How To Teach A Dog To Rollover?

Teaching your dog new tricks is always fun and exciting. And the best part is, you don’t need the help of a professional dog trainer to teach your dog simple tricks like a Roll Over.

You can either teach your dog new tricks by using clicker training or with the help of dog treats.

Clicker training is more effective at getting quick results. But it is mostly used by professionals. It is quite hard for a pet owner to get a hang of it.

So, if you want to teach your dog how to roll over, you can do that by using dog treats.

In this training guide, we’ll tell you the simplest way you can teach your dog how to Roll Over.

With this training, you should be able to teach your dog how to roll over in a short amount of time given that you accurately follow all the instructions described here.

Let’s get straight to it

How to Teach a Dog to Roll Over – Step by Step


Roll Over is a slightly advanced trick for dogs. And if you want the best results fast, you first need to teach your dog to sit or to lie down on command.

If your dog can sit or lie down on spoken commands, training it to roll over would take much less time.

Once you have mastered the prerequisites, you can begin with the Roll Over training for your dog.

Step 1: Ideal Training Environment

Before starting the training, you need to create an ideal training environment for your dog.

You need to find a place with a soft and flat floor. Remove all the distractions that might affect the training. You need to have a quiet place free of all kinds of interruptions before you begin with the Roll Over training.  

Step 2: Start with the Down Command

Give the Sit and then Down command to your dog.

Once your dog is lying down on the floor, make sure its belly is properly resting on the ground. The paws should be in the front direction and the head of the dog should face up.

Once your dog is in this position, you can start the roll over training process.

Step 3: Hold a Treat by your Dog’s Nose

Get a treat that your dog likes and place it near your dog’s nose. Place it in a way that your dog can easily see and smell it.

If your dog tries to snatch the treat, quickly move it away from the dog. As much as possible, don’t let your dog have the treat before at least one successful training session.

Step 4: Move the Treat Towards the Shoulder

Now, this is the tricky part. And the success of the entire training lies in the way you go through with it.

Your dog is going to follow the treat by moving its head in the direction of the treat.

You need to move the treat towards your dog’s shoulder. As you move the treat, your dog will do a roll to its side following the treat.

Rotate the treat to the point where your dog performs a complete roll.

That’s it. You need to keep repeating this movement while placing the treat near your dog’s nose and then moving it away towards its shoulder.

Step 5: Reinforce the Training with the Treat

After every complete roll over, praise your dog and reinforce the behavior by giving it the treat. When you give a reward to your dog after the full roll, it would condition your dog to do a roll over whenever you do the same training again.   

Step 6: Keep Practicing the Same Movements

Doing a perfect roll over would require a lot of practice. You need to make sure that you manage and contain all the unnecessary movements of your dog.

For example, dogs often jump or move in the wrong direction when doing a roll over. You can guide the dog in the right direction using your hands.

Keep repeating the same movements again & again until your dog gets it right.  

Step 7: Add the Roll Over Command

Once your dog gets good at Roll Over, you need to add the verbal command to the movement. This way, your dog would start associating the command with the trick.

Say Roll Over in a clear and confident tone as you repeat the same treat movement again. You can also try adding a hand signal for Roll Over as well.

Keep training with the newly added command till your dog gets used to it. 

Step 8: Try Without the Treat

The next step is to try without a treat. It doesn’t mean that you don’t use the treat at all.

You just start adding delays to it to the point where you don’t need it for the trick.

For example, give the command roll over without using the treat. Once your dog rolls over, then reward your dog with it.

Keep training in this way and stop giving the treat once you are confident that your dog is going to roll over with just the “Roll Over” command.

Bonus Tip: Keep the Training Sessions to Around 10 Minutes

The training sessions should not be longer than 10 minutes per session. Going for longer than 10 minutes would be tiring for you as well as your dog and you won’t get the kind of results that you want with the Roll Over training.

Wrapping Up

This is it! This is all you have to do to teach your dog to do a roll over.

From here on, the next step would be to teach your dog to roll over outdoors or in a place with distractions.

It is going to be challenging but you just need to keep following the training approach described here. You do that, and you’d be able to teach your dog to Roll Over in a short amount of time.

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