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Your dog can tell you when he's ready for bed or when he needs some quiet time by rolling himself up in a blanket. There's nothing much cuter than your dog peeking out from underneath a blanket after he's wrapped it around his own body!
You can train your dog to roll up in a blanket to just be cute, or you could train your dog to roll up in a blanket when it's time to go to bed. Once your dog knows this fun trick, he will probably begin to use it on his own to communicate to you if he's going night-night or will be taking a little nap. Rolling up in a blanket is also a fun party trick. Your guests will be impressed with how smart your dog is and all of the training that goes behind this cute little trick.
Your dog will need to know a series of basic commands before learning to roll up in a blanket. You can include some of these commands as part of your training, but ultimately, in order to roll himself in a blanket, your dog should know how to sit on command. He should also know ‘down’ by command, and you should probably work on teaching him ‘take it’ and to 'roll'. Having all four of these commands mastered before you piece them together into one command to roll up in a blanket will make this training easier. Teach these four commands individually and then mash them all together into one cute trick to teach your cute pup to roll up in a blanket.
To do this fun trick, you are obviously going to need a blanket that you are okay with your dog laying on and rolling in. Lots of tasty high-value treats will make this training easier and more rewarding for your dog. If you are starting from ground zero, training the initial commands first, be patient and take them one at a time before moving to the next. You can do these trainings on the blanket and use the blanket for the ‘take it’ command if you would like. Or you can completely separate them so your dog understands the commands outside of this trick.
The Pick Up Method
Pick up object
Start by training your dog to pick up an object off of the floor using his mouth. To do this, you can start with a toy covered with a small bit of peanut butter. Place the object on the ground and encourage your dog to pick it up instead of just licking it. The first few times you may need to put it in his mouth for him.
Command 'take it'
Once your dog is picking an object up off of the floor using his mouth, begin to use the command 'take it.' Keep practicing using the command until your dog picks the object up off the floor by command each time you ask him to do so.
The next step of this training is to get your dog to roll over on command. To do this, have your dog lay down and lure him onto his side, then then onto his back, and onto his other side using a treat.
If you need to encourage him a bit more, you can treat him every step. This might mean your dog gets a treat when he rolls to his back as well as when he makes it to the other side. Dogs who immediately roll from one side to the next can be treated at the very end once they have reached the full roll.
Give this action of rolling a command. Continue to practice 'roll' with your dog so he can not only roll from side-to-side but also roll all the way across a space. This might mean one or more rotations in his roll to be fully successful. Remember your goal is going to be to get him to roll up in a blanket.
Practice having your dog roll over while lying on the blanket you would like him to roll up in. Be sure to treat each time he rolls. Encourage him to roll multiple times expecting him to make it across the blanket.
Bunch the blanket up between your dog's front paws as he is in a down position. Use the commands you and your dog have practiced together. With the blanket bunched up between the front paws, ask your dog to 'take it’, expecting the dog to take the bunch of blanket in his mouth, and then ask your dog to roll. He should roll across the entire blanket, taking what's in his mouth with him and causing the blanket to wrap around him as he rolls.
Continue practicing these steps, having your dog take the blanket in his mouth using the 'take it' command and rolling himself across the blanket and causing the blanket to roll with him around his body.
Once your dog has the two actions mixed together, 'take it' and 'roll,' create a new command to get your dog to roll up in the blanket. To do this, you can have him practice 'take it' with other objects as well as 'roll' without the blanket. But when you use the command 'roll in your blanket,' your dog should know to take the blanket in his mouth and roll across the blanket, wrapping it around him.
The Corner Method
Lay a blanket on the floor. Be sure it is stretched out but not too perfectly flat. Take a corner of the blanket and either fold the corner or bunch it up to create texture for your dog to pick up in his mouth.
Have your dog sit on the blanket on the same side as the corner you have left bunched up or folded over. Be sure your dog is not sitting on that corner, but rather sitting on the corner at the bottom of the blanket.
With your dog sitting, have him lay down on that back corner. At this point, his bottom should be on the lower corner with his head and face near the corner you have bunched up.
Playfully place the corner of the blanket you have folded down into your dog's mouth. You can generate interest by being playful and start playing a gentle game of tug-of-war. Or if your dog knows the 'take it' command, you can ask your dog to 'take it.'
Blanket in mouth
Once your dog has the blanket corner in his mouth, you can give him the command to roll over. If your dog isn't sure of the 'roll over' command, you can go back and work on this or you can practice while he's on the blanket.
If your dog needs assistance rolling over, gently push him over, guiding him, or lure him with a treat to the opposite side. Be sure he keeps that corner of the blanket in his mouth so he takes the blanket with him.
Practice these steps until your dog can lay down on the edge of the blanket, take the corner of the blanket in his mouth, and roll into the blanket, wrapping the blanket around his body on his own or by command.
Be sure to offer your dog a treat. Once your dog understands this fun trick, you can also use it to tell your dog to 'go to bed' to 'take a nap' or to 'leave everyone alone' and wrap himself in his soft blanket
The Mix Tricks Method
Place a blanket on the floor and do all of your training, reminders, behaviors, and tricks while on this blanket. While you and your dog are practicing tricks for training new tricks on this blanket, be sure to be using the word blanket while you communicate with your dog.
Have your dog sit on the blanket in various positions. Be sure to move him in between sitting positions to place him in a different position to sit. Your ultimate goal is to have your dog sit at one corner on the back edge of the blanket before he rolls himself in the blanket. Teaching him to sit and various positions will help him understand why it's important he stays in that particular position when it's time.
As with the 'sit' command, have your dog lay down in various positions across the blanket. Your goal with the down position will be to have your dog down on the edge of the blanket before he's ready to roll himself up in it.
Have your dog roll over while on the blanket. If 'roll over' to your dog means to roll from one side to the next, improve upon this skill by teaching him to roll multiple times across the blanket. You can do this by luring him across the blank with a treat or you can coax and guide him into a full roll.
If your dog does not know the 'take it' command, practice with the blanket. If your dog knows to 'take it', bunch up the blanket and offer him the command to take it into his mouth. Practice this several times so your dog can take the blanket in his mouth by command anytime you ask him to.
Mix the commands all together, having your dog sit on a back corner of the blanket, lay down in that position, take the blanket in his mouth with the 'take it' command, and then roll across the blanket while the blanket rolls up around him.
Practice and treats
Be sure to practice this several times before you expect your dog to do it on his own. Offer him a treat each time he does a job well done. Once your dog has this down, you can have him roll up in the blanket when it's time to say goodnight or as a cute party trick
By Stephanie Plummer
Published: 11/21/2017, edited: 01/08/2021
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