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When it comes to training pets, a common request is to be shown hot to teach your dog to roll over. For whatever reason, rolling over seems to be one of the more difficult tasks for owners to teach their dog’s, and try as they might, their dog simply looks at them as if to say, “you want me to do what?”

Staying, laying down, and giving paw seems to be pretty simple, and that is because they are one step commands. When it comes to teaching your furry friend to roll over, there are a few more steps involved.

That being said, we’ve broken down the task to help you teach your dog to roll over in five simple steps. However, to teach your dog anything, you need to know how to motivate them properly.

Teaching Your Dog Means Knowing How to Motivate Them

When it comes to getting your furry friend to do something, such as perform a trick, you’ll want to know how to motivate them. Sure, dogs like to please their family, but just like anyone else trying to learn something new, they can be easily frustrated.

So that means you need to make the learning process fun for them. How do you do that? You incentives them. Having some of their favorite treats or their favorite toy on hand is the best way to get your dog excited to do something because they know they are getting rewarded with something good.

Training treats are a great option because they are tasty and many of them are low calorie, so there is very little worry about your furry friend gaining weight. Plus, because they are smaller in size, it’s okay to give your dog more than once during the training process.

For those that are not as food motivated as others, a favorite toy is a great way to not only get your dog excited but to reward them with for doing a good job. After completing the task, a quick game of fetch or tuggie is a great way to reward your little furball.   

Puppy rolling on the grass

How to Teach Your Dog to Roll Over in 5 Easy Steps

Once you know the best way to motivate your dog, it’s time to break down the steps of how to teach your dog to roll over.

We’ve broken it down to make it as simple as possible for you and your dog, and remember, you want to reward your little one each time they correctly perform the tasks. Remember, motivation is key, so don’t allow your frustration get in the way and make sure they know you are proud of them for trying their best.

Step 1. Have Your Motivational Treat or Toy in Hand

Man handling a badminton ball on a dog

Okay, first thing’s first, you want to have your motivational toy or treat ready to go. In fact, you want to make sure that your dog knows you have it because that is what will get them excited to get to work because they know if they perform well, they will be rewarded.

Start by squeaking the toy or having the treat in hand for your dog to smell. Don’t let them have it yet, just make sure they are well aware of its presence.

Step 2. Have Your Dog Lay Down

Bulldog with a toy on the ground

Once the dog knows that you have something they want, have them lay down. If they don’t know how to lay down just yet, teaching them is really simple. Simply place your hand close to their nose and guide their eyes down towards the ground. This will entice them to lower their head, and in turn, lower their body into the “down” position.

If you are working with a training treat, once they are in the down position, especially if it’s a new command for them, make sure you reward them. If you aren’t working with a treat, make sure you verbally reward them with a “good dog,” or something of the sort.

Step 3. Use the Treat to Lure Your Dog into A Roll

Person giving a dog treat

With a new treat in hand, you’ll want to place your hand by your dog’s nose once again. You’ll want to then move your hand from his nose towards his shoulder in order to lure his face in the direction you want him to roll in.

By having the treat in hand, the dog’s nose will more than likely follow your hand, which means his head will turn in the direction it goes. As he continues to follow your hand, move it over his back so that he will be incentives to roll onto his back

Step 4. Use the Verbal Cue “Roll Over”

Dog rolling over on the grass with a toy

Once your dog is on his back, make sure you use the verbal cue “roll over” as you continue to move your hand back up towards his nose so that he completes the roll motion.

The chances are that your dog may only make it as far as his back before he flops back over onto his side, and that okay. Make sure you reward him for making it as far as he did and then try again.

Step 5. Praise Your Dog & Give Them Their Reward

Person giving dog a treat

Once your dog completes the full rollover motion, you need to verbally and physically reward him for a job well done.

This means a happy “good boy” and then giving him the treat or toy as their reward for doing as they were asked. Remember, most dogs are going to perform better when they are motivated to do so, so always remember to give them a treat or play their favorite game as they continue to learn.

Eventually, you’ll be able to move away from teats and simply reward them verbally for completing the task.

Practice Makes Perfect When Teaching Your Dog a New Trick

When explaining how to teach your dog to roll over, it is vital to remember that practice makes perfect.

That means that you will want to repeat this process until the act of rolling over becomes second nature once the dog hears the command. Even if the dog rolls over the very first time you command it, doesn’t mean that they’ve learned the task.

You’ll want to make sure you practice the move multiple times a day for a few weeks to know that the pooch has really learned it.

The best way to practice these commands is to set aside 15 to 20 minutes a day as training time. This is the time when your dog will mentally work themselves as well as physically. So once you start to see your dog losing interest, that is a sure sign they are starting to fatigue and need to call it a day.

Remember, the dog won’t perform as you want if they are getting tired.

Dog resting on wood

Don’t Get Frustrated – Instead, Take A Break

The practice makes perfect rule applies to you as well as your furry friend. If your dog simply looks at you with confusion the first few times, it’s okay. You don’t want to allow yourself to get frustrated because your dog will pick up on that and could become frustrated or agitated as well.

Dogs feed off of our emotions, so if you are getting frustrated or upset, then they are bound to feel the same way. So, if either of you is showing signs of frustration, it may be time to take a break.

Don’t be afraid to call it quits for the day if either of you is getting upset. You want these training sessions to be a positive experience; not a negative one filled with frustration. Treats are great, but if a dog is getting frustrated or mentally tired, they won’t do you any good.

So, once you and or Fido start to get frustrated or fatigued, call it a day and give it a try the next day. Constancy is key when it comes to learning new treats, but just like the rest of use, dogs will need time to sit back and relax.

Take it one step and one day at a time, and before you know it, your little guy will be rolling over with ease!