step breakdown of how to teach your dog to roll over. We’ll also be discussing why dog training is important and what you need to keep in mind while teaching your dog new skills.
Why Teach Your Dog New Skills?
New tricks can be essential for your dog to learn as they help to improve their general happiness; dogs love to learn and love to hang out with their owner. Training time provides a dedicated session for you and your dog to bond, for their mind to be stimulated, and for you both to get some exercise. You can read more about the benefits of teaching your dog new skills here.
Teaching Your Dog to Roll Over – Step by Step
The following steps are a basic way to teach your dog the skill of rolling over. You should be engaging your pup in one or two short teaching sessions (ten to fifteen minutes works best) throughout the day, every day, as this will help them learn without either of you becoming overwhelmed.
It is also important to note that your dog will need to have already learned the ‘down’ command in order for you to build off of it with ‘roll over.’ Here is a video for teaching your dog ‘down’ if they don’t already know it.
Step One: Get Your Dog to Lay Down
The first step in teaching your dog to roll over is getting them to lay down. They should be able to follow a verbal cue for the ‘down’ command and have no trouble laying down without being bribed with a treat. Once this step is mastered, you can pull out your pup’s favorite training treats and proceed to the next steps.
Step Two: Start Small
When it comes to getting your dog to roll over, you have to build on the skill step by step; you can’t expect them to roll over immediately. So, when your dog is in the down position, take a treat and move it from your dog’s nose to their shoulder. They will have to turn their head and lean on their side to get to the treat – only reward them with the treat when they reach the posture of being on their side.
Step Three: Get Your Pup on Their Back
Once your dog is comfortable with getting onto their side and will consistently follow the treat there, you can start moving the treat past their shoulder and toward the floor. This will encourage your dog to fully roll over onto its back to retrieve the treat.
You should keep in mind that getting your dog to completely get on their back and expose their belly may be difficult for some dogs as it is a more vulnerable position; keep trying even if it takes a while and be sure to make your dog feel loved, comfortable, and safe while training to help them along.
Step Four: Complete the Roll Over Command
After your dog can successfully roll onto their back, move the treat until they keep rolling onto their other side, and then give it to them. You should repeat the entire process of getting your pup into the down position, then moving them through the roll over sequence until they can move through it seamlessly.
Step Five: Remove the Treat
The final step in teaching your dog to roll over is getting them to perform the trick without the treat. This is done by practicing the skill using your training treats but adding the verbal command of ‘roll over.’
Once you have practiced this several times, remove the treat from the process and simply use the verbal command and praise. It may take several training sessions to reach this point, but once you have it accomplished, congratulations! You’ve successfully taught your dog to roll over.
Training Tips to Keep In Mind
When it comes to training your dog, it is easy to get carried away and try to push your dog faster than they are ready to learn. It is important to keep in mind that all dogs learn differently and some dogs may take faster to the ‘roll over’ command than others. This, plus factors such as age and your dog’s general attitude toward training, can all have a big impact on their learning experience.
It is essential to be patient with your pup whenever you are in a training session. Teaching your dog new skills is supposed to be a valuable bonding activity that results in your and your dog having a closer relationship, in addition to your furry friend being more well-behaved.
Losing your patience with your dog when they don’t learn fast enough or loudly scolding and disciplining your dog when they perform a trick wrong will only scare them away from training. This can also result in a poorly behaved dog and may lead to future behavioral issues if you are not careful; gentle praise, lots of love, and frequent treats are the best things to bring to your dog’s training session.
Give High-Value Rewards
Most dogs are incredibly food motivated, especially if you find the right treat. Introducing some of your dog’s favorite foods into the training session and having the treats you use only available during teaching times will further motivate your dog to learn and to listen to you.
You can also use high-value rewards such as pieces of chicken or ham, or you can shop for top dog treats your pup may love here.
Remember to Have Fun
Training your dog should be a fun activity for you both. If you notice that either you or your pup are becoming too stressed out, take a break. You can transition to playtime, give your dog some extra love, or you can both retreat to your own favorite spaces for some time to destress.
Don’t push yourself or your dog too hard, as this will likely slow down the learning process instead of speeding it up.
Train Your Dog and Build Up Bonds
Training your furry friend is one of the best activities you can engage in with your dog. It helps to build their confidence, results in a more well-behaved dog, and increases the bond between the both of you.
Once you and your pup have mastered the roll over command with the help of your article, you can build on their skills and the training routine you’ve established to teach more advanced skills and encourage a regular routine of learning and fun with your pup.