Maya now knows how to play dead. It was super easy to teach her. It took about 5 minutes a day for less than 15 days. It was really difficult at first so I stopped the moment I got her to do it at least once. But after the 10th day, she caught on pretty well. We perfected it on the days after and now she does it almost every time.
The book, “101 Dog Tricks” by Kyra Sundance and Chalcy, say that the prerequisite for learning this trick is stay and rollover. Maya knows stay, but not rollover. It’s actually difficult to teach her rollover since we have mostly hardwood floors and it hurts her back. Perhaps we will try it in the spring. Despite not having the rollover trick down, Maya learned play dead easily because she loves tummy rubs. In fact, I did not use treats as her reward for doing this trick. A tummy rub was the perfect reward for her on this one.
To teach your dog how to play dead, you can use a the finger point like a gun as your hand signal and the queue “bang!”. I used “play dead” as my queue, but you can use “bang!” or even “boo!”. I also used a different hand signal.
Start by putting your dog in the down position. Then kneel in front of him, hold a treat to the side of his head, and move it towards his opposite shoulder. You can help him a little but don’t push him. Once he is on his back, give him the treat, tell him what a good dog he is, and rub his tummy. Once he gets this down, do it standing and hold off on the treat and tell him to stay. Make his stay until you give the release command, “okay!”, then give him his treat.
Maya is not quite to this point yet. I may not take it to this level as I love to give her the tummy rubs. Sephi knows this trick already. She won’t go on her back, but she will stay until I give the release command. Taylor this trick to you and your dog’s preference. And learn more fun tricks from “101 Dog Tricks” by Kyra Sundance and Chalcy.