How To Teach A Dog To Roll Over | A Step-By-Step Guide

One of the first things many dog owners want to teach their dogs is how to roll over.

It’s a fun dog trick that impresses your friends and family and is not too difficult to learn.

Here are a few tips for teaching your dog to roll over.

With patience and practice, you’ll have your dog rolling over in no time!

How To Teach A Dog To Roll Over

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to teach a dog to roll over.

It’s a little training process until a dog rolls over the dog’s shoulder but it’s not that difficult.

Start with some training sessions, step by step as reached, and your dog soon will full roll over.

Start With Your Dog In A Down Position

black grey dog lying in down position

When teaching a dog to roll over, getting them in the lying position is essential.

To do this, you can use a treat or other food item to teach a dog the lying behavior.

Hold the treat in front of your dog’s nose and slowly move your hand down to the ground, which will cause them to follow it with their head.

As they lower their body to the ground, give them the treat as a reward and say “down” so that they can associate laying down with a positive experience.

You may need to repeat this process through several training sessions until your dog learns to go down on command.

It is important to always reward your pet after each successful sitting session with either treats or verbal praise like “good boy or girl!”

Doing so will help reinforce good behaviors so that your pup quickly learns to go down on command.

Also, don’t just use a verbal cue, also use your hand signal to teach a dog what you want.

Give The Command “Roll Over” While You Move Your Hand Over Their Back

Position your hand over the back of the dog and move it slowly in a rolling motion as you give the command “roll over” in a firm yet gentle voice.

That way, you show your dog to roll over.

As you do this, give the command “roll over” in an authoritative yet calming tone.

You may need to gently push against the dog’s back while repeating the command if they don’t understand what you want them to do.

It can also help to hold a yummy treat in front of the dog’s nose and animate the dog to roll that way.

When they begin to roll over, give them lots of praise and encourage them to continue until they are completely rolled over onto their back.

Remember to be patient, as it may take time for your dog to understand what you want them to do.

white dog lying on back in grass looking happy

Do The Same Hand Movement Each Time

When teaching a dog to roll over, the same hand movement must be used each time in order to create an association between that motion and the desired action.

It is best to start off by rewarding the dog for responding to your command, even if it does not roll completely over.

That helps build their confidence when you move on to more complicated roll-overs.

You should always use positive reinforcement, such as belly rubs or treats, when the dog completes the rollover.

Related: Why Do Dogs Kick Their Legs When You Scratch Them?

Have patience during this process, and don’t expect your dog to learn immediately; it may take several weeks of consistent training before they understand how to roll over on command.

Additionally, you should also make sure that your dog has plenty of exercises each day as this can help to expend any extra energy in a controlled manner, which will make it easier for them to focus on learning new commands.

Finally, practice rolling with both hands; this will help prevent confusion and ensure that your pet learns properly.

As They Start To Roll Over, Give Them Lots Of Praise

brown dog lying on his back rolling over

It’s important to reward your dog while learning how to roll over.

As they start to roll over, give them lots of praise.

That will help them learn the behavior more quickly.

You can also offer treats or their favorite toy as a reward, most dogs like it.

Be sure to reward them each time they roll over so they understand that it is the desired behavior.

With patience and consistent rewards, your pup will have this trick mastered in no time.

What To Do If The Dog Doesn’t Understand The Command “Roll Over”

Rolling over is an important trick for your dog to learn.

If your pup doesn’t understand the rollover command at first, don’t be discouraged.

Instead, help them with a gentle guide and hold their front legs while they roll onto their back.

When they are on their back, repeat the rollover command and use positive verbal reinforcement such as “good boy/girl!” or “what a smart pup!” every time they roll over correctly.

It may take some time, but with patience and repetition, most dogs can master rollover in no time.

Using treats and toys as rewards can also be helpful to motivate them to roll over on command.

dog sitting in grass and looks at a treat in front of his face

Be sure not to scold your pup if they don’t get it right away—positive reinforcement will make it more likely that your pooch will learn to roll over faster than punishment.

With consistent practice sessions and plenty of praise, you should soon have a pup that rolls over like a pro!

Factors To Avoid

Avoid the following while training your dog to turn over:

Ignoring The Need To Consult Your Veterinarian First

 Verify that your dog has been given the go-over command permission.

Avoid doing this trick if your dog has any physical diseases, such as spinal, muscular, bone, or other problems.

Exercise In A Cluttered Environment

When and where you first teach your dog to roll over should be carefully considered.

Don’t, for instance, ask your dog to roll over on a bed or couch because they can end up rolling off the edge of the piece of furniture.

Additionally, you don’t want your dog to clumsily roll into a chair, a wall, or another item.

Additionally, some dogs could feel uneasy rolling over on a hard floor.

Forcing Your Dog Too Much

As you train, pay attention to your dog’s behavior and only urge them to roll over when they look physically at ease.

Stick to performing this act indoors, away from other dogs and outsiders, as a body roll puts your dog in a precarious position.

Additionally, keep an eye out for symptoms of discomfort and cease practice if your dog appears to be experiencing pain when rolling over.

Issues And Proofing Practice

brown dog on back rolling over

You might move too quickly if your dog frequently blunders, like jumping up or turning its head the wrong way.

Retrace your dog’s steps to when they performed well, then gradually work them back up to a full rollover.

Some dogs may be reluctant to roll over and expose their bellies.

In this situation, be sure your dog understands that training is just for pleasure.

If it enjoys scratching its tummy, do so whenever it offers, click or praise it, and give it a treat.

Make sure to speak in a cheerful and upbeat manner.

Relax by taking a big breath.

There is no need to worry, even though this may take some time.

Additionally, it’s crucial to maintain brief, positive training sessions.

Too-long training sessions can be frustrating for both you and your dog.

Try to end each training session on a positive note and limit training sessions to around 10 minutes per session.

Teaching your dog to roll over is a great way to have fun and give them a new trick to show off.

It’s not difficult once you know the right steps, but be patient and take your time.

Once your dog has mastered this skill, make sure you reward them with lots of praise and maybe even a treat or toy.

Who knows – maybe your furry friend will end up being the next internet sensation!

light brown dog lying on side looking happy

Before You Go…

Now you know how to teach a dog to roll over.

If you want to learn more, read the following articles too!

Mena Emad, DVM
Mena has a Bachelor’s degree in veterinary medicine. His expertise, passion for animal welfare, extensive knowledge, and experience in the field of veterinary medicine make him an excellent resource for our readers.