There are many fun tricks that you can teach your dog that will not only keep them physically and mentally stimulated (according to Purdue University study) but also strengthen the bond that the both of you have. Needless to say, your family and friends will surely be delighted by your dog’s set of tricks.

“Roll-over” is a well-loved trick that is fun and safe to teach your dog at any age. Note that before teaching your dog this trick, it would help if they already know the “sit” and “down” commands. With patience and proper training, your furry friend will be rolling over without a hitch.

In this article, we’ll be talking about how to teach a dog to roll over along with other tips that can help you throughout the process.

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  1. How to Train Your Dog to Roll Over
  2. How Long Does It Take to Teach a Dog to Roll Over
  3. FAQs
  4. Conclusion

How to Train Your Dog to Roll Over

How do you teach a dog to roll over? Below are some steps to guide you in training your dog.

  1. Start with your dog in a lying down position. It would help if your dog has already learned the “down” command.

  2. Observe how your dog is lying down. Are they leaning on either side or are they lying squarely? If it’s the former, be ready to let your dog roll in the corresponding direction. If it’s the latter, your dog can roll on either side.

  3. While kneeling, hold a delectable treat in front of your nose, moving it on towards the side of her nose.

  4. Slowly move your hand towards their shoulder, encouraging them to turn to their side.

Read more: Pet Training Tips And Guides and Helpful Recommendations

  1. When your dog is following the treat with their nose, recognize it by using a clicker or verbal cue (ex. "Yes") and rewarding them with a treat. However, don't say "roll over" just yet. The idea is to gradually teach your dog by rewarding them as they progress in each step to help shape the behavior that you want your dog to learn. Repeat this process several times, saying your verbal marker and giving your dog a treat every time they turn to follow the treat with their nose.

  2. After multiple successful attempts where your dog follows the treat, move further toward their spine for every repetition. Do this slowly, as your dog might try to stand up or bark if they feel like they’re stretching too far too soon. Remember to encourage and praise your dog after giving her a treat in each successful step.

  3. As your dog proceeds to follow the treat, she will then likely roll to her hip then her side, then eventually all around. Direct the treat around slowly so that you won’t rattle your dog. Add your verbal mark and give a treat as your dog progresses every time.

  4. When your dog can do it easily, you can now add the command “roll over” before giving your lure (treat).

  5. Gradually remove the motion of the hand and the lure (treat) until your dog can already do the trick with just hearing the verbal cue. Now, your dog is ready to show off!

  6. Remember to continue to reward and praise your dog every time they do the trick.

Read more: Leash Training a Puppy or a Dog 101: Step-by-Step Guide

Additional tips to solve training problems

When it comes to how to train a dog to roll over, it may not always be that simple. However, there are ways to correct mistakes and unwanted behaviors as you go along.

If you find that your dog isn’t always following as you direct her to the behavior that you want, you might want to slow the pace a bit. Try to go back a couple of steps to when your dog is doing well during your training, and from there, repeat the steps slowly until your dog does a full roll.

Note that some dogs are hesitant to lie on their backs and expose their bellies. If such is the case, reassure your dog that it’s a fun activity and that no one’s going to harm them. If your dog likes belly rubs, go ahead and rub their belly then praise, click/say a verbal mark, and offer them a treat when they offer their belly to you.

Read more: 22 Ways to Play with and Exercise Your Dog Indoors

Remember to do the things above using a positive tone. Relax and don’t rush your dog so they won’t get stressed as well. In addition, make training sessions short and sweet. If sessions go on too long, there’s a tendency for it to become frustrating for both parties. 10 minutes is ideal, and make sure that every session ends in a positive mood.

Monitoring your dog while training

Having a good-quality pet camera such as the Pet Camera can help while you train your dog to roll over. Through monitoring your dog’s learning process, you will be able to record their progress and also detect areas for improvement.

How Long Does It Take to Teach a Dog to Roll Over

When training a dog to roll over, it’s best to start while they’re still young since they haven’t learned any unwanted behaviors or habits yet. However, it’s not too late for old dogs to learn this trick as well.

How long it takes for a dog to learn and master the “roll over” trick would depend on each individual dog, how often you teach it, and the way you train your dog. Generally, it may take weeks, but with patience and proper techniques, it’s definitely possible for them to learn and master it. Just remember to keep your training sessions short, enjoyable, and fun.

Read more: How to Discipline a Puppy Without Punishment


What is the proper hand signal for roll over so that a dog can understand?

Signaling your dog to roll over shows your hand exhibiting the action that you want your dog to do. In more detail, it usually involves pointing your pointer finger or outstretched hand in front of you and making a circular motion with the same finger / hand in the direction where you want your dog to roll.

How to teach a large dog to roll over?

Teaching a large dog to roll over is basically the same as teaching any size of dog. (See above steps) But needless to say, it’s all the more entertaining to see a large dog pull off the “roll over” trick.

Read more: Dog Intelligence: IQ of a dog and Training Tips


"Roll over" can be a fun trick for your dog to learn. This, along with other tricks, can also help you become a more responsible pet owner. Note that teaching your dog the trick should be a positive experience for you and your dog, so be patient, go slow, and enjoy the process.

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