How-To! Teach Your Dog How to Roll Over

by Melissa Keen

One of the most classic tricks in the book, teaching your dog how to roll over can seem difficult at first – but follow our guide and they’ll have it nailed in no time!

Teach “Sit”

First, it’s important to teach your dog to sit. To do this, grab their attention with a treat. Next, firmly command “sit!” while lifting the treat over their head, towards their tail. This motion should get them to sit automatically. As soon as their bum hits the floor, give them the treat.  DON’T force their bum down by force!

Teach “Down”

Once the “sit” command is mastered, your pup needs to learn how to lie down. To do this, use the command “sit”, then slowly lower your hand to the floor saying “down” as you do so. Your pup will likely scratch and sniff at your hand, but remain firm and only give the treat when their entire body is down. When they do this, make sure to give them the treat immediately. Repeat until they have it sussed – you could even incorporate a hand gesture as well as a vocal command to help them get it.

Teach “Roll Over”

This is where it can become slightly trickier. First, get your pup to lie down. Next, use a treat and lure the dog to lie on his side, saying “roll over!” as you do so. Give them a treat when they show progress, even if they haven’t rolled over the whole way.

Once they’re comfortable lying on their side, take the treat up and over them, encouraging them to spin onto their other side. As they do so, make sure to use your chosen phrase multiple times, so they come to associate that word with the action.

It might take some time and patience, but eventually your dog should understand what it is you’re after.

HINT – if a treat is not enticing enough and doesn’t work, try a toy!

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