How To Teach A Dog To Roll Over

Dog training is not only limited to teaching your favorite pet the fundamentals of good habits and proper manners. As a well-rounded dog owner (or dog trainer), you can spice things up a bit by having your dog learn some cool tricks. Step up the notch and learn how to teach your dog to roll over.

One of the well-known and most adorable tricks to train your dog is the“Roll-Over.” This is such an impressive trick that never fails to amaze the crowd.

It may seem quite complex at first, but it is actually fairly easy if you break it down into steps. If he already knows the “Lay Down” command, he will quickly catch up to this next-level trick. Otherwise, do not be discouraged if you think he requires more practice on his basic skills.

All you have to do is follow our step-by-step training guide below. For sure, your dog will be the cutest and most irresistible rolling-over canine in record time.


Advantages of Learning the“Roll-Over”

Trick training can be such a fun and exciting activity that you and your furry friend can enjoy together. It is so interactive that your dog’s mental, physical, and social skills can be greatly honed while you show off this unlocked achievement to family, friends., and other people.

The “Roll-Over” trick, in particular, is a crowd-pleaser and gains your owner-pet tandem lots of fans. Not only is it very entertaining to watch your dog follow your command to roll over and over again. But this can also be useful when he needs to pass through smaller passages, especially during emergencies.

And once your dog masters this skill, it can further enhance his dog training. You can easily build upon developing new and advanced tricks like “Play Dead” or “Show Belly”.

There will be times during training sessions when you will begin to notice that your dog exhibits different amusing behaviors. No need to panic, though.

This just means that your dog wants to get your attention as he now understands how the reward system works. Hence, you can easily get your dog to be always eager to learn more tricks, making your job as his trainer easier.

Besides these benefits, knowing how to teach a dog to roll over also nurtures the relationship you both share. For sure, these trick training moments are very fulfilling for both of you.

This also applies to other family members and friends who will try this trick out with your dog as well. You will overcome significant milestones and cherish these learning memories forever.

How to Teach your Dog to Roll Over

Here are five easy steps on how to teach your dog to roll over.

Step 1: Preparation is Key

Before you teach your dog any trick, make sure that you have all your essentials ready. Set up a clean and cozy practice area away from distractions to keep your dog focused and comfortable throughout the process. It should also be somewhere you can return afterward for the next training sessions.

Prepare a pack of dog treats cut up into little pieces that will be enough to sustain your dog’s interest throughout. You may also opt for some grain-free puppy training treats if your dog prefers it.

Most dogs will work for the food, and it is an easy teaching tool. If your dog responds better to toys, you can also use good quality toys instead to train your dog a bit easier.

A clicker is also needed if you are clicker training your dogs to help address some of the fleeting behaviors. Otherwise, you can also use a verbal cue like “Yes!” to let your dog know when he has performed the correct behavior which will be rewarded.

It is advisable that your dog is hungry or enthusiastic so that he will be more attentive and proactive. Try training him right before a meal or when you see him being hyperactive.

Always have a positive attitude right from the start. Set your mind to have an enjoyable time with your dog.

Step 2: Get Down and Move It All-Around

Roll-Over” is a bit more difficult to teach than the other basic commands because this trick has several steps. It will be easier if your dog is already able to sit and lay down on command. You should kneel and get him in a ‘Down’ position on the ground in front of you.

Start by asking your dog to sit and using a small piece of a treat to lure him with. Hold a treat close to your dog’s nose. Make sure that your dog can smell the treat in your hand but cannot eat it. Try keeping it tight in between your fingers. Move the treat and slowly lure him to one side by pulling the treat toward his shoulder. Eventually, your dog would turn his head to follow the treat, become unbalanced, and flop onto his side on the floor.

If he does, continue moving the treat around his shoulder so he will have to lay down onto his back, following through the other side until he rolls all the way over. All the while, command your dog to roll over through verbal cues or a hand signal. If he completes the full roll, reward him with the treat, plenty of praise, or click your clicker.

how to teach a dog to roll over

It would be best if you did this slowly, so your dog does not feel the need to get up. Remember to continue to hold a treat near your dog’s nose. Move your hand to the side until he does the correct action.

