Home Dog Training How To Teach A Dog To Roll Over in 4 Simple Steps

How To Teach A Dog To Roll Over in 4 Simple Steps


If you're wondering how to teach a dog to roll over, we have good news for you!

One, it's fairly easy—you just have to do 4 easy steps to get your dog rolling. Two, training sessions can also be an excellent activity and bonding time for you both!

Command training is stimulating and engaging for your pet, and it will help you control your pup when needed. Sit, stay, come, and lie down are some of the most popular teaching commands.

After training your dog to follow basic commands, learning how to teach a dog to roll over is a logical progression.

The great thing about this trick is that it looks impressive, but it's so simple to teach!

You can check out our YouTube video on how you can teach your dog the rollover command. But if you want to know more information, read on!

Dog on his back with his owner holding a treat above him - teach a dog to roll over

When Should You Teach Your Dog to Roll Over?

You can start having training sessions with your dog—or puppy—as soon as you get him or at around 8 weeks old.

It's always better to start training them young. Why? Because puppies haven't had the time to learn any bad habits and behaviors yet.

But that doesn't mean you can't teach an old dog new tricks. In fact, it might even be beneficial for you and your adult dog to have training sessions together!

However, to train a dog to roll over, they must be familiar first with sit and lie-down commands.

Once your dog starts responding to the Sit and Lie Down command, it will only take a couple of weeks' practice for them to master it.

Wait for a couple of weeks more before most dogs learn the rollover command.

RELATED: How to Teach a Dog to Sit with Positive Reinforcement

What Dog Owners Need To Teach Your Dog to Sit, Lie Down, and Roll Over

As with any command training, you'll need something to motivate your pup.

Your first option is dog treats! Treats always work well, but if you run out of them, you could also use a favorite toy.

Apart from toys and treats, there are a couple more things that will help you train your dog more effectively.

Check out these must-haves below.

Dog training essentials - rewards for dog rolling over

  • Rewards (treats, toys, etc.)
  • Treat bag
  • Clickers
  • Leash
  • Collars
  • Target Sticks
  • Training book

These are the common supplies a dog trainer has when teaching dogs. But don't worry, some of them are only optional.

If you get their reward, then you should be good.

Once you have these covered, you're ready for your rollover training sessions!

ALSO RELATED: Most Effective Dog Training Methods According to Science

Roll Over Dog Trick: Before You Begin Your Training Sessions

Your dog will need to know a few basic commands before you can move on to more advanced tricks like rolling over.

As we've mentioned, make sure he already has a complete comprehension of how to sit and lie down before trying to teach him to roll over.

If he has these two basic commands down, you can then teach your dog how to roll over in 4 simple steps.

If your dog is energetic, it's best to work with him when he's a bit tired. He will be more focused, and he will concentrate better if he doesn't have a lot of pent-up energy.

teach a dog to roll over

As you'll notice in my video above, my Labrador is EXTREMELY food-motivated. That's why I chose to use treats while training her.

Saddie is a pretty silly girl, as you'll also see in the video, but I think she did an excellent job for her first effort.

If you choose to use a food motivator, make sure that it is low in calories. Lean lunch meat or healthy, safe commercial dog training treats would both work well.

If your dog isn't a picky eater, some dog-friendly veggies would also make fabulous, all-natural training treats.

Each treat should have less than 10 calories, but less than 5 calories are ideal.

Once you have your motivator (treat or toy), it's time to begin learning how to teach a dog to roll over. Find a space with a large open area.

You'll also want to limit distractions, so keep other pets and unneeded family members away from the training area.

If your dog is easily distracted, it may be best to start the training indoors because many uncontrollable distractions are outside.

ALSO RELATED: 25 Dog Tricks – List of Most Difficult Tricks and Commands To Teach Your Dog

How To Teach A Dog To Roll Over

1. Start with Lying Down

Pug lying down before rolling over

Start with your dog lying down. That would be even better if you could get him to lie on his side. This will help him initially learn to roll over.

Close your fist around the treat and show it to your dog. Allow him to sniff your fist so he knows the joy is in there.

2. Move your Hand Around the Dog's Head

Holding treats in front of dog's nose to teach him roll over

With the treat enclosed in your fist, move your hand up and around your dog's head.

As I demonstrate in the video guide above, you'll want to repeat this motion while saying the command “roll over.”

As your dog turns his nose to follow the treat, his body will likely follow.

I had to help Saddie roll over the first few times, and you'll likely have to do that with your pup as well.

Keep the hand with the treat repeating the motion, and use your free hand to help push your pet's body over.

Once he's completed the roll, be sure to use a lot of praise and give him his reward.

3. Practice Frequently

Man training his dog tricks at the park

Continue practicing frequently. You'll be able to gradually reduce the rewards as your dog gets the hang of it.

When teaching a dog to roll over, you start by using lots of treats and then gradually reduce the frequency.

4. Switch to a Hand Signal

After Fido has learned the basic rolling-over movement, turn your closed fist into a hand signal.

You can still use a fist, but I suggest opening one or two fingers into a point. This way, your dog will know that you aren't holding a treat, but he's still expected to obey the command.

Continue working and practicing until your dog has it down. Once he understands the command and performs it on cue, you can add distractions like other pets or people.

You can even take him outside to practice rolling over in the grass or fall leaves.

Dog trainer teach dog to roll over outdoors

Teach a Dog to Roll Over – FAQs

How long does it take to teach a dog to roll over?

Teaching a dog to roll over can take weeks for them to learn and master.

It's difficult to say how long exactly, as it depends on the individual dog, your training sessions, and how often you teach your dog the roll over command.

The secret here is keeping your training sessions short, fun, and interesting.

What are the 7 basic dog commands?

The 7 basic dog commands are:

  • Sit
  • Down
  • Stay
  • Come
  • Heel
  • Off
  • No

These are the necessary commands every dog trainer first teaches a dog, as they'll come in handy in every other trick and training you're going to have to teach a dog, including rolling over.

Once your dog rolls over, it won't take much time for him to learn other cool tricks like Spin.

What is the hardest trick to teach your dog?

Some of the most difficult tricks to teach dogs are Wait (not to be confused with Stay,) Bark, Spin, and Go and Fetch, among others.

Some breeds are easier to train, like the German Shepherd, Golden Retriever, and Labrador.

Other dogs like beagles, Rottweilers, and Siberian Huskies might require more of your patience before they learn.

Oh, and don't worry; rollover is one of the easiest tricks to teach dogs.

ALSO RELATED: 25 Dog Tricks: List of Most Difficult Tricks and Commands to Teach Your Dogs

Teach a Dog to Roll Over – Final Thoughts

Dogs are generally intelligent creatures. They know how to follow instructions and have a memory that's probably better than you think.

Teaching a dog to roll over may not be a must-learn for dogs, but it's still a cool trick, nonetheless. And it's a basic trick that your Fido might win awards for in case you and your dog are into dog shows.

Training dogs can train you as well to be a better and more responsible dog owner.

So if your training session with your dog to roll becomes successful, you might just be ready to start your own dog training business; who knows!

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