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How To Teach A Dog To Roll Over

Written by FOTP Team

Last updated

Teaching your dog to roll over looks cute and it’s fun for them. It can also be a distraction tactic that gets them to follow a set of commands. So before teaching your dog to roll over, it’s important that they already understand the ‘sit’ and ‘down’ commands. 

Rolling over has a few different elements to it that requires your dog to already respond to less advanced commands. It might take patience, but it won’t take long for the results to roll in.

Six steps to teaching your dog to roll over

1. Get your dog into a ‘down’ position and kneel in front of them, holding a treat on your palm near their nose.

2. Turn your palm downwards and arch your arm over their head so your dog turns their nose towards their shoulder.

3. They will flop onto their side as their nose follows the treat. Reward them with it and praise them for following the command.

4. Repeat this, but keep your hand moving the whole way around so your dog has to roll over to their other side. As soon as their body has rolled the whole way, reward them with the treat.

5. Keep practising until they are able to roll right over in one move. When they can do this, add the command “roll over”.

6. With enough practice (and treats) they should be able to roll over on the verbal command alone.

Be patient and break it down

These six steps make teaching your dog to roll over sound easy. And with some dogs it might be. But others are more likely to jump up, move their head around to the other side instead of rolling, or become distracted from the training altogether.

If this is the case, break it down into smaller parts. Praise your dog for simply turning their head the right way until they consistently turn their head the right way. Treat them every time they lie on their side if they lose interest at this point. Slowly draw back on how much praise they get for these smaller steps, and once they’re always able to follow these commands you can focus on the full roll. 

Nail the training

If your dog is making a lot of mistakes or not following instructions, you might be moving too quickly. Go back a few steps and spend longer practising the easier commands. Don’t rush their movements, either. If they get stuck in a slow roll for a while that’s okay. Be patient and keep working on the positive reinforcements.

If your dog doesn’t like lying on their back, make sure they know it’s just for fun and you’re not making them stay in that position for long. On the other hand, if they love belly rubs make this part of the praise and encourage them to offer you their belly.

Most importantly, remember to stay relaxed. This training should be fun for both you and your dog, so don’t raise your voice or get annoyed. If your dog becomes bored or distracted after a while, just pick up the training another time. Keep the sessions to a maximum of 10 minutes at a time, and always end with a treat.

Front of the Pack’s pure, raw protein dog treats make a great reward for dog training. They’re freeze-dried and packed with all the good stuff your dog needs, with no added fillers, preservatives, or flavourings. Plus, they come in delicious rabbit, beef, and salmon flavours that they’ll love. 

With consistent training and a tasty treat in your pocket, your dog will be rolling over in no time.