Roll Over

The title is pretty explanatory, so read on to make your pup a lil' rolly polly.

Teach Your Dog to Roll Over

Rollover is honestly one of the cutest tricks. You thought your pup was cute already? Teach them this one and your love for them may grow even though you didn’t think that was possible.

As with these slightly more advanced commands, it’s always good to teach your dogs the basics first. For this trick specifically, it will be helpful for your dog to know “down” already.

Now, most dogs may not get this trick right the first time. When I was training Harley rollover, she wasn’t a big fan of being on her back, but now her go-to reaction when we start training is to rollover. I honestly think she finds it fun! So, let’s get onto the simple steps then we’ll break things down a bit more if you and your furry friend run into some issues.

Simple Steps

First you’ll want to give your pup the “down” command. From there is where we try to get them to rollover.

Hold a treat by their nose, make sure they’re interested in it, then lead it from their nose to their shoulder, forcing them to turn their head to follow the treat.

From there, it’s just a matter of getting your dog to continue to follow the treat to where they end up lying on their side and then completing rolling over.

Once your dog completes the full roll, reward them with the treat and praise them for their hard work.

Repeat these steps and add in the “rollover” command once they are smoothly following the treat and getting a hang of the rolling over movement.

The real goal is to have your pup complete the rollover trick without the lure of any treats or rewards until after they’ve completed it.

If your dog just mastered rollover with these simple steps, then they may be a doggie genius. Mmm, maybe not quite there, but definitely a quick learner. If your pup needs a different method, follow the tips below. And hey, they may not immediately be a doggie genius for this trick, but we can’t all be perfect at everything right?!

More Tips

You can break the steps above down into smaller pieces. Once they turn their nose to their shoulder, you can reward them. Once they lie on their side, reward them, and so on. Obviously, at some point you’ll want to stop rewarding them for every part of the trick because they may get fat from all the yummies (jk) or become less motivated from becoming full. Plus, they need to understand that it’s the full trick of rollover that you’re going for, not each individual piece. Some dog’s just need that extra guidance in the beginning. Eventually, after some repetition, you’ll likely be able to get them to complete the full roll once they have a better understanding of what you’re looking for.

If your pup is turning their head around to the other side instead of rolling over to follow the treat or jumping up to follow the treat, maybe take things back to where they were more successful. Start to build up their confidence from there to hopefully give them more time to understand the roll.

If your pup was like Harley at first and not a big fan of being on their back or showing their belly, train them to know that the tricks they are learning are fun! Reward them with a treat when they allow you to pet their belly or lay on their back, showing them that it’s okay to be vulnerable. Don’t we all need a little reassurance to be vulnerable sometimes?

Overall, remember to keep your training sessions short and sweet and end on a positive to keep your pup wanting to come back to learn more.

Doggie Geniuses

As I mentioned before about doggie geniuses above, in a survey completed by Vetstreet Inc, they concluded that “sit” was the number one known command with a 90% success rate in their poll of approximately 1,800 readers. On top of that, they were able to discover the average amount of tricks that their readers’s dogs knew. You can view those results below. And hey, if you teach your dog these 4 tricks on top of the basic commands such as “sit”, “stay”, and “down,” then your dog will be within the top percentile with seven tricks known!

Average Amount of Tricks that their Readers’s Dogs Know

What Next?

Now that your dog has mastered roll over, move onto the next trick you'd like to tackle!


Aka "play dead"



Round & round



A crowd pleaser