How to Teach a Dog Roll Over: 4 Easy Steps

How to Teach a Dog Roll Over: 4 Easy Steps

“Roll over” is such a fun trick to add to your dog's repertoire. As with many other tricks, it stimulates your pup mentally and physically and strengthens the bond with you. Also, this trick in particular will 100% impress your friends.

Before you start, make sure your dog is familiar with the basic commands, especially with lying down as this would be our starting position. Also, make sure to provide a comfortable surface, such as a yoga mat, carpet, or grass. 

The easiest way to teach a dog to roll over: Here is the step-by-step

1️. Ask your dog to lie down

Start by getting your dog to lie down in front of you. To do this, place a treat close to his nose, and slowly move your hand all the way down to the front paws. This should get them into a down position.

Mickey will be demonstrating the process.
Mickey will be demonstrating the process.

2️. Lure your dog to lie on one side

Hold a treat close to your dog’s nose and slowly move it towards their shoulder blades to get them to move on one side. Try this movement a few times and praise him with yummy treats 😋

Mickey moving on its side to get the treat
Move the treat from the nose to the shoulders.

3️. Complete the roll over

Once your dog is lying flat on one side, continue moving your hand with the lure from the shoulder to the backbone. This should cause them to roll on their back, and immediately praise and reward. 

Mickey rolling on its back
Continue luring until you get a full roll over.

4️. Introduce a verbal command and fade the lure 

Gradually start introducing the verbal command “roll over” or “roll” right before you begin the rolling motion. Eventually, your dog will learn the connection between the verbal command and the motion. Over time the goal is to fade the lure and rely only on the verbal cue. 

Celebrating Mickey with a trat because he did a roll over
Celebrate the end of training with many treats! 🎉

Continue practicing and rewarding your dog with treats and praise every baby step. Also, remember to mark the behavior with a verbal cue like “yes” or with a clicker, depending on what training technique you feel more comfortable with. 


Practice, practice! until they master the trick 🏆

Common Mistakes and Troubleshooting

  • Make sure your dog knows the basic commands such as sit, down, and stay before moving on to a more advanced trick like roll over. 
  • Break the process down into small steps and reward your pup for every attempt in the right direction. For example, reward them after lying down, turning their head, or shifting their weight to one side before eventually performing the full roll over.
  • Use clear and consistent hand movements for luring. Your dog may be eager to please you and get his treat, but if you are giving fast and confusing hand movements he can’t understand what you want him to do. 😥
  • Use luring techniques and positive reinforcement. Avoid pushing your dog and using force.
  • Experiment with different rewards to find what motivates your dog and use it to reinforce the new behavior. 
  • Always finish the training session on a positive note. If your dog is struggling to learn the new trick, go back to one he already knows, it could be sit, paw, down, etc, praise them and reward his efforts. This helps to build positive associations with training and prevents having a frustrated pup.

Final Thoughts

Training sessions are meant to be enjoyable for you and your pup. So, ensure you create a positive experience by giving clear instructions, rewarding every baby step along the way, and taking breaks as needed.

Consistency and patience are key! Keep practicing and practicing, and enjoy seeing your pup master the art of rolling over. 

Get your best treats ready, and happy training!

Mickey enjoying his treat because he was a goob boy and learned how to roll over very fast
Mickey says "Now, it's your turn" 😜


At what age can you teach a dog to roll over?

Your dog can learn new tricks at any point, whether they are puppies or senior dogs. For older pups, however, you may need to consider some physical limitations and adapt your training techniques. There are certain strategies to train deaf dogs, for example.

How do you teach a dog to lie down?

Start with your dog in a sitting position, place a treat close to his nose, and slowly move your hand down toward the ground to lure him to the final position. As soon as his body touches the ground, reward and praise. 

How long does it take to teach a dog to roll over?

Training timelines are different for each dog. Larger dogs may struggle more than smaller dogs with this trick, and some dogs may take more time to master some steps of the process, for example, to lie on the side. But a good estimate is from 7 to 10 days of daily training.