FYI: we may earn a commission for qualified purchases made through the links in our articles (learn more).
- When teaching your dog to play dead, treats are necessary. This motivates dogs and can be used to lure them into doing certain positions.
- First have your dog to lie down on the floor. Show him a treat which you will move to his side. The goal is to have his nose follow the treat until he falls to his side. At this point, say the verbal cue “play dead.”
- Repetition, rewards, shorter training sessions to avoid boredom, and patience are all essential to be able to successfully teach your dog the “play dead” trick.
Here’s a quick outline on how to teach your dog to play dead: You’ll want him on the down position first, the lure him to the side using a treat until he falls or rolls sideways. This is the time to say “play dead” so that he equates the action to the verbal command. Give him treat and repeat the process. You can also add a hand signal as a visual cue by pointing to your dog like you’re holding a gun and then use the command “Bang!” instead to make it more entertaining.
There are two main reasons I train my dogs well. The first is obvious and it is that I want them to learn and practice certain behaviors such as not jumping on others, sitting when commanded, not biting, go potty outside, stay in their dog crate and more. This type of training is vital for my dogs to live well and for our relationship to be what it should be.
The other reason is much less important but can be a lot of fun. I also may want to train my dogs to do tricks and to wow my friends with my dogs’ ability to do certain things. A high five or a handshake is always great, and if your dog can do agility training exercises then that can be impressive too. However, an all-time crowd favorite that never goes out of style and shows how obedient and well-trained your dog is… rolling over and playing dead. There’s no need to be a certified professional dog trainer to teach dog tricks like this! Read on to see my training techniques to help your dog do this fun, crowd-pleasing trick.
Teach Your Dog To Lie Down First
The first step in teaching your dog to play dead is to teach them to lie down. It is vital that you teach your dog how to lie down before going through the rest of this article .
How To Teach Your Dog To Play Dead
Once your dog can lie down, they have the expertise and ability to move to the more complicated command of playing dead. This adds a couple of additional steps and a little extra patience and obedience to the “lie down” command so it may take a little time to build that into your dog. The next few steps are a great guide to teaching your puppy how to play dead and to impress your friends and family in the process.
Ask Your Dog To Lie Down
Teaching your dog to play dead before they know how to lie down will not work. They must be a “lying down expert” before you move forward with training them to play dead. Once they can lie down though, the rest is not overly complicated.
Use A Treat
Hold the treat at the side of your dog’s head and move it towards their shoulder. Your dog should follow the treat with their head, forcing them onto their side or back.
Mark and Reward
As the treat forces your puppy onto their side and back, mark and reward their behavior until they get to where you want them to. This positive reinforcement should also create a positive environment for your dog through the process.
Repeat Step 2
Follow step 2 again, but this time do not reward your dog unless/until they are on their back on the ground.
Repeat Step 3
Do Step 3 again but without a treat this time. It is ok to praise and pet your dog for good work but do so without a treat in hand.
Use Just Your Hand
Shape your hand in a specific manner (a gun shape or circle) and move your hand from your dog’s nose diagonally over their shoulder. Rather than following a treat, your dog should now follow your hand with the same results.
When your dog is on its back, add a noticeable and repeatable verbal cue to show your pleasure. A verbal praise could also be a way to praise and reward your dog.
Is it hard to teach a dog to play dead?
Learning how to teach your dog to play dead is not as difficult as it probably seems. In fact, once you teach them to lie down, a command that most dog owners want to teach their dog, the rest of it is easy. Simply using a treat to get your dog to roll onto their side and then teaching them to wait just long enough to sell the idea that they are playing dead. The good thing about this trick is that it is not really difficult to teach or learn, but it is really impressive to people when they see it.
What is the hardest trick to teach your dog?
Teaching dogs tricks can be fun and challenging for both you and your puppy. The best thing that teaching tricks does, however, is it becomes a form of obedience training for dogs. Sure it is fun to show off all that your dog knows and understands to your friends, and there is quite a bit of relationship building and bonding that is involved in the training process. As a general rule, a dog that knows tricks is a well-behaved and obedient puppy in other aspects of its life as well.
Maybe the most difficult trick you will teach your dog seems simple but it is the gateway for most other tricks. The difficult trick is teaching your dog to “wait” for a few seconds at a time prior to performing a task or receiving a treat. Sure, a lot of dogs can do this, but it is difficult because it is usually the first “complicated” trick anyone teaches their puppy and once they learn this they can learn almost anything else.
How do I teach my dog to roll over and play dead?
You can teach your dog to roll over and play dead by following the steps in the above article. Teaching them to lie down first is a must, and then adding some additional movements and patience come immediately after. If you are consistent, use treats and positive reinforcement, and have already taught your dog to lie down, it should not be difficult to teach them to roll over and play dead.
What is the easiest trick to teach your dog?
The easiest and most common trick to teach your dog is to “sit.” This command is important because it helps your dog to calm down and to stay in control of themselves and their behavior. The sit command is usually the first command people teach because it is also the basis for many other simple commands, and at the very least when a dog can sit and be calm it can also be teachable.