If he is a little hesitant at first, you can provide treats each time he makes progress. Good for you if your dog gets rolling over all at once.

However, during their first try, most dogs do not turn all the way around to follow the treat. If yours is one of those who jumps up, wiggles, go back to the sit position, or moves his head in the opposite direction to try to get the treat, you can break the training into smaller parts and train your dog step by step.

Please note that some dogs may also exhibit other styles of laying down like sliding their bottom or bending their body to the side during practice.

Step 3: Reward Rolling Tendencies and Behaviors

Once your dog is laying down, watch out for any movement that looks like the start of a roll. Each new behavior will lead to the intended result of him ultimately accomplishing the task. This could include head bobbing, a paw flick, or a body shift that suggests that they want to roll.

Take advantage of all of the little postures he assumes as he might not lay there completely still. Use your verbal cue, “Yes!” for these kinds of behaviors and treat your dog the first few times he does them.

Next, wait for him to try bigger and more obvious movements like a half roll. Gradually reduce the intervals of giving treats because rewarding the same behavior might confuse him to do only that.

If you give your dog the “Yes!” or treat every time he moves on to newer and bolder rolling-type behaviors, the training process accelerates.

Repeat this several times while reserving the praise, click, or treat until your dog has completed the entire rollover sequence. Once this happens, reward him immediately with lots of love and affection.

Celebrate and really make a big deal out of his first successful roll so that he gets excited about his accomplishment.

You are almost there. Practice doing this again. By this time, your dog might get down quickly and go through the roll sequence with less stopping and starting over.

You could also try to move the treat faster that would encourage your dog to roll over. Be aware of keeping the treats near your dog’s head or nose all the time.

Step 4: Swap the Treat with the Roll-Over Command

Now that your dog consistently rolls over, train him a bit further by attaching the “Roll-Over” cue or adopting a hand signal. Right as your dog is performing the behavior, say “Roll Over.” As usual, hold a treat near your dog’s nose and move it around for your dog to follow.

Repeat this a few more times until your dog associates that command or the hand’s movement with the meaning of the rolling over movement. If he does not immediately respond to the command, you can phase out the treat more slowly or push on your clicker often.

Start by giving your dog the command and use the treat to train him into the halfway-roll. If he is already in motion, take the treat away. From there, slowly transition each session until you are finally able to stop using treats to lure him.

After numerous successful attempts with this, start by giving the “Roll-Over” command and wait for a few seconds. Your dog will get it by now and will roll over instantly. When he has rolled over completely, praise or click and give him a treat.

With enough repetitive practice, your dog will begin to drop into a roll on your command alone. Congratulations! Your dog has now successfully learned a new fan-favorite trick while you acquired a next-level training skill.

Step 5: Roll It ‘till You Make It

Just continue with your training session several times to reinforce what your dog has learned and keep the vibe light and positive. Take a deep breath, relax, and start to teach your dog to roll over again.

Training sessions should be short, like about 15 minutes each, to keep it fun and engaging. “Roll Over” training could be time-consuming and frustrating at first. But there is no need to make a fuss about it because this will be counterproductive.

On his early attempts or even after a while, your dog may still make some mistakes, and that is just normal.

When he suddenly jumps up or turns his head in the opposite direction, it may be because he cannot catch up to your quick moves or sometimes vague instructions.

Adjust your speed and voice quality. Backtrack on the step that he performed well and gradually continue to move on to the next steps until he reaches a full rollover.

If your dog hesitates to lay on his back and show his belly, reassure him that there is nothing to be afraid of because this is just for fun.

Give him a belly rub, lots of praises, and a treat every time he does a good job. It is always best to end each session on a positive note.

Learning While Having Fun

A dog training session is meant to be a positive and engaging activity for both a pet owner and his dogs.

With a little patience, a pack of treats, and lots of positive energy, teaching your dog how to “Roll Over” can be as easy as a walk in the park. It can be the foundation of several other skills. You can easily get creative in trying out different variations off of this.

Get the whole family involved and spend more quality time with them by learning this together. Remember that you should enjoy this bonding moment. Before you know it, you are rocking this cool trick, and your furry friend just keeps on rolling.

So what are you waiting for? Try it out now and show other people your dog’s adorable new skill to everyone.