Bang Bang Rollover and Play Dead a Classic Dog Trick

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Bang Bang Rollover and Play Dead a Classic Dog Trick

by Felix Senhouse

Training your dog to do tricks can be a fun way to spend time with your dog. The classic "Roll Over & Play Dead" trick has always been a favorite of mine. The key to this trick is to get your dog used to being on her back. You'll want to make it a game by using a toy or dog treats.

A rollover is basically a down position with a twist to the standing position. To do a rollover, start your dog in the down position. Once she is down, take a look at which way her body is curving. If it is curving more to the left, then you should roll her over on her left side. If she is curved more to the right, then you should roll her over on her right side.

Hold a toy or treat and rotate it near her nose and say "Roll Over". Rotate her nose until it is stretched over her neck and guide the treat over in the direction that you would like her to rollover. This should rotate her shoulders around and put her on her back. It may be necessary to take a step to the right or left, depending on which way she is rolling over, to gain better leverage as you guide her in the rollover. The momentum of her roll will swing her hind legs around and she will end up in the standing position. She may turn only half of the way over at first, so it might be necessary to help her complete the rollover by nudging her hind legs to make the full rotation.

This is a healthy exercise for you and your dog because it makes her feel vulnerable. She must trust you because she is on her back and exposing her underside. Trust is the key to a successful trainer and dog relationship.

It is possible to train her to play dead as well. Place her in a down position. Use the same rotation with the treat to make her rollover, but when she gets on her back, hold the treat above her to keep her on her back. Try to keep her on her back for a few seconds as you let her taste the treat that is right above her. Say "Bang! Bang!" while the other hand points at her chest as if it were a pistol. Let her eat the entire treat upside down. Allowing her to receive the reward while in this position gives her more time to play dead.

This is a great exercise to use if you are upset your dog for something she has done. Instead of scolding her, keep your voice calm and say "Bang! Bang!". Your dog will lay on her back and play dead!

Felix Senhouse is a contributor for Family Dog Care

Family Dog Care is your complete resource for dog related news and information, covering topics that range from dog training to dog nutrition.

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