Advice & Tips
how to teach a dog to roll over

How to Teach a Dog to Roll Over - Waggel Training Tips

Written by Ryan Gliozzo


Your furry best friend can be great company amongst others if it knows a party trick or two. Roll-overs are a fun training process and the correct baby steps can make it easier.
A dog rolling over


It is not a difficult trick to teach your dog to roll over, however, learning the proper method of training will make things a little more effective.

In this blog, Waggel is here to tell you just how to teach a dog to roll over and show off these new adorable skills to your wowed audience.

 Looking for other helpful tips and guides to happy pet ownership? Great, you came to the right place.

Check out some of our other helpful posts such as: worms in dogs: what are they? natural dog chews, or how to stop a puppy biting. We’re here to help!

But, without further ado, let’s begin the training session!

5 steps to teaching your dog to roll over:

1. Introduce treats

A dog rolling over on the grass

Having plenty of treats on hand is a great way to provide a yummy incentive to dogs during training, especially if your dog is food-motivated.

It is a crucial element in gaining their attention and retaining it. So how do you bring treats into this equation?

It is relatively simple!

  • Find a quiet place with plenty of room for your dog to train comfortably.

  • Pick a tasty treat of your choice and get ready to train.

  • If your dog is not food motivated, you can try including the element of praise, but as you know, most dogs are pulled in when you show them their favourite treats!

2. Begin by using the down command

A dog rolling over on the sand

It is important that your dog already knows the down command because it smoothens this process by a wide margin.

  • When you get your dog to lie down, bring a treat forward and lift it to their nose.

  • Pull the treat from their nose to their shoulders, which should make them turn their head around to follow the treat. When that happens, you should move the treat around your dog’s shoulder, which will cause your dog to lie on its back to chase the treat.

  • You should continue to hold the treat close to your dog’s nose as you pull the treat around till your dog completes their first full roll.

  • Once your dog is on their back, training them to do rollovers becomes an easier task.

  • You should keep in mind that it won’t occur in one training session.

  • When you’re learning how to teach a dog to roll over, you should do so with a lot of patience because dogs will resist and choose different motions to chase the treat.

3. Make things simple

Break down your process of training into simple guideline steps. It will make things easier for the dog to follow and for you to command them effectively.

Here is how:

  • Hold the treat close to the nose of your dog, and every time your dog follows it and moves to his side, give them verbal praise in an excited voice and/or give them a treat.

  • Over time, reduce the use of the ‘treat lure’ as your dog begins to understand the actions he should commit to.

  • Introduce the use of a strong vocal command for the rollover action for your dog to associate with the action.

  • Give plenty of praise and encouragement in a friendly voice as they lie on their side, showing more progress and openness.

  • Once your dog follows through, make them sit by luring them into a sitting position with another delicious treat.

By following these steps, it is pretty certain that you will be able to train your dogs with much less fuss and much more love and cute times for all!

When these steps are methodically followed, the whole training session becomes playtime for you and your dog to enjoy each other’s company. 

What can be better than that?

4. Use verbal “rollover” commands frequently

 A brown dog on its back

Dogs need an action word associated with every training session which involves different tasks. It helps them remember and prove their behaviour patterns and keeps the training sessions effective in the long run.

When you are training your dog, ensure that you are using the word “rollover” as your dog lies on its back and turns.

This process will have to be repetitive in order for it to be memorised thoroughly.

What this does is that you will be able to simply say the word at a later stage, and your dog will follow through with the command by the action of rolling over.

5. Instil the behaviour

A white dog rolling on the grass

Training requires repetitive sessions so you can instil the behaviour and training in your dog's psyche.

Teaching your dog to roll over is no different.

If your dog is causing sudden movements such as energetic jumps or tail wagging, you might need to slow your process and be more authoritative or re-train them to initiate the lay-down position with lots of praise.

Another example would be dogs that are shy and resistant to showing their bellies to people.

For most animals, showing their abdomens is a matter of great trust and love. 

If your dog is not showing your stomach, it is a sign to offer them treats whenever they do, providing an incentive to repeat the behaviour and show that it is safe.

When your dog is getting on the right track, ensure that you praise them vocally, provide them with treats, and create an encouraging environment.

This positivity is surely going to show an impact on the effectiveness of your training sessions!


Training sessions can be a great way to bond with your dog, making for a fun and productive time that will pay off.

Rollovers are just one adorable trick that you can teach your dog in simple steps that are listed in this blog. We hope that this has been informative on how to teach a dog to roll over!

Waggel Pet Insurance

Need more help? You're in luck if you're a Waggel Pet Insurance member. Along with our excellent coverage, we offer access to a 24/7 online vet to answer all your sticky questions, especially if you need grooming assistance.

Not a member? Why not get a quote now and cover your furry friend for a range of illnesses, all while enjoying our amazing perks and rewards.

Want more like this?

Get updates from us with helpful info, advice, answers to frequently asked questions and much more.

By joining, you agree to marketing emails. Unsubscribe anytime. See our privacy policy.

Share this post