Playing dead has to be one of the greatest tricks in the canine playbook. Once you teach your Chihuahua to play dead on command, you will soon find yourself sneaking up on him, pointing a "finger gun" at him and going "Bang!" just to see how fast he can drop. You can, of course, use any cue word you want, but whatever you choose, try to make it something cool like "Dead Dog!" or "Ka-Pow!" It really doesn't matter what you use as long as you always use the same cue.
The good news, it really doesn’t take that long to teach your pup to play dead. It simply takes a little time and effort on your part, along with a virtually endless supply of your pup's favorite treats. As with most advanced tricks, your pup should have already mastered the basics and be able to perform them on demand. You will be using them as part of his training and as part of the trick.
The 'play dead' trick is really not much more than 'lie down' and 'roll over' combined and truncated into a single trick. In order, your Chi will first go into the "down" position by laying on his belly, from here he will roll over onto one side--or if you really want to get fancy, onto his back. At this point, he must learn to remain still or "dead" until you release him.
You can teach this nifty trick to dogs of any age, but as with most tricks, the younger you start the faster your pup will learn. This leaves you with plenty of time to teach him other tricks. Older dogs can learn it as well, but it may take longer, and you have to take their overall health into account.
Training your pup to play dead is relatively simple and doesn't take much in the way of supplies. However, there are a few things you may find come in handy, including:
The most important thing you can bring to each training session is a calm, relaxed attitude--and be ready to have fun. The more fun you make the training sessions, the more your pup will enjoy them and work with you.