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How to Teach Your Dog to Lay Down and Roll Over

Has your furry family member mastered the art of sit and stay and is now ready for the next challenge?
If yes, you have come to the right place! Teaching dogs tricks is a great way to build a connection with your beloved family member and to also keep them engaged.

1. Lay Down
Now that your furry friend has mastered sit, command them to sit. Once sat you will need to place your hand on their upper back just under their shoulders. Place your thumb on one side of their back and your other four fingers on the other side. Then gently apply a little bit of pressure while slightly rocking your hand back and forth to help them naturally lay down. Once they lay down instantly reward them with a treat.

Rinse and repeat until they lay down without you putting any pressure on them. You will then need to start saying the command “lay down” when rewarding them with the treat so that they associate the word with the action of laying down.

The next step is a little tricky. Getting your beloved friend to associate the words "lay down" with a hand action. Similar to your stay hand command but instead of facing your hand towards them like a stop sign, face the palm of your hand towards the ground. Then move your hand downwards like you are pushing down on something. Start integrating that while saying lay down and then reward them with a treat. Rinse and repeat!

2. Roll Over
By now your furry friend is well on their way to becoming a master at learning tricks! If you have an older dog teaching them to roll over can be more difficult. Just take your time and practice every day for at least 10-15 minutes.

To start, command your dog to “lay down”, then grab a treat and put it near their nose for them to smell. Then move your hand towards their ear, this will naturally make them want to turn their head to follow the treat. Circle the treat around their head to encourage them to turn their head as much as they are comfortable with which should naturally make them sit on their side. You should notice they are more comfortable on one side compared to the other. Continue your training on the side they naturally turn better on.

Once you have successfully got them sitting and turning to a particular side, start encouraging them to move onto their back. The best way is to you pretend you’re going to rub their belly. Then gently use your hands to roll them right over. Reward them straight away with a treat and lots of praise “good girl/boy”. Rinse and repeat.

Their roll by now is probably still a bit wobblily! That’s ok! It’s a hard trick to learn.

You will now need to start incorporating the words “roll over” when rewarding them with the treat.

Wow can you believe your beloved furry friend is rolling?!?! I can. Now start incorporating a hand gesture. A popular one to use is starting with the palm of your hand facing down then flip it over so it’s facing the roof. Use your hand gesture while saying “roll over” then reward them with a treat.

Has your dog mastered these two in no time? Move on to “Stick em up” and “Bang” next!