How to Teach a Dog to Roll Over


Having a well trained and obedient dog is one of the best experiences for a pet owner. On the other hand, it’s a nightmare to have a dog which jumps all over your friends when they come to visit or which barks uncontrollably for no reason. Fortunately, dogs can be trained to listen to your commands and truly behave like man’s best friend.

I’m happy you’ve landed on this page where we’ll discuss how to teach a dog to roll over.

Before you train your dog to roll over it’s a good idea to first make sure he or she understands and obeys the most basic command which is to sit.

Teaching a dog to sit is the “elementary school” of dog training and sets the foundation for teaching your dog other commands like fetch, come, stay, lie down, roll over and other fun tricks.

When should I start training my dog?

Generally you want to start training your dog when he or she is 6 – 8 weeks old. An older dog can also be trained successfully but the sooner you start the better.

Should I hire a trainer of train my dog myself?

It’s recommended for a dog owner to train his or her own dog if possible. With patience, persistence, creativity and a professional dog training manual you should be able to get excellent results by yourself.

1. Reward, Reward, Reward!

Dogs are a little bit like people because they perform at their best when they are rewarded for good behavior. You’ll always see professional dog trainers with a handful of snacks to reward the dog whenever he or she obeys a command. Make sure the snacks are small you don’t want the dog to get full they are just a way to say “well done” to the dog which encourages more good behavior.

2. Get into position

For training to be successful you’ll want to get a nice big mat for your dog to practice on. There will be a lot of rolling and lying down so you want the dog to be comfortable. You might also need to do a bit of rolling on the mat yourself. More on that later. πŸ˜ƒ

3. Get the dog to lie down on his tummy

The roll over command is actually a combination of two commands because the dog first has to lie down before rolling over. Start by saying “down” or “lie down” while tapping on the ground with your hand to signal to the dog what you mean. Repeat this as many times as needed until the dog lies down.

Reward the dog with a snack and a rub on the head and ears when he lies down. This is a huge achievement and you want to show the dog that you are very happy and impressed!

4. Get the dog to lie on his side

Now that the dog is down we have to try and get him to lie on his side. This is when you can issue the “roll over” command. Unless he is already a super genius dog he will most likely not just roll over. That’s ok.

When you issue the “roll over” command you could put a small snack next to the dog which will (hopefully) make him lie on his side for him to get it.

What you’re looking for is “baby steps” towards anything which looks like progress towards lying on his side.

Reward all signs of progress towards the overall goal.

5. Get the dog to complete the roll over

We’re making progress! You will now want to continually issue the command “roll over” while looking for and rewarding signs of progress towards completing a complete roll over. Don’t be afraid to get creative about using hand gestures to signal to the dog what you mean by “roll over”. You could even get on the mat and perform a roll over yourself so the dog can see exactly what you mean.

The most important part of the process is to continually issue the command “roll over” while also continually rewarding the dog when he or she make progress towards the goal.

As the training goes by you can gradually start reducing the amount of hand gestures needed until eventually you can simply say “roll over” and the dog will obey.


Be patient and enjoy the process. You’ll find that the more you teach your dog different commands the easier it will be for him or her to learn new commands.

One of America’s top professional dog trainers has created an online dog training guide which will help you to get even better results. Very soon your dog will listen to you and be more well behaved.

The Brain Training for Dogs program also helps you to teach your dog to stop doing these annoying things …

βœ”Stop barking all the time βœ”Stop being aggressive βœ”Stop pooping in the house
βœ”Stop jumping on people βœ”Stop chewing on things βœ”Stop biting people
βœ”Stop digging βœ”Stop whining βœ”And more
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