Teaching your dog tricks is a great way to keep them mentally stimulated, as well as have fun!
Watch and read our guide, created in partnership with Dogs for Good, to learn how to teach your dog to roll over.
1. Get your dog into the starting position
Your dog should be lying down to start. Make sure they're happy and relaxed.
If your dog won't lie down on command, think about revisiting simple training commands. They should feel comfortable sitting, staying or lying down before attempting tricks.
2. Shifting their body weight
You'll need a treat to hand for this!
Using the treat, guide them into shifting their body weight onto one hip. Make sure you watch the video to see how this looks.
3. Lie on their side
Once they're happy with Step 2, you can move on to the next. This is just a case of getting them comfortable lying on their side. Once again, use a treat to help with this.
4. Completing the roll
This is when your dog will complete the manoeuvre.
When they're happy with Step 2 and 3, use a treat again to complete the roll. Do this by guiding your dog to swing their legs around and roll over.
5. Rewarding your dog
Make sure to enthusiastically reward your dog when they complete the roll. Give them lots of praise and treats!
6. Reducing treats
Once your dog is able to do the roll over easily and happily, you can start to reduce the number of treats. You can slowly replace this with a hand signal. You can then use the signal to tell your dog to roll over without the need for treats.
You can also use a verbal cue, such as 'roll over!'.
7. Top tips
Practice! Take the time for lots of short sessions, rather than one long one. Keep up the praise and treats.
A good tip is to remember to keep the rolling in the same direction. This will help your dog to learn and not confuse them.
Dog training treats
There are plenty of options for dog treats these days, which can make the choice overwhelming. Think about your dog's overall diet, including their daily calorie intake.
When it comes to training, you may need to try something that your dog really likes, such as chicken. This can help with the training process. Be careful to make sure that you're aware what foods are toxic to dogs first.
There are also some healthy options that you can generally turn to for treats. These include
- vegetables (peas or carrots, for example)
- fruit (watermelon or apples)
- treats that have been specially formulated for dogs
Keeping your dog protected
Between the fun and games, it's important to take care of your dog's health. Accidents and illnesses can happen at any time, and can run up costly vet bills. The right pet insurance can help to give you peace of mind in times of trouble.