German Shepherds are natural herders. In fact, the reason why this breed was first discovered was…
Once your dog has learned the basic sit, down, and stay commands, teaching your German Shepherd to roll over will be nothing more than a few treats away!
Training your dog new commands may seem like a bit of a mission, but with some patience and perseverance, you can teach your dog complex commands with ease. When it comes to dog breeds, the German Sheppard, in particular, is an intelligent, playful and easily trainable dog.
What is the Roll Over Command?
The roll over command is a common and fun trick to teach your dog. The trick is simply getting your dog to roll from one side to the other on its back from the down position.
Let’s get started! Make sure you choose a location with plenty of open space. A large dog like a German Shepherd will need ample room to roll over.
Step 1: Have your dog down
Teaching your German Shepherd to roll over requires it to know the down command before learning this new trick. If you haven’t taught your dog this command yet, you can check out this article to help you and your pup get the ball rolling.
Step 2: Use a treat or toy to help guide your dog
After you have successfully taught your pup the “down” command, grab its favorite toy or treat and stay ready in that position. Use the treat to guide your dog’s nose over to its shoulder; this will get the dog to lay on its side.
Once you have gotten this far, reward your dog with the treat and praises.
Pro-trainer, Kayl McCann, says that most dogs have a side they prefer to lay on, so if you’re not successful at first, try turning your dog’s nose to its other shoulder!
Step 3: Use the treat to help guide your dog the rest of the way over
Use the treat to guide your dog’s head from one shoulder to the other, getting your dog to flip onto the other side. If your dog doesn’t roll the rest of the way over on the first attempt try again.
Step 4: Praise and continue practicing
Make sure to reward and praise your dog for every successful step completed. Continue praising and practicing using the steps mentioned above until your dog is performing the command in one fluid motion.
Your dog needs to understand the command physically before you can add a gesture or vocal command.
Step 5: Phase out treats and add a hand gesture if desired
Once your dog has learned the motion of your hand with the treat, that becomes the gesture it uses as a signal to perform the command. Slowly phase out using the treats and add a voice command.
Make sure to say the voice command, take a pause and then make the hand gesture so your dog can isolate the two and not rely on the hand gesture alone.
Make your gesture smaller and smaller each time, and eventually, your dog will respond directly to the voice command.
What To Do If Your Dog Won’t Roll Over
If your dog won’t roll over, there some things you can do to change that.
First, make sure the surface your dog is learning this trick on is comfortable; avoid marble and hardwood floors as those can hurt your dog’s back.
Second, if your dog won’t lie on one side, trying rolling from the other; your dog will naturally prefer to roll onto one side over the other.
Third, reward your dog at smaller increments and at the correct time.
Remember, don’t treat if your dog has not properly performed a motion, this will confuse your dog and you will have to restart the training process. However, giving more frequent rewards at every correct action may help your dog to roll over.
We hope these 5 steps will get your dog rolling over in no time. Check out the video below for a visual representation.