How To Teach A Dog To Roll Over (& Other Essential Tricks)

We all know that show dogs can do many cool tricks on demand, but did you know that your beloved family dog can accomplish some of them too? Yep! It’s true, you don’t need to own a specific breed to learn how to teach a dog to roll over, shake, or play dead.

With some patience (and delicious treats!), your dog will be well on his way to stunning guests and taking over TikTok. Read on to find some helpful tips that will help you train your dog in no time.


Get Ready!

Before you start any training session, you’ll need to gather up some supplies.

Treats are a must-have; your dog needs an incentive to perform for you. Ever heard of “trick-or-treat”? Think of this as a trick and treat. Our Chicken, Beef, or Goat Chewies are chock-full of nutritious ingredients and have a soft texture, so they can easily be broken up into bite-sized pieces.

If you’ve found that your dog doesn’t respond to treats (or you don’t want to give them too many) then a favorite toy will suffice as well.

Next, make sure you pick a quiet area when your dog is calm, but not tired. It is imperative that there are no distractions when your dog is in “study mode.” This means no kids running around, TV, meals cooking, or music.

As your dog gets better, you can start to gradually introduce some distractions but for the start of training, keep it quiet.

Train in small increments throughout the day. Marathon sessions will likely bore your dog (or fill them up with treats). It can also help to schedule training sessions right before meals. Your pup will be more likely to perform if they’re hungry and smell treats.

Now it’s time to start teaching your new puppy to roll over, right? Sit tight!

Teaching a dog new tricks is like building with blocks. You have to make sure they get the basics before you move to the more complicated moves. First, you need to make sure they know how to sit and lie down.

Sit Down

Teaching a dog how to sit is one of the most essential tricks for any dog owner.

To start, bring a treat close to their nose and slowly lift it above their head. As they continue looking at that delicious treat (and they will!), they will naturally assume a sitting position.

As soon as your dog sits, praise him and give him the treat. Eventually, add the word “sit” when you raise the treat and he’ll associate the command with the treat. Once he’s got that part down, start skipping the treat and offer a nice pat or belly rub instead.


Lie Down

Teaching a dog to lie down is similar to teaching them to sit, but in reverse.

Tell your dog to sit, then hold a treat near their nose. Slowly lower the treat to the ground, which will encourage her to lie down.

Only praise and give the treat when it’s done properly. Eventually add the words “lie down” or “down” so she learns the command.

Roll Over

Once your dog has “sit” and “lie down” under their belt, they’re ready for the king of all tricks!

Learning how to teach a dog to roll over is challenging for dogs and dog lovers everywhere, so prepare yourself for lots of practice.

First, have the dog sit and then lie down. (That’s building blocks at work!) Slowly bring the treat from one side of his back to the other, encouraging him to look behind him, up, then to the other side. This will naturally encourage his body to roll over.

This could take some time but remember, the excitement you feel will be felt by Fido, too! Give him all the praises and treats when he accomplishes this one.


Other Cute Dog Tricks

Sitdown, and roll over aren’t the only commands your dog can learn. Once you’ve nailed down the basics, see how far they can go!


This is one of the cutest tricks in our opinion! Luckily, this one is easy to teach.

If your dog naturally paws at things, simply hold out your hand and say “shake.” When he puts his paw in your hand immediately praise and give him the treat. If they sniff or lick your hand instead, gently pick up their paw and give the command. Give lots of praise, encouragement, and treats.

Continue trying with the “shake” command and he will soon be shaking hands with all your visitors.

High Five

Once your dog can shake, they can give a high five!

Instead of offering your hand with your palm up, put out your hand in the “high five” position. Your dog may naturally put his paw up for a handshake. Tell them “high five” or “gimme five!” and watch your guests’ hearts melt.


Another twist on the “shake” command is teaching your dog to wave hello.

Hold out your hand a little higher than they’re used to and give the command “wave” or “hi.” Keep moving your hand higher and, eventually, out of their reach. Be consistent with the commands and treats until they’ve gotten it down.



These tricks we’ve mentioned above are only scratching the surface of what your dog is capable of.

When teaching your dog tricks, remember that s/he is an individual so you may have to adjust your methods (and expectations) to fit their abilities. It takes time to figure out how to teach a dog to roll over in a way that “clicks” for them.

At the end of the day, your dog loves you and aims to please. They know that you like it when they perform and will strive to make you happy.

Keep in mind that, just like humans, your dog will need a break. Trying to train too often (such as several times a day for hours) will likely discourage learning. Keep a positive attitude with your dog and soon he will be outperforming all the dogs at the dog park!

Another important building block to teaching your dog tricks is proper nutrition. With the right diet, your dog’s brain and body will be working at optimum efficiency and you’ll have many years to teach them even more!

At Rick’s Dog Deli, your pup’s health and wellbeing are our top priority. That’s why our meals are formulated with 100% USDA-inspected ingredients and lovingly cooked in small batches in our Central Florida kitchen.

Make the switch and see the difference!