Of all the non-functional skills you can teach a dog — there’s no real purpose in shaking paws or balancing a treat on his nose, other than showing off — rolling over is the easiest.
But wait! It does serve a purpose.
Teaching your dog this trick will foster discipline and focus. It will kickstart his ability to learn other, more advanced commands.
When your dog is intently focused on what you’re doing with that treat, he’ll learn to pay attention to you all the time (in case you give him more treats). This is an excellent habit to develop in any domesticated beast.
Not to mention, rolling over is adorable.
And being able to show off your super-genius dog is pretty cool, too. You can even get some holiday-themed treats for your next Christmas party, and make it extra snazzy.
Rolling Over for Dummies
- Your dog should start this trick lying on his belly, paws out front.
- Hold a treat out in front of him. Crouch down and hold it near his face, where he can see and smell it. Keep the treat enclosed in your fingers, so he can’t snatch it away. Don’t give it to him until he completes the trick! He needs to know why he’s being rewarded.
- Make a slow, circling motion while holding the treat out in front of him and saying, “Roll over.” His nose will follow first, then the rest of his body. Eventually he’ll roll onto his back. Be sure to continue circling until he’s upright again — THEN give him the treat. Speak in a soft tone and keep saying “roll over,” the whole time.
- He might need an assist. If he doesn’t roll all the way over, use your free hand to gently push his side while issuing the command. Then when he’s upright again, treat time.
- Positive reinforcement is critical. Reward your dog immediately with the treat, as soon as he completes the trick. After a week of practice, he should be able to roll over on command.
Lightbulb! What if you secretly taught your dog to do this as a Christmas present for the fam?
Somebody please do this. Send us picture or video, and we’ll share it on our blog! Now that’s showing off.
Speaking of which, if you need some dog-themed holiday gifts, we have whole stash of unique, quality necessities and treats in our shop.
Or better yet, order a dog subscription box for your dog-obsessed loved ones. They’ll be able to completely customize what they get and how often, and you can bask in best-gift-giver-ever smugness for a whole year.