It’s time for this month’s new trick! This month we learn from Robin how to teach your dog to roll over.
It’s trick time!
This month, we’re going to try an old stand-by: Roll over
**If your dog has any mobility issues, or is elderly, be careful with this trick. It might not be a comfortable motion for him. If your dog refuses to roll, it may be because it hurts. If this is the case, abandon this training and pick a different trick. It’s not worth risking injury or causing discomfort.
Keep in mind the general guidelines for training any trick:
- It’s a trick—it needs to be fun. Keep it that way. Use positive training techniques only.
- Choose a sound to mark the correct behavior. This can be a clicker, or a specific word, like “yes.” This is how you communicate to your dog that he has done something correctly.
- Be patient. Some dogs are great at one trick and have a tough time with another. Eventually, you’ll figure it out—or pick a different trick. Not everyone can be an expert at everything.
Now for the Trick-of-the-Month!
Start with your dog in a down. If your dog doesn’t down on cue, you can either wait until he is lying down to start training the trick, or teach the down (separate instructions follow).
Hold a treat in front of his nose, and move it slightly to one side. If he turns his head to follow the food, click and treat.
When he gets good at following the treat and turning his head, move your hand further towards his side before clicking. Ideally, he will lean over to get to the food. Click and treat.
Repeat until he is flopping over on his side when you move your hand. You can stop here, and make it a “play dead” trick if you want to.
To get the roll over, just move your hand a bit further until he flips. Click, treat and have a party!! Once he is rolling over willingly, add the cue “roll over” before you lure. Soon he will be rolling when you give the verbal cue. What a clever pup!!
Training the down:
While your dog is standing, lure with a treat by moving it towards his chest and down (much like last month’s bow, but we will wait to click/treat until the whole body is down). Be sure to give this a distinct, consistent verbal cue.
Here are some upcoming beginner classes at Fortunate Fido to help start your year out right!
Puppy classes start January 10 at 6pm and February 5 at 3:30 pm
Beginner classes February 23 at 6:30 pm
Robin Murray is a Certified Trick Dog Instructor. She enjoys teaching tricks classes and competing with her three dogs in agility, rally, obedience and nosework. Check out Fortunate Fido at www.fortunatefido.com