Usually Wednesday is reserved for Wordless Wednesday. But I couldn’t help but to share my dog Pierson’s new trick. If you’re not interested in reading today, just check out this cute video of my dogs showing off.
Sephi knew how to do the rollover dog trick but I never taught it to Maya. But when Pierson came along with his great need to learn new things, I started teaching them both to rollover. I started on Saturday, Sept 8th. Pierson had it down by the 11th. Maya was doing okay but not like Pierson. Here is how I did it.
The Command, The Motion, and The Bribe
Both Maya and Pierson already know how to play dead so rollover was a two-step process. I gave them the down command. Then I gave the hand signal for play dead. However, instead of saying ‘play dead’ I said ‘rollover’. I had a treat in hand and led them around to do the rollover. As soon as they were all the way around, I told them they were good dogs and gave them the treat. I did this one-dog-at-a-time, of course. While I had one dog sit and stay, I went to the other dog and worked on the rollover trick.
When I first started on Saturday, I spent about 2 minutes with each dog. I managed to get them each to do two successful rollovers, then stopped. Always end training on a positive note. I didn’t keep training until they got bored. And if I had two successful tries, I didn’t want to keep going and give them the opportunity to not do the trick.
Sunday, we did a 2 minute session for each dog in the morning and again in the afternoon. Same for Monday and Tuesday. Two short training sessions twice a day is all it takes. Don’t try to cram in longer training times. You can spend 5-10 minutes at the most depending on your dog’s enthusiasm and success. If your dog loses interest or is not performing the trick right, have him do something he does know well then stop on a positive note.
Some Dogs Just Won’t Do It
Pierson had the trick down by Tuesday. That is just four days! He is such a smart boy and certainly makes it seem easy to teach the rollover dog trick. I can’t promise it will be that easy for you and your dog. Every dog is different and some dogs just don’t feel comfortable doing the rollover trick. I do the trick outside because the ground is softer than my hardwood floors and so doesn’t hurt their back. Some dogs, like Maya, may take longer because the rollover is not a natural motion like sitting is. And some dogs won’t do it because perhaps they feel that exposing their belly makes them vulnerable.
If you want to teach your dog the rollover dog trick, take note of his behavior regarding the trick. Is he enthusiastic about it or is he reluctant? If he is reluctant, you may want to work on the issue of why he is before you teach this trick. Training should be fun for both you and your dog. You don’t want to force him to do something he is not comfortable doing.