Although some owners believe that there is no point in teaching a dog tricks unless it is going to be the next Lassie, there is a lot for both you and your dog to gain from simple tricks. First, training your dog helps to keep your pet stimulated. In addition, you may find that training your dog gives you an opportunity to strengthen the bond with your animal.
Therefore, dogs that are trained to perform tricks are more content than dogs that are not, simply because they enjoy spending time with their owners and are kept both physically and mentally active. The good news is that training a dog to perform simple tricks is not difficult and it can be a lot of fun for you and the dog.
If you would like to teach your canine companion a trick or two, here are some things that you should bear in mind:
- All dogs respond best to positive reinforcement and reward-based training. How to teach dog to roll over Therefore, you should try to be as patient as possible with your pet and ensure that you’re keeping the training sessions fun and exciting.
- Similarly, it is a good idea to keep training sessions reasonably short. The exact length of time will depend on your dog’s attention span. If you have a dog that is particularly restless, then 5 or 10 minutes may be all that is possible. However, even if your dog loves training, it is best to keep your session to under half an hour, so that he, or she, has a chance to digest each lesson before moving on to something new.
- Use a favorite toy and lots of praise to encourage your dog. If he, or she, is particularly motivated by the stomach, then you may like to use treats as rewards. However, it is best not to overdo it, as you’ll end up with a very chubby pooch.
- Remember to approach training in small steps. In other words, if you would like your dog to play dead, you will first have to get him, or her, to roll onto the side or back.
How to Teach Your Dog to Roll Over
One of the first tricks that owners like to teach is the classic ‘roll over’. Considering the above tips, this is how to go about training your dog. First, you must get him, or her, to lie down on command. If your dog is particularly energetic, it may be wise to pick a calm moment to attempt this trick.
Once he, or she, is laying, take a favorite toy and place it above and behind one of the shoulders. Wave the toy in a rolling motion and you should see that your dog rolls to reach the toy. If he, or she, starts to get up, you will need to try a different approach. Take the front paws and gently roll the dog over. In either scenario, as soon as the dog has rolled say ‘roll over’ so that the words are associated with the action and then give him, or her, lots of praise. Usually, you will only need to repeat this training a few times in order for the dog to learn what you mean when you say ‘roll over’. However, bear in mind that some dogs pick things up quicker than others, so try not to put too much pressure on your dog.
Most importantly, when training your dog, keep a light tone and try to be as enthusiastic about your dog’s performance as possible. This will reinforce the notion that training is fun and your dog will enjoy it all the more.