How to Train Your Deaf Dog to Roll Over

Medium
4-6 Weeks
Fun

Introduction

The roll over command is a fun trick. If you have a deaf dog, using hand signals will be imperative in any training you give your dog. He’ll need to know hand signal because, like sign language with humans, it is how you will most likely communicate with your dog. You can teach your pup to roll over once he has mastered sit and down. Rolling over is not only a cute trick, but it can also be beneficial for getting your dog to move out of the way. The roll over trick is a great party trick to teach your dog. Anytime you have company and want to show off your dog’s talents, having him roll over on command is one of many fun commands you can give your dog. Teaching your dog to roll over is a great way to bond with your dog, letting him know you two can communicate even if he is hearing impaired. 

Defining Tasks

Rolling over is a fun and cute trick. But with deaf dogs, rolling over is more than fun. Dogs who are deaf do not typically like to lie on their backs because it leaves them vulnerable. It is a more advanced trick than 'sit' or 'down', but with a little extra practice, your dog can roll over by hand signal in just a few extra weeks of training. Be prepared to repeat hand signals several times before your dog comprehends. You can teach any dog to roll over, but the younger the dog, the easier the training.  

Getting Started

Be sure your dog is used to hand signals and has an understanding of basic obedience commands already. The 'roll over' command will start in a down position, so be sure your dog understands 'sit' and 'down' before you begin 'roll over'. These can easily be taught with hand signals and treats as well. You’ll need an abundance of delicious treats to reward your dog for a job well done. If your dog is deaf, be sure to have the 'watch me' command down as well, so you know you have his attention. Be prepared for laughs and smiles when you teach your dog to roll over.

The Entice with Treat Method

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Step
1
Sign down
Using hand signals, put your dog in a down position. Be sure to give him a small treat for a job well done.
Step
2
Move dog to position
Kneel next to your dog and show him a special treat by holding it in a closed hand near his nose.
Step
3
Move treat
Move the treat from his nose to the side of his head, encouraging him to turn his head. Offer him the treat once his head turns to the opposite side. Be sure to give him love in the form of petting as well.
Step
4
Move shoulders
Repeat the step above but this time, encourage him to roll his shoulders over. If he is successful, his legs should move from one side to center or even to the opposite side. Practice this, giving him a treat if he goes further over each time.
Step
5
Roll over
Move the treat further and further away with each practice until your dog can roll from one side to the other.
Step
6
Hand signal
Introduce the hand signal you will use for the 'roll over' command. A typical roll over sign command is usually pointer finger drawing a circle in the air. Be sure you have your dog's eye contact before you give him the hand signal command.
Step
7
Practice
Do this several times in mini training sessions a few times a day until your dog can do the trick without the lure of the treat and with the hand signal alone.
Step
8
Reward
Be sure to reward your dog with a tasty treat once he has rolled over and recognizes the hand signal command. As you are training, offer your dog treats with every step he accomplishes.
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The Start on Back Method

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Step
1
Comfort position
Because dogs who are deaf don't enjoy being on their backs, you can start the rollover commands with your dog on his back once he reaches a level of comfort on his back. To do this, roll him yourself onto his back and give him lots of love. Repeat this several times, rolling him back and giving a treat. Once your dog is on his back, rub his tummy and make him feel comfortable.
Step
2
Treat
Hold a treat in the air next to the side of your dog's face.
Step
3
Movement
Using the treat as a lure, move it to the opposite side of your dog’s face. If your dog moves his head towards the treat, give him the treat. While your dog is moving to follow the treat, gently roll his shoulder over so his legs follow.
Step
4
Repeat
Do this several times, moving your dog from side to side from the position he started in, lying on his back. Once his legs are following your treat from the middle position on his back smoothly each time you entice with a treat, begin to train from a side lying position rather than on his back.
Step
5
From one side
Once your dog is comfortable on his back, put him in a lying position and have him roll to one side. Repeat the above steps, luring him over with a treat from one side to the other encouraging him to roll. If you need to gently lift his shoulders to get him moving, feel free to do that for the first few times.
Step
6
Introduce sign
Once he is comfortable on his side and rolling, begin to introduce the hand signal command to roll over. Continue using the treat to lure him from one side to the other, only include eye contact and a sign that will indicate rollover each time you would like him to perform on command. A typical roll over sign command is usually pointer finger drawing a circle in the air. Be sure you have your dog's eye contact before you give him the hand signal command.
Step
7
Practice
Practice these steps using the hand signal until your dog no longer needs the lure of the treats but rather the reward of a treat. Once your dog can roll over by only looking at your hand signal, be sure to offer him a reward each time.
Recommend training method?

The Standing in Front Method

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Step
1
Stand before dog
Stand in front of your dog and give him a ‘watch me’ command, so you know you have his attention and he is watching you consistently.
Step
2
Treat
Once you have your dog's attention, give him a treat and hold his attention with the watch me command and the promise of more treats to come.
Step
3
Down
Using a hand signal, put your dog in a down position and offer him a treat for a job well done.
Step
4
Hand signal
Using a hand signal for 'roll over', such as a pointer finger drawing a circle in the air in front of your dog, encourage your dog to roll. Introduce the hand signal first while your dog is in down position.
Step
5
Assist
Your dog probably won't roll over immediately just because you put your finger out and drew a circle in the air. After you use the hand signal, assist your dog into a rollover position by gently lifting his front paws and shoulder from underneath and roll him over.
Step
6
Reward
Even if you had to help your dog, be sure to reward him once he rolls all the way over.
Step
7
Practice
Repeat the steps above, making sure you are using the hand signal to roll over each time you assist your dog into a rollover position.
Step
8
Repeat
As you practice the steps above you should be able to get to the point where treats will lure your dog over instead of your gentle motion. Be sure to always use the hand signal after using the command to get your dog's attention. It may take some time for your dog to comprehend the hand signal for roll over with the action of rolling over. Be sure to be consistent with the hand signal. Always make sure you have your dog's attention on you before giving the signal, and be sure to treat him every time he rolls over.
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Success Stories and Training Questions

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