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Not really training...more of a trick - rollover

April 28th, 2005, 12:11 PM
I was just curious if anyone has ever taught their dog to "rollover"? I've taught my Levi all the normal ones, plus spin, speak, dance, crawl...etc., but I can't seem to teach him rollover...not that it's really a big deal. :)

He's very easy to teach and he is very motivated by food (found after 1-2 months without food). I've tried taking the treat and make him "down", then moving the treat over his shoulders...but he just ends up moving his head back. I can't gently grab his arms and move them around, because he'll jump up, because he doesn't like that.

Any suggestions? :D

April 28th, 2005, 12:24 PM
Have you tried showing him?

You lay in front of him and go through the motions? Perhaps he doesn't know what it means to roll over!

April 28th, 2005, 12:48 PM
Is he long & lanky? My sister's dog is very long through the body. She can't get him to roll over for the life of her. :D By the time she gets his front half rolled over, she has to move to the back end to do the same because he's so long, but by then the front end has gone back to it's original position. :p Some dogs just don't roll easily. ;)

April 28th, 2005, 01:02 PM
I've actually gotten him to do it a couple of times, but it's like he doesn't understand what I want from him. (Usually he'd get it by now).

Sometimes he'll get half way over and then flip back up. I was just wondering if anyone had any "tricks" to teaching their dog this.

He's long in body length for his size, but he's pretty smal overall. He's a little smaller than a Springer Spaniel.

April 28th, 2005, 03:03 PM
You are not teaching this dog HOW to rollover - he knows HOW. You are getting him to TRUST you when you ask him to rollover. Sometimes the rollover is more about levels of trust and security than it is about training methods. A dog who doesn't feel comfortable on his back won't do a good rollover.

I would work on making sure he is comfortable on his back by having him do a down, then lay on his side as you love on him and then try to get him on his back and stay there while you love on him some more. Reward this with your voice when he does it willingly. We have a version of this that we call the 'Love & Trust Roll"

People will usually say "oh he rolls on his back all of the time" but there is a huge difference between him offering his tummy to you for you to pet versus you insisting he go on his back. 2 totally different ideas in his mind.

After you have him comfortable with being on his back (because you said so), then move on to the trick. Have him lie down, use a treat/toy to lure his nose over to his ribs, this will kick his hips off to one side. Then progress with the lure over his ribs and back, so his nose follows and then his body will follow his nose. You might have to help him with his front leg to get him over the first few times. Reward with tons of joy and praise (not the treat). Then repeat this a few times. Each time trying to use the lure less, and further away from him. Good luck.

April 28th, 2005, 05:50 PM
Thanks, that was helpful. I'll try that!

Sadie's Mom
April 28th, 2005, 07:13 PM
Hope that works for you Levimh. I taught Sadie rollover when she was very young (less than three months I think). It was more of a game for her then. It was too easy. I don't even remember how I did it.

But I'm curious about "crawl", how do you go about teaching your dog that? Sadie loves showing off and learning tricks. I've just run out of ones to teach her!!

April 28th, 2005, 08:26 PM
"I've just run out of ones to teach her!!" I know what you mean. I can't think of any others to teach my dog.

As for crawl...I found he caught on quick. I'd make him do "down", then hold a treat about 3-4 inches from his face...when he reached out for it without standing, i'd let him have it. I, then, just kept moving the treat back and back and he'd crawl (although sometimes it's more of a drag) to it. But now he'll crawl across a room, so it worked for him. :)


April 28th, 2005, 09:55 PM
Someone I know had a ton of trouble teaching the roll over. What she ended up doing was lying the dog down and putting a ball in her mouth and rolling her with the ball. It takes the doggie's mind off the body "exposure" and on to keeping up with her ball and head. :)

April 28th, 2005, 10:29 PM
The way I taught Ariel was I told her to lie down on her stomach then I grabbed her paws and slowly rolled her over. :D After going through the motion, I would praise her a lot and keep saying "good rollover!! rollover!" and give her a treat. After doing this a few times she got the point and started doing it on her own.