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How to Teach Your Dog to Roll Over

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Back when Toby was a puppy, he was a pro at rolling over. In fact, I distinctly remember being such a proud mama when he was the first in his puppy training class to pick up on this trick.

This was our go-to trick for impressing friends and family. But after the novelty wore off and he grew into a 110-lb body and we often didn’t have room, we stopped asking him to do it.

Then last summer, I thought I would ask Toby to roll over. But, much to my surprise, he just sat there and looked at me blankly. He couldn’t remember!

So now we are back to square one. Since it had been three years, I couldn’t remember how we had taught him in the first place. Back to the beginning.

We’ve been working on it now for a couple weeks, and I’m happy to report that Toby can now roll over again! It took a bit of a refresher – for both Toby AND me – but we got there.

How? With these steps:

  • Before you start, get a small handful of treats ready. And a patient, positive attitude.
  • Ask your dog to lie down. Give them a small treat as a reward.
  • Next, put another treat close to their nose. Slowly but confidently start to pull your hand above their head so their weight shifts and they start to roll over. Oh, and don’t forget to say “roll over!” as they move so they understand the command.
  • Keep the motion going until their body fully shifts to the other side.
  • Once they’ve made it to the other side, immediately reward your pup with a treat for a job well done.

As simple as it sounds, it’ll likely take you a number of tries before your dog gets it, and that’s totally OK. Just don’t overdo it the first time out or your dog might get discouraged.

This video from Woofipedia helps visually explain how the process works:

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