How To Teach a Dog To Roll Over – 10 Simple Steps

how to teach a dog to roll over

Teaching your dog to roll over is one of the cutest & most playful tricks you can teach them. It’s a great opportunity to bond with your furry friend – while providing them with mental & physical stimulation. And the best part? You don’t need to be a professional dog trainer to do it – all you need is patience, consistency & a willingness to have fun.

But before you start – make sure your canine best friend knows how to sit & lie down first.

Ready to learn how to teach a dog to roll over? We’ve got you covered with a simple step-by-step guide.

Things You Need To Teach Your Dog to Roll over

Teaching your pooch how to roll over on command is one trick that your bestie will love performing. But before you start teaching your canine companion to roll over – it’s important that you are prepared with the right materials & environment for success.

Things that you need include:

How To Teach a Dog to Roll Over in 10 Steps

Teaching your dog to “roll over” may seem overwhelming – but breaking it down step-by-step will have them impress you with the skill in no time! Before you begin teaching your dog this trick, it helps if they are already familiar with the “down” cue.

Taking “roll over” one step at a time ensures that the process is both manageable & successful.

dog rolling over

1. Start in a Quiet Space

Pick a spot inside that has a carpeted floor since your fluffy canine will do a lot of rolling around. Switch off the television, draw the window shades – get rid of any distractions so your furry buddy can concentrate properly.

Get everyone & anything else out of the way so your dog can focus on what it needs to learn. This’ll let them train & practice the trick easily. That way – your pup will be able to master it in no time!

2. Ask Your Canine Friend To Lie Down

To start teaching your little comrade to roll over – first, give it the “down” command so it is lying on its belly with paws in front & head up.

Then – identify which way your dog’s body is leaning & use that as the intended direction of the roll.

For instance – if your pooch’s left leg’s outstretched – rolling them to the right will be easier than going against the grain. Finally – begin the process of teaching your little teddy bear to roll over.

3. Place a Treat Near Your Dog’s Face

Get down beside your canine & hold a scrumptious snack close to your dog’s nose like cheese  so that they can smell & see it.

Make sure you keep the treat firmly clenched between your thumb & finger so your dog has no chance of getting it.

In case they try to stand up or rise – ask them to go back into the ‘down’ position & start over.

4. Move the Treat Toward the Shoulder of the Dog

Guide the treat towards your dog’s shoulder. As your doggie follows the treat by turning its head – click or praise them immediately & give a treat.

Continue moving the treat so that your fluffy buddy has to rotate onto their side to follow it & then roll over completely to keep it in sight.

If your goofball is not rolling onto their side – gently tip them to the side. However – do not repeat this many times & wait for more movement to avoid getting your doggos stuck at that level.

5. Praise the Dog & Give It the Treat

Once your dog completes a full turn, make sure to give it a treat straight away.

In the case of clicker training – press it before the treat – that way – your dog associates that reward with positive behavior & properly follow commands.

6. Practice Regularly & Offer Help When Needed

Rolling over is a challenging trick for your four-legged canine companion – so they may require frequent practice & assistance to perfect it.

If your fluff ball is struggling to follow through or rolling in the wrong direction – guide them with your free hand toward the correct motion.

If your doggie only completes part of the roll & stops midway – you can offer a treat to reward their last successful attempt & reinforce correct behavior.

7. Begin Utilizing the “Roll Over” Command

To help your doggos associate the trick with a command – introduce a verbal command once your canine has learned to roll over completely. 

  • First – hold the treat out & use a clear, encouraging tone to say, “Roll over.” Then – count to three while using your hand to guide your canine friend through the rollover. Praise & reward your pooch when they successfully complete the roll. 
  • Repeat this process three times – then increase the count to four before doing your hand movement. Go up to five after that – then keep going – saying “roll over” & pausing for a count of whatever number you’re on before guiding with your hand. 

Keep counting up until your dog rolls over as soon as they hear the verbal cue – no longer waiting for a physical signal. Continue to practice with higher numbers – the goal is for them to respond without you having to direct them in any way.

Soon enough – your pooch will know exactly what’s needed & follow your instructions without hesitation.

8. Repeat Without Treats

Once your pooch has mastered rolling over with the treat lure – put your empty hand to the test. Pretend you’re holding a reward & move it in the same way you did before.

Applaud your canine companion right when they complete the trick; grab a treat from close by (a container of treats nearby will do) & give them their just rewards.

Keep practicing this until your fluff ball follows your hand movements – even when you don’t have a treat in sight! 

9. Train Outdoors With Distractions

Initially – your doggie may find it challenging to roll over outside due to the presence of people, other animals & vehicles that can cause distractions.

To help your canine friend cope with these distractions – you can start practicing with a treat again – just like you did indoors.

After several training sessions, gradually decrease the use of treats once your buddy becomes skilled at rolling over.

A good way to know if your pooch has successfully learned to roll over is to see if it will roll over on command from someone other than you.

10. Keep Practicing

Once your pooch can pull off a flawless ‘roll over,’ make sure to keep up with practice regularly – once or twice a week at least. Even if they’ve been doing great, it’s easy for most dogs to forget what they learned.

If that happens – give your pup a little reminder by flashing the hand signal after saying the command for a few rounds.

husky dog rolling over

Problems & Proofing Behavior

If your dog is having a hard time mastering some tricks & keeps making mistakes – like leaping up or turning its head away – it’s possible that you’re moving too quickly. Consider taking a step or two back to a point where your dog was doing well – and gradually work your way up to a full rollover.

Some pups may feel uncomfortable lying on their backs & exposing their bellies – so it’s important to make sure your furry companion understands that training is a fun activity. If your dog enjoys belly rubs – try giving it a good scratch while clicking or praising it & offer a treat each time your pooch presents its belly.

Important Tips To Follow

Here are some vital tips to follow during the training session.

  • Dog owners should always check with their vet prior to beginning any new commands or tricks. Because if your furry pooch has any pre-existing physical condition, such as spinal or muscular issues, rolling over will be unsafe or uncomfortable.
  • When training, remember to speak to your dog in a light & positive tone.
  • Keep in mind that training your pup can take some time, but there’s no need to stress out about it.
  • It’s important that you make training sessions for your pooch short & fun. Long sessions can lead to frustration for both you & your pup. 😕
  • Limit each training session to 10-15 minutes & always end on a positive note.
  • Keep an eye out for any signs of discomfort or soreness & stop practicing if your pooch seems to be in pain while performing the trick.

The Bottom Line – How to Teach a Dog to Roll Over

Teaching your furry friend how to roll over can be a fun & rewarding experience for both you & your buddy. 🤗

Remember to always prioritize your dog’s safety & comfort during the training process & never force your doggos to do anything that makes them uncomfortable.

With patience, consistency & positive reinforcement, you can help your pup master this trick & show off its skills to all of its furry friends.

So why not give it a try today and see just how much fun you & your dog can have together?