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vade66's avatar

How do I teach my dog to roll over?

Asked by vade66 (68points) November 18th, 2010

My dog is a dachshund beagle mix and is about 6–7 years old in human years. He has never went to training school. He learned how to sit when he was probably about 3 human years old and I taught him how to lie down about 5 months ago. He isn’t the smartest dog, but if you teach him correctly with a gentle voice, he will learn quickly. But he is mentally sensitive so if I be a little strict on him, he’ll try to walk away. I want him to know how to do more tricks. So, do you know a good, easy way to teach him how to roll over?

p.s. If you want to know how I got him to learn ‘lie down’, ask me and I’ll tell you! (But it might not work on large dogs.)

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7 Answers

YoBob's avatar

Baby steps…

First you teach him to sit by saying “Sit” and gently pushing his behind down if necessary. Reward him with a treat and praise when he does it right. You’ll be surprised at how quickly he catches on.

After he has “Sit” down then say “Lay Down” after he is already sitting and gently pull his front paws out if necessary. Reward him with a treat and praise when he does it right. You’ll be surprised at how quickly he catches on.

After he has “Lay Down” mastered say “Roll over” and gently roll him over if necessary. Reward him with a treat and praise when he does it right. You’ll be surprised… etc…

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Welcome to Fluther.

You could always try to teach by example. The really hard part is learning to enjoy eating the dog biscuits you have to reward yourself with after you do it.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Beagles don’t seem to like to roll over. I have a beagle mix and I’ve tried to train beagles to roll over before.. for some reason this trick seems exceptionally difficult for them, although they are usually really easy to train (in my experience.) Smart dogs.

First, of course, have him lie down. Hold a treat by his nose and then cross it over his head and end on the floor near his back leg (the side you want him to roll towards), usually this will cause a natural motion to follow the treat with his head and your dog will roll over. If he does, give him the treat. If he doesn’t, then try again. Give him the treat only when he rolls over. If it doesn’t seem to be working, you can give him a gentle push on the side, he should take a hint.

Also, any time your dog rolls over naturally, even if you haven’t commanded it, you should say “Good roll over!” or, whatever command you plan to use for “roll over.” That will help to reinforce the concept of what roll over means. Get excited when you praise your dog, the more excited you are, the more likely they are to learn what you want them to do.

rooeytoo's avatar

Tell the dog down, when it is down hold a treat back over its shoulder so it has to turn around then slowly move the food so that it has to keep going towards the roll to reach it. If you use a clicker, click and reward each positive movement in the right direction.

downtide's avatar

My mum taught her shih-tzu to roll over by making the dog first lie down and then physically rolling her over with her hands, while giving the command, and offering her a treat. Eventually the dog would do it on her own, and after a few years practise she was so quick that she would leap up into the air and do a mid-air barrel roll in about half a second, before landing feet-first. It was pretty amazing to watch.

I worry about your dog though, being part Dachsund, they are prone to spinal injuries and I would worry that the rolling action would be bad for his back.

rooeytoo's avatar

@downtide – I thought about that too but figured the beagle part would give it resilience.

downtide's avatar

@rooeytoo I guess it comes down to how he’s shaped. Does he have a long or a short back? I’d be inclined to ask the vet at his next annual checkup, if he might be prone to spinal injury, and if the vet says he’s ok then go for it.

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