- When can you start teaching your dog tricks?
- The benefits of training your dog
- What you need
- How to teach a dog to roll over
- Things to avoid when teaching your dog tricks
- Trying to speed up the process by rushing them
- Not consulting a vet first
- Using a harsh tone of voice
- Continuing training even if your dog seems uncomfortable or unwell
Teaching your dog new tricks is a good way to keep them active and mentally stimulated, as well as a great bonding opportunity for the two of you. If your dog has already mastered the ‘sit’, ‘down’, and ‘stay’ tricks, the next step is to teach them how to roll over.
Regardless of whether they’re pups or adult dogs, rolling over is a fun and easy trick for them to know and can be extra helpful in certain situations like vet examinations. Not to mention the cuteness of it all! So, are you ready to learn how to teach a dog to roll over? Check out these easy and straightforward steps that you can follow to teach your little (or big) goofball some rolling skills!
When can you start teaching your dog tricks?
Teaching your furry friend tricks can begin as soon as you bring them home, but as a general rule, the younger the dog, the easier it will be to teach them new tricks. The recommended time to start training classes for pups would be when they’re between 12 and 16 weeks, after they’re all done with their vaccinations. This is preferable as their responsiveness and obedience are higher at this age because they’re naturally looking for guidance. As adults, they might take longer to learn, but with the right approach and some patience, it should be as easy as pie.
The benefits of training your dog
Basic training involving tricks can be highly beneficial in helping your dog to develop patience and increase their confidence. When they learn a new behaviour it helps them better communicate with you, makes your bond stronger, and boosts their obedience, leading to more quality moments together.
What you need
Luckily, trick training doesn’t require a lot of effort and there are just a few things you’ll need to teach your dog to roll over:
- A quiet space that’s free of any distractions like food, noise, or other people.
- A rug or carpet for your pet that they’d feel comfortable on.
- Delicious treats. These should be small and soft so that they can be eaten quickly. It would also be best if you use treats that they don’t normally get so that they are extra motivated.
- Optional: a small clicker that you can use when the dog follows the command.
- Patience and enthusiasm.
How to teach a dog to roll over
The ‘roll over’ trick involves more steps than other basic tricks so following these directions is key in successfully teaching your dog how to roll over on command.
- Make sure they know the ‘down’ or ‘lie down’ commands first because these are important parts of the trick.
- Once the dog lies down with their belly touching the ground and their paws resting in front of them, kneel beside them and hold a treat close to their nose. It can be any kind of treat as long as it’s small and can be eaten fast.
- Using the treat, start drawing a circle with it. Slowly move the treat towards their shoulder until they roll. Be careful that they do not snatch the treat from your hand before they perform the trick. If they don’t manage a full roll at the beginning, you can help them by gently pushing them.
- Reward your dog once they roll over. When they finish doing a full roll, give them the treat, making sure to press the clicker (if you’re using one) before they get the treat.
- Repeat these steps several times. Repetition is key. For your pooch to consistently roll over by themselves upon your command, you need to practice with them a few times. Don’t worry or get discouraged if they only perform a half roll, with time they’ll do a full roll.
- Start using the vocal cue ‘roll over’ after they have performed the trick 2–3 times. It’s important that they have a cue word that they can associate with this trick so start introducing it and repeat it every time they roll over.
- Use lots of praise and encouragement to reward your dog’s efforts.
- Stop using the treat. Once rolling over becomes easy to for them to perform and they do it almost immediately after hearing the command, you can continue with only the verbal cue. At this point you should also be able to practice outside, with distractions and people around. If you see them struggling, you can go ahead and provide a few treats occasionally.
- Practice during short sessions of no more than 3–4 minutes once or twice daily. When practicing how to teach a dog to roll over, you should make sure that you don’t exhaust them. Their attention span can be very short, especially when they’re young, so they might benefit more from the training if you only spend a few minutes a day practicing.
Things to avoid when teaching your dog tricks
Trying to speed up the process by rushing them
Not consulting a vet first
Some dogs might suffer from ailments that can cause them pain when performing certain tricks so it’s best to check with their vet that you can go ahead with the training.
Using a harsh tone of voice
Dogs respond better to a light and positive voice so try talking to them gently and offering the command in a playful way that lets them know this is just a fun game.
Continuing training even if your dog seems uncomfortable or unwell
Pay attention to their behaviour and if something seems off, stop the training and give them time to rest.
Now that you’ve learned how to teach a dog to roll over, it’s time to enjoy showing off your furry friend’s new skill and pat yourself on the back for a job well done! Remember that teaching your dog tricks should be a fun experience, so take it slowly and enjoy the process.
Do you need more fun ideas to improve your quality time together? Here are 5 other cool tricks you can teach your dog.